Parliamentarians call for increased support towards conservation programmes

By ZBC Reporter

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate and Tourism has called for increased support towards the country’s conservation programmes in response to the negative impact of COVID-19 on the wildlife sector.

Legislators had time to assess the country’s largest game reserve, Hwange National Park this Monday, with financing of conservation efforts taking centre stage given the impact of COVID-19.

COVID-19 has had a negative impact on the wildlife authority’s revenue streams and is threatening the continued implementation of conservation efforts. As legislators we will make necessary recommendations to ensure that there are deliberate efforts to support the wildlife sector, she said.

The legislators commended government for banning mining activities in National Parks and stressed their readiness to ensure a review of the Parks and Wildlife Act as well as the alignment of the Environmental Management Act to the constitution.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) Public Relations Manager, Mr Tinashe Farawo welcomed the pledge to push for policies that will consolidate the country’s status as a conservation champion.

We appreciate the effort by the legislators to visit the iconic game reserve to appreciate the works we are doing in as far as conservation is concerned. We are glad that they have also assured us that they will push for increased funding towards conservation, said Farawo.

The wildlife authority, which is responsible for managing 13 percent of the country’s total land area, requires 25 million United States dollars annually to effectively sustain conservation operations.