By Tendai Guvamombe
The Government of Zimbabwe is committed to implement a programme which seeks to support Implementation of Zimbabwe’s Nationally Determined Contributions with support from the UNDP-Russian Trust Fund to develop the Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) in order to provide clear direction for low emission development and to build a functional, effective and sustainable domestic MRV system for tracking low emission development in Zimbabwe.
These among other issues became topical during the ongoing workshop on Harmonization of Curriculum for LEDS and MRV Training in Zimbabwean Forestry which anchored on the need to provide opportunities for research and to initiate discussion on the Country’s Forest Definition in the quest to exorcise strategies on addressing deforestation and forest degradation in the country.
In a presentation made by Mr Washington Zhakata Director in the Department of Climate Change and Mitigation, under the Ministry of Lands the three-day workshop will help allow researchers to deliberate on definition of forest which would possibly help coming up with key strategies in addressing areas of deforestation and degradation.
“The workshop will also provide an opportunity for the research team to present their findings for stakeholders input and validation To initiate discussion on the Country’s Forest Definition To provide stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss strategies on addressing deforestation and forest degradation.”
Lawrence Mashungu, Mitigation Officer at the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement unravelled through all the approaches to the underlying definition of forest saying if the country successfully manage to come up with its concepts on various issues surrounding deforestation factors visa vee government forms of legislation would eventually precipitate into international recognition among myriad advantages.
“ We need to know the underlying drivers and factors causing people to cut down trees, this would allow us to address effects and the main causes taking into account socioeconomic environmental issues, legislation issues, may be power cut and the need for money could be among other issues driving people to cut down trees.”
“Under the programme that we are doing under United Nations Conversation Framework on Climate Change and other programs we are required to have our own definition because a forest in Zimbabwe might be a different forest in Botswana where there is a desert so we have to define oyr own forest to make sure that when we do our programmes internationally when they assess our projects they do assessment against what we call a forest, so there are parameters for that to be done.”
Chemist Gumbie a consultant under Regal Consultants Services strongly believe that achieving definition among other concepts of forest will definitely place the country on.a.better position in areas of foreign funding among others especially when given the fact that Zimbabwe has been in the past relying definition approaches provided by regional bodies.
“ As we speak Zimbabwe does not have a definition of forestry so it will be important to know what we call a.forest , currently we are using definitions of regional bodies like SADC, the FA . So as a nation whenever terms such as woodlands and forest are mentioned it must ring a bell what they look like.”