Talent Hwari Herald Reporter
Government has stopped funding the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and expects it to operate as a commercial entity.
Addressing legislators at the Zimbabwe parliamentarian conservation caucus workshop in Harare on Friday last week, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said the restrictions in wildlife trade negatively impacted on the authority’s budget.
Parks generates 60 percent of its revenue from hunting. “At national level, the total hunting revenue contributes an excess of $28 million every year,” Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri. “We have excelled in wildlife conservation as evidenced by the high numbers of elephants in the country and we should be rewarded for these efforts through sustainable utilisation, but instead we are being punished through trade restrictions.
“Zimbabwe remains one of few nations that have viable wildlife populations and this is why the world’s focus remains firmly on us. However, despite challenges and hindrances in the form of bans and negative publicity, we have proven to be committed in ensuring that wildlife prevails for future generations to enjoy. “We shall not relent in the face of adversity, but will thrive to ensure that we rise above all challenges and remain victorious in the fight against poaching.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Government developed strategies to solve the challenges that included use of sniffer dogs, aircrafts and micro-lights and experimenting with drones in wildlife protection.
Deputy Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Industry Anastacia Ndlovu concurred saying: “Generally, species of wildlife that can be observed through this form of tourism are the same as those most threatened by poaching and other forms of environmental detriments.”