Celebrating nature

28 Feb, 2018 - 00:02 0 Views

The Herald

The 2018 edition of the Africa Environment Day will be commemorated jointly with the World Wildlife Day and Wangari Maathai Day.

The event will be hosted by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife authority (ZIMPARKS) and Forestry Commission on March 3, 2018, at the Africa Unity Square in Harare.

Africa Environment Day, celebrated annually on 3 March, was established by the then Organisation of African Unity in 2002 as a way of raising awareness of the pressing environmental challenges facing the continent.

Zimbabwe uses this day as a platform to discuss topical issues like waste management, sustainable development and green economy through symposiums, commemorations and exhibitions to allow discussions and sharing of insights, perspectives and experiences.

As a nation, we value this day which served as a platform to promote an in-depth understanding of the practices to be undertaken by; communities, civic society, industry and other sectors towards environmental protection.

The day seeks to promote Environmental Education and Community empowerment amongst the Youth and Institutions of higher education; by re-affirming the importance of all levels of education and training towards sustainable development.

During the 2012 Session of the General Assembly of the African Union, the Assembly decided to recognise Professor Wangari Maathai’s numerous achievements in her capacity as the first Presiding Officer of the African Union’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU–ECOSOCC), African Union Peace Ambassador, Founder of the Green Belt Movement, Goodwill Ambassador to the Congo Basin Forest Initiative, UN Peace Messenger for Environment and Climate, and UNEP Champion of the Earth.

In so doing they designated 3 March as Wangari Maathai Day to be observed in conjunction with Africa Environment Day, each year beginning in 2012. Since 2012, the Africa Environment Day has been celebrated in conjunction with Wangari Maathai Day, in order to pay tribute to the late Nobel Laureate’s green legacy.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 3 as World Wildlife Day, to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora, since 2014.

In so doing, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed the intrinsic value of wildlife and its various contributions, including ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic, to sustainable development and human well-being, and recognised the important role the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) plays in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the survival of the species.

World Wildlife Day is celebrated in 2018 under the theme “Big cats: predators under threat”.

Big cats are among the most widely recognised and admired animals across the globe. However, today these charismatic predators are facing many and varied threats, which are mostly caused by human activities.

Overall, their populations are declining at a disturbing rate due to loss of habitat and prey, conflicts with people, poaching and illegal trade.

Let us work together to protect our lovely environment for the sake of present and future generations.

Send your feedback to; [email protected], like us on Facebook: Environmental Management Agency and twitter:@EMAeep or visit our website www.ema.co.zw. Alternatively, call us on: Tel 086 77006244 and Toll-free 08080028; or use our WhatsApp platform 0779565707. We are ready to listen.

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