GOVERNMENT has set in motion plans for Malilangombe Wetland in Matobo to be recognised as one of the protected sites under the Ramsar Convention, Environment and Natural Resources Management minister Francis Nhema has said.
Report by Pamela Mhlanga
Nhema made the remarks during commemorations to mark World Wetlands Day in Matobo last Friday.
If approved, Malilangombe Wetland would join seven other protected wetland sites which include Monavale Vlei, Cleveland Dam, Chinhoyi Caves, Mana Pools, Victoria Falls, Driefontein Grasslands and Lake Chivero.
Ramsar Convention is an international treaty on wetlands signed in February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, to raise public awareness on conservation, proper utilisation and management of wetlands and their resources.
“Malilangombe Wetland is protected through traditional norms, values and beliefs and hence has always maintained such a pristine condition,” Nhema said. “It is considered sacred and the local communities conduct traditional rituals and ceremonies at the wetland. This wetland is a repository of water which is released in the dry season.”
Ramsar Convention secretary-general Anada Tiega, who also attended Friday’s event in Matobo, said: “I am impressed with the way the people of this area are taking care of their wetland. The wetlands here are well protected and one can see this in the state of the trees.We are hopeful that the site will be recognised soon, but it is a process.”