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Saturday, April 13, 2024
HomeEnvironmentSafeguard Zimbabwe’s Wildlife and Ecosystems Govt Implored

Safeguard Zimbabwe’s Wildlife and Ecosystems Govt Implored

The Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) has issued a clarion call to all stakeholders in Zimbabwe, urging immediate action to protect the nation’s invaluable wildlife and ecosystems.

Highlighting this year’s theme, “Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation,” CNRG emphasized the importance of leveraging digital interventions to address the escalating threats faced by Zimbabwe’s biodiversity.

In a statement to commemorate the World Wildlife Day, CNRG said the unprecedented crisis of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation gripping the world.

“The world is facing an unprecedented crisis in biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. From deforestation and habitat destruction to illegal wildlife trade and climate change, human activities continue to pose significant threats to our planet’s fragile ecosystems and the diverse species that inhabit them. We also note with grave concern the negative effects of mining activities on ecosystems that support wildlife,” read the statement

CNRG said the consequences of this crisis are multifaceted, extending beyond ecological impacts to economic and social ramifications.

“The loss of key species disrupts delicate ecosystems, affects biodiversity balance, and diminishes tourism revenues, which are crucial for Zimbabwe’s economy. Additionally, local communities that rely on wildlife-based tourism and sustainable natural resource management suffer economic hardships, exacerbating poverty and social instability.

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“Unethical practices such as trophy hunting are also a threat to wildlife conservation. There is no justification, whatsoever, for killing animals for fun, or as part of sport. Tourism is a potential $20 billion economy if the country has the right policies, practices and infrastructure that attract tourists,” said CNRG

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In light of these pressing issues, CNRG calls upon the government and stakeholders to prioritize conservation, sustainability, and social justice.

“The Government of Zimbabwe must enact and enforce robust legislation and policies that protect wildlife habitats, regulate extractive industries, and combat illegal wildlife trade. These frameworks should promote sustainable practices and ensure equitable distribution of benefits derived from natural resources.

“The Government of Zimbabwe should allocate adequate resources to strengthen wildlife protection efforts, including anti-poaching measures and the dismantling of illegal wildlife trade networks. International cooperation is essential in combating transnational wildlife crime,” said CNRG

The advocacy group further added “Government should ban trophy hunting and take leadership in campaigning against the practice on the African continent. Trophy hunting has the potential of agitating wild animals and exacerbating human-wildlife conflict.

“The Government of Zimbabwe must encourage the adoption of sustainable land use practices, such as reforestation, habitat restoration, and sustainable agriculture, which respect the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples.

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“The Government, INGOs, CSOs, business, academia, and communities should collaborate to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices in wildlife conservation. This collaboration will enable more effective and informed decision-making processes.”

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