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Customs Authorities key to ensure environmental protection

Environmental Reporter

As the World is yelling to find lasting solution to mitigate the impact of climate change emanating from global warming, it has emerged that customs authorities are key to ensure safe environment from smuggling of endangered species and ozone depleting substances.

This was revealed by World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretary General Dr Kunio Mikuriya during the Commemorations of International Customs Day (ICD).

The day is observed on 26 January annually and this year’s commemorations are held under the theme, Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet.”

“Protecting the Planet and ensuring its sustainability for future generations. Customs can contribute to the fight against climate change and provide enhanced environmental sustainability by supporting the effective implementation of various Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). ”

“Their objectives include addressing the illicit trade in hazardous waste and ozone-depleting substances, combating the illicit trade in endangered species, and preventing the spread of plant and animal diseases, as well as invasive alien species. Additionally, Customs may be tasked to ensure the effective collection of excise taxes on carbon emissions.”

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mtuli Ncube echoed similar sentiments saying the Customs Authority has an obligation to protect the environment through law enforcement at boarder posts.

“Equally important,environmental issues relating to the planet are an important aspect of Custom’s mandate as the Authority’s responsibility includes ensuring our environmental resources, fauna and flora, are protected at boarder posts. ”

“This entails enforcing the law to ensure that regulated animals, plants and their byproducts are not illegally removed from or brought into the country. I am glad that Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is also positively responding to business and economic changesn so as to improve environmental sustainability.”

“There is the need for the country to harness the benefits of a toxic free environment.”

Tendai Guvamombe