Business Community Development

Safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem services leads to sustainable development

Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu

By Anyway Yotamu

The government has pledged commitment to safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem services, which are key in achieving developmental goals.

Speaking at the launch of Zimbabwe’s Sixth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Environment, Climate, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu highlighted the importance of biodiversity in the survival of citizens.

“The Government of Zimbabwe recognises the importance of biodiversity in achieving Sustainable Development Goals; Africa 2063 Agenda; SADC vision and the National 2030 Vision. Biodiversity is also the basis of survival for most of Zimbabwe’s people, particularly those who live in rural areas and those adjacent to protected areas.

“These are the people who mostly exploit natural resources for their livelihoods. The natural ecosystems have continued to yield food, medicines, fuel, and materials for crafts, and have provided for their cultural and spiritual needs. The Government will therefore continue to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services for the benefit of the general populace,” he said.

A Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is expected to be adopted at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to be held next year in China.

He said that despite the Covid-19 induced challenges, it is heartening to note that global consultations are continuing virtually with parties eager and geared up to conclude the development of this new framework that will guide biodiversity conservation for the next 10 years. 

The framework is premised on transformative change which requires policy action, tools, and solutions; financial resources, capacity, and technology for implementation be put in place.

“As a government, we have to make conscious efforts towards sound biodiversity conservation by providing an enabling environment for biodiversity oriented action. It is imperative to remind ourselves that the Sixth national report should be taken as a planning tool as it has highlighted gaps and challenges encountered in our biodiversity conservation efforts during the implementation of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan. Our hope is to correct our shortcomings as we implement the post-2020 framework,” added Minister Ndhlovu.

The framework which consists of a new vision, targets, and goals for conservation, aims to fulfill vision 2050.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende