Click here to go to the following issues:

Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |Zimbabwe

NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ZIMBABWE

Click here to go to these sections:

AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

The Ministry of Agriculture has the primary responsibility for the agricultural sector. It exercises control, regulatory, advisory, and information dissemination functions through various acts, policies, and programmes. The Ministry is also responsible for maintaining the strategic grain reserve. Important acts relevant for sustainable agricultural development include: the Plant Pests and Diseases Control Act, the Animals Health Act, the Plant Breeders Rights Act, the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds and Remedies Act, and the Agricultural Research Act. The Ministry of Lands and Water Development is responsible for the Water Act and for the allocation of water rights through the Water Courts. Its mandate includes the development of underground water resources, and medium and large size dams.

ARDA, a parastatal of the Ministry of Lands and Water Development, is a rural development agency responsible for various rural development programmes. The Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development is responsible for the implementation of the resettlement programme through its District Development Fund. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism, together with the Department of Natural Resources, the Natural Resources Board, the Intensive Conservation Areas Committees and the Forestry Commission, is responsible for ensuring the sustainable use of land resources through the Natural Resources Act.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

No information available.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

The aim of the new agricultural policy framework for the period 1995 to 2020 is to transform smallholder agriculture into a fully commercial farming system. The annual increase in total agricultural output will be larger than the increase in population. This will be achieved through sustainable farming systems which reverse current environmental degradation.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

Special area programmes, such as the mid-Zambezi Valley, have had strategic plans designed for easier inter sectoral coordination for sustainable rural development purposes. ARDA, a parastatal, has the mandate to implement agricultural and rural development programmes aimed at improving the livelihoods of small scale farmers. Some of its most prominent programmes include: the Integrated Rural Development Programme in Masvingo, the Fruit and Vegetable Marketing Project in Mashonaland East, and the Small Scale Coffee and Fruit Growers Programme in Eastern Highlands. In all these programmes issues of conservation, economic and social impact are incorporated and closely monitored. Since 1992 Agritex, the agricultural extension department, and most extension organizations have re-oriented extension and programme approach to include diagnostic surveys, participatory rural appraisal, and farming systems approach to improve communication and interface with farmers.

Although Zimbabwe has initiated some successful rural development programmes, more needs to be accomplished in this area. Some examples include the following:

  1. The Department of Energy has developed programmes to identify alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind and badges. The GEF Solar Photovoltaic Project for rural households and community use in Zimbabwe was implemented in 1993 with the objective of installing 9000 systems in rural areas, as a pilot project. By 1996, 6000 systems had been installed.
  2. A rural electrification programme was introduced in 1985; however, due to financial limitations, it has not realized the desired goals.
  3. Fuel-saving stoves and alternative sources of energy have been developed to alleviate shortages of energy in rural areas and help combat land degradation.
  4. The CAMPFIRE programme has been established to promote rural development by allowing communities to benefit from sustainable utilization of wildlife resources.

Status

Zimbabwe participated in the Food Summit, held in Rome in 1996. Agriculture provides employment and livelihood to 70% of the population, 60% of industrial raw materials, and 45% total export earnings, emphasizing the very high priority given to sustainable agriculture and rural development.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

There are six agricultural colleges under the Ministry of Agriculture which train extension officers. The University of Zimbabwe and Africa University are also involved in training programmes. The Agricultural Research Council of the Ministry of Agriculture coordinates research efforts to ensure that country research needs are met. The Scientific and Industrial Development Centre focuses on biotechnology and capacity building.

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

The Agricultural Finance Corporation, a parastatal, has farmer credit schemes.

Cooperation

Zimbabwe houses and coordinates the Southern Africa Development Conference Food Security Sector Programme. There are sub-sectors on agricultural research in Botswana, on animal production, livestock control, forestry wildlife and fisheries in Malawi, and an Environmental Land Management Sector in Lesotho. Common policies in these efforts originated from a regional strategy in Food Agriculture and Natural Resources and Environment developed in 1987. SADC has a pre-Rio agenda, and its post-Rio agenda has seen member states develop new environmental policies and action plans and introduce environmental impact assessment measures. There are new resource management policies and laws such as several Zambezi Action Plan Projects which were completed with new principles and guidelines for shared watercourse systems.

In the Agricultural Sector Zimbabwe cooperates with such international organizations as FAO and ICRISAT, and with donor agencies, such as USAID, GTZ, DANIDA and the World Bank.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

For information on agriculture in Zimbabwe, click here.

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.

Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.

Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.
To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home |

 

ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has the overall responsibility for climate change and ozone issues. Besides the MET, there are other institutions which address atmospheric activities, such as:

An Ozone Office was created to coordinate the implementation of projects under the Montreal Protocol.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

No information available.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

No information available.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

Zimbabwe is also in the process of carrying out inventories of greenhouse gases, developing a communication strategy and an action programme. A solar photovoltaic pilot project for rural lighting is being implemented with GEF support.

Status

The Ozone Office is currently working on the terms of reference of the study to collect data on ozone depleting gases, their consumption, importation and exportation. The study is expected to be completed by the end of 1997. A project to recycle CFCs in under implementation and six projects in retrofitting of refrigerators are also underway.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

Zimbabwe is currently part of a UNDP capacity building project which includes Mali, Ghana and Kenya. The project will help build capacity in these countries to respond to their obligations under the UNFCC and facilitate the production of National Communications required by November 1997. The National Communications will present a summary of climate related activities in Zimbabwe and will be the result of a broad-based consultation process. Other projects completed in the context of climate change include: UNITAR's training project; US country studies on inventories, vulnerability, mitigation and adaptation; and UNEP's project on cost abatement.

The CC Train programme (1993-1994) was implemented to raise awareness among government officials, private sector, University, and NGO community on environmental issues.

Capacity building programmes are being developed in various institutions in two forms. The first involves sending personnel to institutions in developed countries that deal with similar issues. For example, Meteorological Officers have been going on training programmes at centers such as the Drought Monitoring Centre, in Nairobi, and the Australian National Meteorological Centre. The second includes sending officers for further training in universities and colleges. However, these capacity building programmes need to be expanded to include all the technical requirements in the management of climate change issues and how they relate to the environment.

The three major groups which are being targeted are industry, including the informal sector, the general public, forestry, agriculture and the water sector (large dams).

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

Donor funds have been allocated to climate change and ozone related activities. Out of the total amount, the contribution made by the Government is 15 percent, mainly through the provision of office facilities and salaries for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism personnel. The remainder of the finances are being provided by GEF.

Cooperation

The Montreal Protocol (1987) was ratified on in 1992 and came into force in 1993; both the London Amendment (1990) and the Copenhagen Amendment (1992), were ratified in 1994.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was ratified on 3 November 1992 and entered into force on 21 March 1994.

International cooperation is being fostered through participation in various panels of experts of the Ozone Protocol and the Climate Change Convention. Zimbabwe is currently participating in a regional study to evaluate the reduction of greenhouse gases under the Regional Power Pool Project and the SADC Regional Early Warning System.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

Click here for national information from the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

For the Montreal Secretariat, click here:

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home|

 

BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

No information available.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has the mandate to design biodiversity policies and plans. The new Environmental Management Act, still at the drafting stage, will consolidate fragmented legislation giving the MET and its institutions conservation responsibilities. Zimbabwe's Interim Environmental Impact Assessment Policy of 1994 provides precautionary measures on biodiversity issues. These will be incorporated into the Environmental Management Act as law. The proposed Intellectual Property Protection and Patents bill is still at the consultation stage among stakeholders. This bill will be presented by the Minister in the President's office. The proposed legislation seeks to address issues of rights of access, protection of materials and the share of benefits accrued. The current legislation is not applicable and adequate for current developments.

Mechanisms for promoting the sustainable use of biological biodiversity include an enabling legislative framework which promotes the sustainable use of renewable biological resources. User rights to forest and land resources belonging to the Government have been decentralized to Rural District Councils. The Parks and Wildlife Act gives full rights to land owners to fully utilize and benefit from resources on private properties.

The mechanism for in situ conservation is through the establishment of protected areas. These cover 13% of the country and were established under the Parks and Wildlife Act. They include Parks and Wildlife state land, Botanical Reserves and Gardens. In addition, commercial forest covers 2%. Statutory provision for the protection of listed threatened species is applied where human activities prevent the recovery of their population.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

As a part of Zimbabwe's obligations under the Convention on Biological, it is developing a programme of action for the conservation of biodiversity. The Government recently set up a Biodiversity Coordinating Unit which is responsible for the development of national strategies, plans and programmes for sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity. Zimbabwe has a range of long standing strategies in place for the conservation of biological diversity.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

Zimbabwe has a programme for promoting the recovery of threatened species from the endangered list. The Parks and Wildlife Act controls the introduction of exotic species. The National Herbarium of the Ministry of Agriculture houses a quarter of a million dried specimens representing plant biological diversity within Zimbabwe. The garden includes ecological units representing all major types of vegetation in Zimbabwe with over 1,000 tree and shrub species collected from all parts of the country represented in forms of naturally occurring plant association with the long-term objective of creating replicas of indigenous vegetation. Information on indigenous trees used by herbalists is compiled. The Forestry Commission has a herbarium at Chirinda Forest as well as a number of gene banks. The gene bank for agricultural crops and their wild varieties in Zimbabwe is under the Crop Breeding Institute of the Department of Research and Specialist Services.

