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National Implementation of Agenda 21




Information Provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development
Fifth Session
7-25 April 1997
New York

United Nations Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development
Division for Sustainable Development
The Information contained in this Country Profile is also available on the World Wide Web, as follows:


This country profile has been provided by:

Name of Ministry/Office:


Submitted by:

Mailing address:




Note from the Secretariat: An effort has been made to present all country profiles within a common format, with an equal number of pages. However, where Governments have not provided information for the tables appended to Chapters 4 and 17, those tables have been omitted entirely in order to reduce the overall length of the profile and save paper. Consequently, there may be some minor inconsistencies among the formats of the different country profiles.

All statistics are rendered as provided by the respective Governments.


2. International cooperation to accelerate sustainable development in developing countries and related domestic policies
3. Combating poverty
4. Changing consumption patterns
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
6. Protecting and promoting human health
7. Promoting sustainable human settlement development
8. Integrating environment and development in decision-making
9. Protection of the atmosphere
10. Integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources
11. Combating deforestation
12. Managing fragile ecosystems: combating desertification and drought
13. Managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development
14. Promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development
15. Conservation of biological diversity
16. Environmentally sound management of biotechnology
17. Protection of the oceans, all kinds of seas, including enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, and coastal areas and the protection, rational use and development of their living resources
18. Protection of the quality and supply of freshwater resources: application of integrated approaches to the development, management and use of water resources
19. Environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, including prevention of illegal international traffic in toxic and dangerous products
20. Environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, including prevention of illegal international traffic in hazardous wastes
21. Environmentally sound management of solid wastes and sewage-related issues
22. Safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive wastes
23-32. Major groups
33. Financial resources and mechanisms
34. Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building
35. Science for sustainable development
36. Promoting education, public awareness and training
37. National mechanisms and international cooperation for capacity-building in developing countries
38. International institutional arrangements
39. International legal instruments and mechanisms
40. Information for decision-making


APELL Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level
CFC chlorofluorocarbon
CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research
CILSS Permanent Inter-State Committee on Drought Control in the Sahel
EEZ exclusive economic zone
ECA Economic Commission for Africa
ECE Economic Commission for Europe
ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
ELCI Environmental Liaison Centre International
EMINWA environmentally sound management of inland water
ESCAP Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
ESCWA Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GAW Global Atmosphere Watch (WMO)
GEF Global Environment Facility
GEMS Global Environmental Monitoring System (UNEP)
GEMS/WATER Global Water Quality Monitoring Programme
GESAMP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution
GIPME Global Investigation of Pollution in Marine Environment (UNESCO)
GIS Geographical Information System
GLOBE Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment
GOS Global Observing System (WMO/WWW)
GRID Global Resource Information Database
GSP generalized system of preferences
HIV human immunodeficiency virus
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
IAP-WASAD International Action Programme on Water and Sustainable Agricultural Development
IARC International Agency for Research on Cancer
IBSRAM International Board of Soil Resources and Management
ICCA International Council of Chemical Associations
ICES International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
ICPIC International Cleaner Production Information Clearing House
ICSC International Civil Service Commission
ICSU International Council of Scientific Unions
IEEA Integrated environmental and economic accounting
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IGADD Intergovernmental Authority for Drought and Development
IGBP International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (ICSU)
IGBP/START International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme/Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training
ILO International Labour Organisation
IMF International Monetary Fund
IMO International Maritime Organization
INFOTERRA International Environment Information system (UNEP)
IOC Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IPCS International Programme on Chemical Safety
IPM integrated pest management
IRPTC International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals
ITC International Tin Council
ITTO International Tropical Timber Organization
IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
PGRFA plant genetic resources for agriculture
PIC prior informed consent procedure
SADCC South African Development Co-ordination Conference
SARD sustainable agriculture and rural development
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNDRO Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNU United Nations University
WCP World Climate Programme (WMO/UNEP/ICSU/UNESCO)
WFC World Food Council
WHO World Health Organization
WMO World Meteorological Organization
WWF World Wide Fund for Nature (also called World Wildlife Fund)
WWW World Weather Watch (WMO)


Zimbabwe participated actively in the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June of 1992. The head of the Zimbabwe delegation to the Rio Conference was His Excellency, the President R. G. Mugabe. A national report prepared with the participation of a cross-section of the Zimbabwean society was submitted to the Conference. Zimbabwe actively supported the respective protocols and conventions adopted at the Earth Summit, particularly Agenda 21, the ambitious global action plan to advance sustainable development. Since then, considerable efforts have been made and resources allocated to making further progress in the implementation of the commitments established in Agenda 21.

