Zimbabwe marked World Environment Day (WED) 2023 on Monday by emphasizing the critical need for collective action to address plastic pollution, restore biodiversity, adapt to climate change, and promote resilience.
The nation’s commitment to sustainable development was highlighted as officials called for immediate measures to combat the mounting environmental challenges.
Under the theme “Solutions to Plastic Pollution – #BeatPlasticPollution,” this year’s commemorations shed light on the dire state of plastic waste management in Zimbabwe.
Shockingly, recent estimates suggest that only a mere 10 percent of plastic waste is currently being recycled within the country.
Globally, over 400 million tons of plastics are produced each year, with more than 20 million tons infiltrating water bodies and other ecosystems, causing severe environmental harm.
In a statement released to mark WED 2023, the United Nations (UN) in Zimbabwe underscored the urgency of addressing climate change, pollution, and the biodiversity crisis as fundamental prerequisites for both national and global development goals.
Edward Kallon, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Zimbabwe, emphasized that without tackling the repercussions of the triple planetary crisis, including climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, the ambitious targets outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals and the National Development Strategy-1 would remain unattainable.
“To materialize the eradication of poverty, hunger, and the achievement of sustainable development goals, it is imperative to address the impact of the triple planetary crisis,” stated Kallon.
“We must ensure that development programs and projects are informed by and sensitive to climate change,” he added.
Furthermore, the statement highlighted the efforts of UN Zimbabwe in promoting green technologies to bolster sustainable practices.
As part of this initiative, the introduction of solar-powered pumps for horticulture has been prioritized. This endeavor holds significant importance for enhancing household food security and generating income for local communities.
Zimbabwe’s resolute commitment to combatting plastic pollution and adopting climate-smart strategies is not only a national priority but also an essential step towards safeguarding the environment for future generations.
As the world unites to overcome the challenges of our time, Zimbabwe sets a commendable example by emphasizing the urgency of collective action and sustainable development.