The DNR implemented a programme of protected areas with the objective of conserving biodiversity specifically in unique ecosystems, such as those containing remnant species in the region which are now under threat. The programme incorporates the goals and needs of the community, and there is a total of twenty two sites. The Mapembe Forest project, implemented in 1992, has a public participation component attaching value to biodiversity for the multiple purpose of species, including economic, medicinal, and cultural. The community is empowered in terms of access to the resources and benefits accruing. Local knowledge systems in terms of management and use of different species for medicinal and traditional ceremonies are also incorporated. The 22 other sites do not include public participation, although Wedza Mountain and Nyachowa Falls have an element of consultation and participation by locals.

Rehabilitation and reclamation programmes incorporate biodiversity principles such as localized gully reclamation and catchment area rehabilitation, the most outstanding being the Save which incorporates eleven Rural District Councils. Other biodiversity conservation projects include the Botanical Garden's Project and the Guruve North Biodiversity project. Despite these effort, Zimbabwe is still losing its biological diversity through deforestation and land degradation and it is hoped that the current inventories and action programmes under the Biodiversity Convention may assist in solving the problem of biodiversity loss.

Status

No information available.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

Economic benefits accrued from wildlife marketing are more attractive than from agricultural land use systems encouraging conservation of wildlife habitats. The Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) has focused on the development of local institutions for the management and sustainable utilization of communal wildlife resources, enabling communities and families to benefit economically from wildlife in their areas. CAMPFIRE is being applied to inshore fisheries in Lake Kariba and to the management of indigenous forestry resources in Mutoko District.

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

The Mushandike Natural Resources College specializes in training wildlife managers, and the Zimbabwe College of Forestry provides training in forestry. The Institute for Environmental Studies focuses on research and training in environmental matters which address Zimbabwe's needs. The National Herbarium offers specialized training programmes in plant taxonomy, among others.

Financing

Financing for biodiversity conservation programmes has been increasing over the years.

Cooperation

Zimbabwe is a Party to both the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Zimbabwe is a party to the CITES and Biodiversity Conventions and cooperates with other States in their efforts to enforce trade bans on endangered species. The National Herbarium houses dried plant specimens, including materials from other countries in Southern Africa. The Herbarium also identifies trees from Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.

Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.

Click here to link to biosafety web sites in the European Union.
For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:

For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:

For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:

For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:

For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home|

 

DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

No information available.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) is responsible for the conservation, protection and sustainable use of the country's natural resources. The Natural Resources Act and the Forestry Act facilitate the regulation, control, and coordination of anti-desertification activities by enabling the MET to spearhead and coordinate the implementation of the CCD.

The Natural Resources Board, the Department of Natural Resources, the Forestry Commission, and the Department of Parks and Wildlife are institutions of the MET which implement its various programmes and functions.

The Ministry of Lands and Water (MLW) controls water use through the provisions of the Water Act. Its mandate includes the development, sustainable use and allocation of water resources and the protection of catchment areas.

The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for the Early Warning Unit, the strategic grain reserve and drought recovery programmes. The Rural District Councils Act empowers RDC to make bye-laws relating to the management and conservation of indigenous resources. The legal framework with implications on desertification processes include the Communal Land Forest Produce Act, the Mines and Minerals Act and the Parks and Wildlife Act.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

Zimbabwe's commitment to the implementation of anti-desertification and drought mitigation activities, with the effective participation of communities, goes back to 1987 when Zimbabwe took the initiative of designing a National Conservation Strategy. In 1995 the Desertification Convention National Awareness Workshop was held with the participation of all stakeholders. In addition, Zimbabwe has undertaken the following activities in the context of the Convention to Combat Desertification:

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

The implementation, in 1993, of the District Environmental Action Planning Programme (DEAP) in four pilot districts, as a follow up response to the 1992 Agenda 21, provides an opportunity to implement initiatives relating to the CCD, the Climate Change and the Biodiversity Conventions through participatory approaches.

