Tendai Guvamombe (Environmental Reporter) Harare
The Legislative Review of Parks and Wildlife Act kicked off in the City of Bulawayo this Monday and the Honarable Minister of Environment , Climate, Tourism and Hospitality was the officiating guest.
In a speech presented by the Honarable Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu, the review process is expected to encompass pertinent issues ranging from, alignment with constitution, societal needs, addressing human and wildlife conflict, eradication of poaching and ilegal mining among other pertinent aspects.
“We are gathered here today to put our heads together to review the Parks and Wildlife Act [Chapter 20:14], to ensure that it meets the current needs of society, ensuring that this piece of legislation complies with our Constitution, The need to come up with laws that help to eradicate crimes in poaching and mining areas. ”
He further reiterated that the review seeks to foster a reform process that is inline with Government agenda of achieving a middle income economy by 2030. Wildlife Conservation and Tourism will be key in spearheading the agenda.
“In view of the Government’s Vision to be middle income economy by the year 2030, wildlife conservation and Tourism stability are necessary factors to support the growth and the performance of the pillars of the economy that will enable us to achieve our objectives.”
A crucial area expected to be addressed during the review process anchors on the mushrooming number of elephants in the country and at the same time thriving to maintain ecological balance with other species.
“We have more than 80,000 elephants in Zimbabwe against a carrying capacity of 40,000 hence how do we esure that we continue to contribute to the growth of the global elephant population without compromising the existence of other species that share ecological niches with the gentle giants.”
The process will also factor in international conventions in which Zimbabwe is a signatory. This may include Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), Convention on Biological Diversity ( CBD) and Convention.
This also applies to the Principle of Sustainable Utilization which Zimbabwe embraced. This looks at balancing conservation benefits with the needs and expectations of the people who live with wildlife in a sustainable manner.
Parks and Wildlife Act was last amended in 2007 hence it could no longer cope with current trend unfolding over the years where the national constitution came into force in 2013.