BY FARAI MATIASHE
Environment acting minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu yesterday pleaded with various stakeholders to help the government conserve the environment in the face of serious environmental challenges facing the country.
Speaking during the handover of vehicles to the Zambezi Valley Biodiversity project, which is funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under Global Environment Facility (GEF), Ndlovu said government was hamstrung by a shortage of resources.
“Currently, the government does not have enough resources to address environmental challenges on its own. Given the magnitude of the challenges, a lot of support, even from the private sector, is required to
effectively mitigate these challenges,” Ndlovu said.
“I, therefore, urge the UNDP and other co-operating partners to consider scaling up your support to Zimbabwe to increase our effectiveness in conservation and wildlife management.”
He said while wild animals, including elephants, were facing extinction all over the world due to poaching, government was committed to conserving them for future generations.
“Indeed, with regards to some species such as elephants, we are now holding more than 30% in excess of our carrying capacity. But we remain committed and positive that genuine co-operating partners and animal
welfare NGOs [non-governmental organisations] will come on board and assist us in our conservation efforts. We are on the track and the statistics so prove, hence, we shall follow that path as a region,” Ndlovu
UNDP official Mudelena Monoja said 15 vehicles had been secured to support the Zambezi Valley Biodiversity project.
She said the project, which was launched in September 2018 and runs through 2024, was assisting the government to conserve biodiversity in the Zambezi Valley while contributing to the improvement of livelihoods of
communities in the area.
According to Ndlovu, the government received US$10 025 964 under GEF 6 cycle and US$2 million from the UNDP as co-financier of the project.
The government is co-financing the project to the tune of US$40 million, mostly in kind contributions.