Zimbabwe suffers from severe droughts; the worst and most recent one experienced in 1992. In order to monitor and mitigate the effects of drought, the following programmes and activities have been undertaken:

The Government is currently implementing programmes to address land degradation, such as: gully rehabilitation, extension and training, grazing schemes, conservation tillage, mechanical conservation, biological conservation, woodlot programme consolidated gardens, protection and conservation of wetland, sponges and springs; awareness and enforcement through the Natural Resources Act.

Status

Encroaching desertification and land degradation are major environmental concerns in Zimbabwe. A 1993 survey showed that about 10% of the land is moderately to extensively eroded, with 23% of the communal areas showing significant erosion. Despite the fact that only 25% of the land in Zimbabwe is suitable for agricultural use, due to poverty and the lack of alternative livelihoods, people continue to exploit limited natural resources for their survival. Consequently, water scarcity and drought are affecting a significant portion of the country.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

The Natural Resources Management Programme has maintained a focus on capacity building in policy development and integrated resource monitoring.

Information

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism applies information management in its resource management efforts, the supporting applications include: state of the environment reporting; environmental monitoring; and ecological land classification. These outputs assist the MET in making policies and decisions to combat desertification.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

The establishment of the National Desertification Fund, which is still under consultation, is viewed as essential to augment public funds.

Cooperation

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa was signed in 1994, ratified on 23 September 1997 and entered into force on 22 December 1997.

Zimbabwe is active in such regional programmes as the SADC Regional Early Warning Unit, the Zambezi River System Action Plan, and the SADC Environment and Land Management Sector Programme. Through initiatives of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, Zimbabwe implemented five pilot projects which address desertification problems through improved land management.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home|

 

ENERGY

Programmes and Projects

Although Zimbabwe has initiated some successful rural development programmes, more needs to be accomplished in this area. Some examples include the following:

Status

Up to 55% of urban households are supplied with electricity, compared to 28% in rural areas. The bulk of the remaining households rely on fuel wood with its attendant impact on the environment. The Government, through the Department of Energy, is exploring and promoting alternative sources of energy, such as solar energy and biogas as well as energy saving devices. The rural electrification programme which started in 1982 has not progressed as anticipated.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home|

 

FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

No information available.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), through the Forestry Commission, a parastatal which is the lead implementing agency of the Forestry Act, is responsible for the forestry sector. The Department of Parks and Wildlife Management, the Natural Resource Board, and the Department of Natural Resources, under the MET, through the provisions of the Natural Resources Act, the Communal Lands Forest Produce Act and the Parks and Wildlife Act, contribute towards the sustainable utilization and management of Natural Resources, including forests. Rural District Councils are responsible for land use planning and utilization of forest resources at the district level. The Strategic Directions, formulated by the MET in 1996, represent a holistic approach to the implementation of environmental policies integrating the statutory land based institutions of all its departments, parastatals, boards and authorities.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

Zimbabwe has also drafted a National Strategy for the Sustainable Management of Forests.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

As a part of Zimbabwe's National Strategy for the Sustainable Management of Forests, the following programmes have been put into place to address the problem of deforestation:

  1. Improved environmentally sound harvesting practices;
  2. Afforestation programmes;
  3. Increased agroforestry activities;
  4. Promotion of non-consumptive use of forest resources;
  5. Value added secondary processing of forest products were explored at the community level;.
  6. Increasing the capacity of the Forestry Commission in monitoring deforestation and changes in the vegetation cover;
  7. Implementation of the Schools and Colleges Tree Growing and Tree Care Programme in 1992/93 as part of the National Tree Planting Programme. Significant impact on reforestation was achieved, justifying the programme's integration in 1995/96 into the Forestry Extension Services Division of the Forest Commission in order to sustain its successful activities;
  8. Increasing production of tree seedlings, from 4.5 million in 1992, with 74% raised at the community, to 7 million in 1994, with 80% produced at community based nurseries, in line with the strategy to decentralize this activity and to involve communities in reforestation.
  9. Formation of an NGO-based working group on woodlands. This group is a think-tank of four NGOs, the SAFIRE, the ENDA, the Biomass User's Network and ZERO, who meet periodically to discuss woodland management issues in Zimbabwe. One of their activities has been to hold consultations to formulate a woodland management policy for the country.

Status

Zimbabwe's forest resources account for about 3% of the Gross Domestic Product, not including benefits from indigenous woodlands. Total forest area is about 24.9 million hectares, covering 60% of the country. In 1995, 110,000 hectares were under plantation, compared to 104,436 hectares in 1990. Forest industries employ 16,000 people, and the gross value of processed forest industrial products exceeds US $40 million a year. State lands and protected areas comprising 6 million hectares of commercially productive woodlands, including parks and protected areas vital for the tourist industry, are managed by the Forestry Commission (FC) and the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management.