From the outset, the Government of Zimbabwe recognized the need to develop and promote conservation practices and to encourage development on a sustainable basis. The first step in this direction was the development of the "National Conservation Strategy" (NCS) in 1987. The Strategy attempted to document the development and environmental pressures facing the nation and to set a course for building capacity to manage those issues. The strategy is extremely important in that it provides the first comprehensive examination of the environmental and natural resource base of Zimbabwe and pronounced the first declaration towards sustainability.

The National Conservation Strategy also helped pave the way for the Government of Zimbabwe to participate in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Zimbabwe became a signatory to the Rio Declaration which committed nations to take collective and individual actions to promote environmentally sustainable development. The principles of sustainable development and individual actions to be taken were outlined in Agenda 21. Although Agenda 21 is not legally binding it does provide a strong foundation for the principles and goals of developing sustainability. It provides an agenda for action well into the 21st Century, with priorities, targets, cost estimates, modalities and assignment of responsibilities. There is the expectation that governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector who have adopted Agenda 21 will devote time, attention and resources towards its implementation.

In 1992, the Government completed a national environmental survey to identify and prioritize national environmental issues and economic, social, and environmental development objectives. The survey results were a precursor to a Conference on a National Response to the Rio Summit, held in November of 1992. The results of the National Response Conference were documented in an action-oriented report, which set out a course of action that government and non-governmental organizations should follow.



1. Name of Key National Sustainable Development Coordination Mechanism(s)/Council(s).

Contact point (Name, Title, Office):




Mailing address:

2. Membership/Composition/Chairperson:

2a. List of ministries and agencies involved:

2b. Names of para-statal bodies and institutions involved, as well as participating of academic and private sector bodies:

2c. Names of non-governmental organizations involved:

3. Mandate role of above mechanism/council:

4. If available, attach a diagram (organization chart) showing national coordination structure and linkages between ministries:


STATUS REPORT: At the international level, Zimbabwe is a member of the WTO and UNCTAD, a party to CITES, and a beneficiary of the Lome Conventions. At the regional level, Zimbabwe is a member of SADC, COMESA, and PTA.

Domestic Trade Environment: Zimbabwe adopted trade liberalization as one of the objectives of its Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP), which started in 1991. Under this programme, the country liberalized almost completely its foreign currency controls, introduced tariff regimes which balance local production and imports in order to achieve efficient domestic production, while discouraging dumping.

Export promotion: Also in the context of ESAP, legislation aimed at establishing export processing zones was passed. The main aim is to encourage small and medium entrepreneurs to break into the export market by providing them with training opportunities in management, quality production, marketing strategies, among others, and by establishing links with big companies. Companies are also encouraged to attain ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 status. Inward looking and inefficient import substitution, which was the order of the day before independence, is now discouraged through exposure to international competition, education through international trade fairs, and modernization of production equipment.

Trade and Environment: At present Zimbabwe has no adequate institutionalized information system on trade and environment, especially information on environmental restrictions on export products. The lack of such information acts as a non-tariff barrier to potential exporters. While Zimbabwe is a signatory to WTO and most of the ILO Conventions, it does not subscribe to the wholesale use of trade sanctions as a mechanism to enforce environmental policies, since this may actually turn out to be a non-tariff barrier.

Zimbabwe is a party to the CITES Convention on Trade in Endangered Species and hosted the COP 10 in June 1997. It is also a member of the Southern Africa Power Pool, a programme to promote cooperation in power production in order to conserve energy at the regional level.

Zimbabwe supports the CSD's programme of action to ensure that trade and environment are mutually supportive but would welcome international support to ensure that the realization of that goal does not impose added trade barriers to goods from developing countries.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The national forum which addresses trade related issues is the Trade Economic Relations Committee, chaired by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Membership in the committee includes both the Government and the Private Sector.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information

3. Major Groups: The Government; the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe; the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries; the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce; the Indigenous Business Development Cooperation; the Indigenous Women's Business Organization; and the Affirmative Action Group.

4. Finance: Trade promotion in Zimbabwe is mainly a private sector responsibility and the Government allocates a small budget for trade promotion.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Zimbabwe is a member of the WTO and UNCTAD, a party to CITES, and a beneficiary of the Lome Conventions. At the regional level, Zimbabwe is a member of SADC, PTA and COMESA.


