Manyame Conservation Trust (MCT) has applauded Cabinet for approving the National Wetlands Policy and Guidelines aimed at protecting wetlands in Zimbabwe.
The approval came at a time when MCT was working on a documentary on wetland pollution under the auspices of “Accumulative Assassins” to investigate where the city went wrong in the provision of clean water.
The trust said the approval of the policy was a big step in general awareness, enforcement and a decisive governance standpoint for environmental stewardship.
“As environmentalists, we are thankful to the enhanced Cabinet Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management, chaired by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, for their presentation to Cabinet,” said the trust in a statement.
MCT said the recognition of wetlands as ecologically sensitive areas in environmental management will truly reflect the Ministry on Environment, Climate and Tourism’s intention to engage in nature based solutions to water purification and climate mitigation.
The trust said the establishment of localised wetland management institutions and community based organisations can have a channel to contribute to the guidance of the policy.
“The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) should now complement the policy by adhering to, and tightening its Environmental Impact Assessment procedures. The agency as a regulatory board is a major player in protection of wetlands.
As a community-based organisation created under SI 7 of the Environmental Management Act — Chapter 20:27 Section 1.1.3 and Chapter 4 Declaration of Environmental Rights Section 73 to manage wetlands, we are more than ready to support enforcement of the policy.”
The trust said giving floor to traditional leadership and communities helps to gather citizen generated data and promotes the use of indigenous knowledge systems.
“As a country, the use of Geo-Int and Geospatial Technology as a tool for monitoring is a must for further evidence based decision making. This will pave the way in opening up for natural capital accounting procedures with an increased community participation.
“We eagerly await the proposal for the Treasury to avail resources for the rehabilitation of two wetlands per province, to kick start with.
“Harare South is without doubt the most affected by dysfunctional settlements and a last port before Chivero, our city’s water reservoir,” MCT said.