Challenges

Despite these programmes, the rate of deforestation continues to exceed afforestation efforts. The Government has realized the need to adopt a more integrated approach to resource management using participatory methodologies which the DEAP project is elaborating . There is also the need for more investment into affordable alternative energy sources in order to reduce rural communities' dependency on fuelwood.

Deforestation is one of the major environmental problems facing Zimbabwe. About 70,000 to 100,000 ha of forest is cleared every year and the forest cover is estimated to be declining at a rate of 1.5% per year (UNDP, 1997). The main causes of deforestation include increasing demand for land for agricultural development and dependence on wood as fuel in the rural areas. Deforestation has caused land degradation and siltation of rivers and dams. A large amount of biodiversity has also been lost and so has the socio-cultural role of forests. The loss of forests is somehow linked to the growing poverty in the rural areas.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

The Forestry Commission invests in post graduate staff development programmes to meet needs as they arise. Nineteen diploma course students graduate every year from the Zimbabwe College of Forestry of the FC, and the Forestry Industry Training Center has also increased its output from 21 in 1992/93 to an enrolment of 62 students in 1995.

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

The government's grant for development activities has declined in real terms. The commercial operations are profitable.

Cooperation

Zimbabwe is a signatory of the Earth Charter and subscribes to the principles of Agenda 21 and related conventions, such as the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. The Government also participates on the Ad hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests.

Zimbabwe cooperates with international institutions in order to improve its plantation productivity and broaden the genetic base of important exotic species. The Forestry Commission has benefited from its membership in the Central America and Mexico Coniferous Resources Cooperative. In addition, through the coordinating activities of the Forestry Commission, Zimbabwe host, in 1997, the 15th Commonwealth Forestry Conference whose theme was "Forestry in a changing political environment; challenges for the 21st century." The Zimbabwe College of Forestry is accessible to regional students, mostly from other SADCC countries.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home|

 

FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

The Ministry of Lands and Water Development has the overall mandate for the protection of the quality and supply of freshwater resources, including monitoring their pollution levels. The Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development addresses water supply and sanitation issues through the District Development Fund and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation. The Ministry has given responsibility to local authorities in major urban areas for the management and protection of their water resources.

The Agricultural, Technical, and Extension Services (AGRITEX) is the department of the Ministry of Agriculture responsible for irrigation extension and schemes, mainly in communal areas. The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) was established in December 1995 and consultations with stakeholders are currently being held in order to finalize its structure and components. Once functional ZINWA will be responsible for water resources management and regulation, while water supply and national infrastructure is the responsibility of the proposed Water Supply Zimbabwe Limited.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

The Natural Resources Act provides for the monitoring of water quality and pollution and catchment protection in order to reduce siltation. It established the Water Pollution Control Unit, which is responsible for the day to day monitoring of water quality. The proposed Environmental Management Act will set the standards for water quality which will form the basis for monitoring.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

No information available.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

The Water Sector Reform Programme, launched in 1993 in the Ministry of Lands and Water, is the main focus in the protection of the quality and supply of freshwater resources in Zimbabwe. The overall objective of the programme is the sustainable, equitable and economically feasible use of water resources, taking into account shared waters. The programme has two components, namely: the institutional development and legal framework and the water resources management strategy project.

The specific objectives of the water resources management strategy project are the following:

Status

Water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource in Zimbabwe, and access to water is a key to development and poverty reduction. The national priority is to develop adequate water resources for the growing needs of the various sectors of the economy and to ensure good water quality.

As a land locked country without natural lakes, Zimbabwe's water supply is based on water harvesting and use of groundwater resources. There are currently more than 800 large dams in Zimbabwe. In order to increase water supply, mainly for irrigation, the government plans to build one medium size dam per district under the Give-a-Dam project. The government also plans to build additional large dams, irrigation systems, water supply schemes and drill boreholes and wells. To ensure sustainability in communal areas, local people will be trained in how to maintain the water supply equipment and will be actively involved in the operation of water supply. The objective is to ensure that nobody in rural areas will have to walk more than 3 kms to the nearest drinking water point (mainly boreholes). Although many boreholes have been drilled under this programme, the problem is they often dry up as a result of drought and the lack of funds and spare parts to maintain the pumps.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

The main issues relating to capacity-building are being addressed under the Water Sector Reform Program, and all institutions dealing with freshwater have developed capacity building programmes. These include sending officers to academic institutions, mostly in developed countries, which offer programmes in the field of fresh water resources. These programmes are mainly funded by donor institutions.

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

During the 1996/1997 fiscal year, the Government allocated Z$ 1,710,000 for irrigation extension services and schemes; Z$ 70,409,000 for construction of major water conservation works; Z$ 40,285,000 for construction of water supplies; Z$ 6,210,000 for research in ground water and the hydrological field; Z$ 9,000,000 for water supplies under local government, rural and urban development and Z$ 15,000,000 for sewerage under local authorities.

Cooperation

The SADC Watercourse Protocol of 1995 is the major regional programme. This programme addresses issues regarding all shared watercourses. The Zambezi Action Plan (ZACPLAN) is also an important programme which monitors and controls pollution levels in the Zambezi River. There is a similar initiative for the Limpopo River.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

Click here to visit the Web Site of the Ramsar Convention.

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home|

 

LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

Land authorities in Zimbabwe include Rural District Councils, Urban Councils, the Forestry Commission, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management, and private landowners. The current Regional Town and Country Planning Act, administered by The Ministry of Local Government Rural and Urban Development (MLGRUD), has legal provisions for the general framework for land use and physical planning. It also controls development and change of land use. It is policy to design and institute urban, and combination master plans.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism is responsible for the management of natural resources. Provisions of the proposed Environmental Management Act will enable the MET to coordinate all agencies to ensure planning for best possible land use and management. In addition, the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, through its Department of Physical Planning, has the mandate to produce Master Plans which take into consideration environmental issues, as a result of the provisions of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act. The Department of Physical Planning is also responsible for national urban development strategies which take cognizance of the economic and demographic impact of the national policies in spatial terms. The Rural District Councils Act gives councils the power to plan and control land use at the district level.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) currently has an interim Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) policy, introduced in 1994, which ensures that the potential and known ecological, cultural, social and economic impacts resulting from land and water use are minimized or eliminated. The EIA programme continues to evolve into an integrated network of programmes that work in support of an ecosystem approach to management, as well as develop Environmental Operating Guidelines for the various sectors. The MET is drafting a consolidated and effective new Environmental Management Act to clarify its mandate and co-ordinate the responsibilities of all agencies, the private sector and communities so as to ensure the best possible land use and management of land resources. Included in the current information on management systems is the State of Environmental Reporting and Environmental monitoring.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

There are various Governmental and non-governmental agencies responsible for the management of land resources in Zimbabwe.

Programmes and Projects

The MET has spearheaded various initiatives, programmes and services designed for sustainable planning and management of land resources. The District Environmental Action Planning (DEAP) programme, under implementation by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the MLGRUD, and NGOs, is a locally-based initiative which uses horizontal communication systems and empowers grassroots communities in planning and decision making regarding their human and natural resource needs. The Ministry of Agriculture, through its department Agritex, provides land capability (or suitability) classification for land use plans at farm, village, communal, district and regional levels. This allows farmers and communities to make informed decisions on sustainable, viable and optimum land use systems. Land use plans take account of social, cultural, ecological, and economic issues.

Status

No information available.

Challenges

Land degradation is one of the major environmental problems especially in communal areas. The Government has put into place programmes to improve the planning and management of land resources.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

In 1996, the MLGRUD introduced a nation-wide capacity-building programme for Rural District Councils (RDC) following the 8 pilot district project. The 5-year national programme increases local authorities' capacity in terms of human resources, institution building and human resources development. The process empowers local authorities to make policies, plan and manage resources and take effective action at the local level, based on locally driven approaches.

The Zimbabwe Natural Resources Management Programme incorporates a capacity building component in the areas of resource monitoring, information dissemination, planning, policy coordination, and socio-economic analysis. The EPCU in liaison with the University of Zimbabwe has offered scholarships for students taking a masters programme in policy and planning.

Information

The MET is setting up a national sustainable development data base for Zimbabwe, which will be in time series, consisting of national level indicators, such as economic, social and environmental development. The data will be used by researchers; it will feed into the National State of the Environment reporting process which is also coordinated by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Twelve agencies comprise the working committee allowing exchange of information. Zimbabwe currently has a vegetation and mapping system (VEGRIS) in the Forestry Commission for vegetation monitoring and mapping. The DNR has set up an integrated resource management information system (IRIS) as a management tool for describing and assessing Zimbabwe's natural resources. The Department of the Surveyor General produces maps and other related information which are available for use by various Departments.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

Substantive funding for the planning and management of land resources has been provided by the Government through its Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).

Cooperation

Donor funding has also been provided for specific programmes, such as DEAP, NAP, Biodiversity and Rural Afforestation.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home|

 

MOUNTAINS

Programmes and Projects

Mountain pilot project initiatives were implemented by the government in 1988, 1989, and 1992 for biodiversity conservation. The Mapembe Mountain has been declared a protected area under the Natural Resources Act. What is unique about the Mapembe Mountain Conservation Project is that local communities requested the Natural Resources Board to protect the mountain environment as a conservation area, in turn protecting the cultural value of the mountain. This project is community based with full participation in the protection of the mountain ecosystem, both for ecological and cultural reasons.

The Rural Development Programme integrates the conservation component, erosion control and promotional aspects through such means as the planting of vetiver grass. Other farming systems in the communal sector need to strengthen the conservation component. The traditional farming systems in Manicaland included stone terraces and ridges to control erosion in slopes. Agritex recognizes this practice and promotes it through research and extension efforts.

The Hwedza Mountain Project is still in the planning stage. Delays in implementation have occurred because the request did not come from the local communities but from the Hwedza Intensive Conservation Area committee.

Status

Mountains occupy a relatively small proportion of Zimbabwe. The main range is located in the Eastern Highlands, in the Manicaland Province. The greatest proportion of the mountain land consists of very steep rocky terrain unsuitable for agriculture.

Up to 32% of the highlands consists of protected National Parks and Forest Land. Large scale commercial private farms occupy 50% of the highlands, with specialized plantation crops such as tea, coffee, wattle, and pine dominating the farming system in that sector.

Degradation control measures under such perennial land use systems have been satisfactory, although localized problem areas exist. In communal lands, such as the Rusitu Valley, Honde and Katiyo, smallholder coffee, tea and fruit are commonly grown.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home |

 

OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Cooperation

Zimbabwe signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on 24 February 1993 and ratified it on 28 October 1994.

Zimbabwe is considering signing the International Maritime Organization's Treaty and is a party to the protocols under the African Maritime Charter. At the regional level, Zimbabwe is a member of the Port Management Authority for Eastern and Southern Africa which opens dialogue between landlocked countries and coastal states with provisions to harmonize tariffs and management systems and promote information dissemination.

The ZACPLAN project is a SAC project aimed at building capacity for the management of international waters. It involves the harmonization of policies, regulations, and institutional development for the management of shared water resources.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home|

 

TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is responsible for the management of toxic chemicals. It works in collaboration with the Ministries of Agriculture and Industry.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

No information available.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

The Hazardous Substances and Articles Control Act provides the legal framework for the control and management of toxic chemicals, and gives the mandate to the government to approve the import of toxic chemicals in the country as well as to regulate their use and disposal.

The Hazardous Substances and Articles Control Act also calls for the safe disposal of toxic chemicals and containers used for these chemicals. The Hazardous Substances Control Unit has limited capacity to monitor the use of toxic chemicals. The Unit is currently developing codes of practice for chemical use and disposal.

The environmental law reform which is underway will include standards and guidelines in the area of toxic chemicals, particularly those on safe use and disposal.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

There have been programmes to strengthen collaboration between the government and the private sector in the areas of agrochemicals, industrial chemicals, and their impacts on the environment.

Status

The Government maintains a register of all toxic chemicals produced in the country and those imported from abroad. Before any toxic chemical is imported, approval is required from the Government through licensing. Once a chemical is imported it is registered and conditions for its use, storage, and disposal are established. Routine checks are carried out to ensure compliance. The Government also deploys port health authorities at all international borders to prevent the import of illegal chemicals.

At the international level, any country wishing to export toxic chemicals is obliged, under the Prior informed Consent Principle, to inform the receiving country of the details of such chemicals and to provide information on which company wishes to import them. The Government will then carry out investigations and will approve or disapprove the imports before these take place. However, since this principle is not legally binding it is not very effective. Discussions are underway to negotiate a legal instrument to control the export of toxic waste.

At the national level all chemicals are classified in terms of their toxicity and different labels are used for different toxicity levels. The act requires companies to use these labels on their products. The Occupational Safety and Health Act calls for the safety of workers, particularly when they handle toxic substances, by promoting the use of protective clothing, a safe working environment, and compensations in case of occupational hazards.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

The national priority is to promote the environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals through education and awareness, the development of a register of toxic chemicals as well as their classification, and promotion of cleaner production technologies.

There is very limited capacity both in the customs and police departments in terms of being able to identify toxic substances. There is therefore a need to increase capacity in this area. The capacity in the Ministry of Health is also limited in terms of screening and monitoring chemicals.

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

No information available.

Cooperation

There is international cooperation in the area of exchange of information as it relates to toxic chemicals. This exchange of information is carried out through the International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. Zimbabwe also subscribes to the London Guidelines and to the Prior Informed Consent Principle which requires a country wishing to export toxic chemicals to inform the recipient country of the details of those chemicals.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home|

 

WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

No information available.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

The Natural Resources Act, the Water Act, the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act regulate the disposal of Waste in Zimbabwe.  The management of sewage related issues is conducted through the use of the Water regulations of 1977 -Effluent and Water Standards- contained in the Water Act.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

The Government developed guidelines in 1994 for industrial waste management, including solid wastes and sewage. The main objective of the guidelines is to help local authorities and waste generating companies to improve waste management systems so that negative effects on the environment are minimized.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

The Water Resources Management Strategy Project, under the Water Sector Reform Programme launched by the Ministry of Lands and Water in 1993, is addressing the possible policy changes regarding water pollution and effluent discharges. In addition, in 1996 the Ministry of Environment and Tourism commissioned a study to review environmental standards, including effluent and water standards. The findings of the study will be used as an input in the ongoing process to develop new environmental legislation. There are programmes in which sewage is recycled and used for agriculture.

Status

No information available.

Challenges

Waste, both solid and sewage-related, is becoming a problem in urban areas as urban population increases. Approximately 99 percent of the solid wastes in the country are disposed in landfill sites, the majority of which are old quarries or gravel pits. In general, the landfills are not protected for leakages with low permeable underlying soils, concrete, tarmac or membranes. The problems arising from that are the following:

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

The Government with donor support has introduced a capacity building programme for its officers and those from local authorities. Institutions of higher education, such as Universities and Polytechnics, have programmes which build capacity in the areas of solid wastes and sewage.

Officers in the Department of Natural Resources have participated in two pilot projects on waste management and industrial pollution measurement. These pilot projects have resulted in the development of waste management guidelines and are being expanded into other urban areas.

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

The Government contributes regularly from its fiscal budget and through loans. During the 1996/97 fiscal year the Government allocated Z$ 15,000 for sewerage works.

Cooperation

To foster regional cooperation, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism organizes regional exchange programmes. In 1995 the Department of Natural Resources, together with representatives from local authorities visited South Africa on such a programme. In addition, the Zambezi Action Plan (ZACPLAN), a regional SADC initiative, addresses sewage related issues from the point of view of water pollution as it relates to the major riparian river basins.

Hazardous Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

The Hazardous Substance Unit in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is responsible for the control of hazardous substances. The Unit focuses on the impact on human health. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism assesses the impacts on natural resources through the Natural Resources Act.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

No report has been provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat as the Government is not yet a party to the Convention. The control of hazardous substances use and disposal is regulated by the Hazardous Substances and Articles Control Act administered by the Ministry of Health.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

No information available.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

The programmes carried out as a result of the requirements of the Hazardous Substance and Articles Act include:

Status

Since the Rio Conference in 1992, the following activities have been carried out:

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

Capacity building and technology issues are addressed by the Hazardous Substance Unit in conjunction with the private sector. The Cleaner Production Center in the Scientific Industrial Development Research Center is also addressing these issues. Officers in the Hazardous Substances Control Unit attend courses at the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

No information available.

Cooperation

Zimbabwe signed the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal on 22 March 1989, but has not yet ratified it. Zimbabwe ratified the Bamako Convention in 1993.

At the regional level Zimbabwe participates in meetings of the Bamako Convention and, at the international level, it participates in meetings of the Basel Convention and in the development of legal instruments for the Prior Informed Consent and London Guidelines.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: January 1998.

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

Radioactive Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is responsible for the management of wastes. A radiation protection services committee has been formed, under the Hazardous Substances Advisory Board, to coordinate the control and management of radioactive wastes. Zimbabwe is an active member of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Status

Zimbabwe produces very limited quantities of radioactive wastes, mainly from medical and agricultural research and electricity generation. An inventory is under way to determine the actual quantities produced. However, the safe environmentally sound management of radioactive wastes is encouraged. Zimbabwe is currently investigating cost effective methods for environmentally sound disposal of radioactive wastes. There are possibilities for a regional initiative in this area.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: January 1998.

| Economic Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |

| Zimbabwe | All Countries | Home|