STATUS REPORT: The Poverty Assessment Study Survey (PASS), carried out in 1995, showed a high incidence of poverty in Zimbabwe, with 62% of the population classified as poor and 46% classified as very poor, with an income of less than US $122 per year. The study also found that 75% of the poor live in rural areas, compared to 39% in urban areas. Of the rural poor, 72% were found among female-headed households, compared to 58% from male-headed households. The main causes of poverty were identified as unemployment, retrenchment and drought. Poverty reduction is no doubt the greatest challenge the country is facing today.

Zimbabwe's National Strategy to Combat Poverty is outlined in a policy framework document, adopted in 1994, entitled the "Poverty Alleviation Action Plan". The basic thrust of the PAAP is to invest in people as the country's key resource. The goals of this strategy will be achieved through targeted social expenditure, decentralized decision making so the poor can effectively participate, empowerment of beneficiaries through participatory methods and recognition of their expertise and knowledge, especially of their environment, move the poor from welfare to income earning productivity, and finally continue to monitor social policy and poverty indicators.

1. Targeted Social Expenditure: Zimbabwe believes that human development is the key to poverty eradication. Thus, 20% of the country's budget is devoted every year to financing education and health.

2. Community Development Programme: This programme, which is under the PAAP, is meant to provide budgetary resources directly to communities, who will used them to finance their own community development initiatives. This process, as is expected to engender ownership and make communities accountable for the use of their resources.

3. Land Resettlement: As poverty in rural areas was exacerbated by land pressure and overuse of resources, the Government introduced a land resettlement programme in 1983. The Government bought farms and resettled people from communal areas using specific models. Although this programme was discontinued in 1990, due to the lack of funds to purchase land, it will soon be resumed.

4. Rural Water for Irrigation: To improve the agricultural productivity of the rural poor, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas, the Government adopted a Give-a-Dam project which ensures that each district has a dam. Irrigation projects are established to assist the rural poor to increase their income through higher productivity.

5. Rural Electrification: The Government is currently mobilizing funds to electrify rural areas. A solar photovoltaic project, funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), is under implementation to improve lighting in the rural areas.

6. The Government, through ESAP, is promoting the indigenization of the economy as well as the development of small and medium size enterprises and the informal sector. This is being done through deliberate policies to deregulate the economy, and by giving financial and technical support to the informal sector. Examples include: a) deregulation of financial institutions to facilitate access to credit by the informal sector and SMEs; b) review and amend laws which prevented SMEs and the informal sector from participating in the economy; c) remove restrictions inhibiting environmentally sound small scale mining.

7. Economic Reform Programmes: Several economic programmes have been put in place to revitalize the economy with a view to eradicating poverty in the long-term. These include, ESAP, Vision 2020, and the recently adopted Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation (ZIMPREST). The latter programme focuses on poverty alleviation and employment creation.

8. Zimbabwe has also introduced planning capacity building projects which use participatory methods. These include District Environmental Action Plans (DEAPs), the National Plan to Combat Desertification (NAP), and the National Environmental Action Plan. As the planning process continues, identified projects can be implemented if funding is available.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development; Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; Education; Health; and Environment and Tourism are central to combating poverty.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The Rural District Council's Capacity Building Programme launched by the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development.

3. Major Groups: The rural population of Zimbabwe which constitutes almost 80% of the population.

4. Finance: No direct budget since poverty reduction is a cross cutting issue. However, the Poverty Alleviation Action Plan alone is estimated to require US $2.1 million. See also Status Report.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information

Unemployment (%)
Population living in absolute poverty
Public spending on social sector %
Other data:
National Poverty Level 1996 = 60%
National Poverty Line/Annum (US$) 1996 = 213.2
National Food Poverty Line/Annum 1996 = 128.9



National policy objectives/focus

National targets

Zimbabwe's current consumption patterns are very low. A large portion of the population lacks basic nutrition. The focus of the Government is to improve the quality of life for the majority of the people through poverty alleviation strategies outlined in the previous chapter. Zimbabwe supports the objectives of Agenda 21, particularly those aimed at changing production and consumption patterns and eradicating poverty. In addition, Zimbabwe has programmes in place to protect consumers from bad products.

* The Food and Food Standards Act compels local producers to comply with the labeling requirements which give consumers enough information to make decisions.

* The drug control council sets standards for both locally produced and imported drugs.

* The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe has consumer awareness campaigns on both print and electronic media. It prints approximately 130 columns per month in national newspapers, magazines, etc..

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, the Food and Food Standards Board, under the Ministry of Health, and the Drug Control Council.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information

3. Major Groups: The public in general and Industrial Producers Associations.

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Rio Declaration and endorses Agenda 21, which encourages countries, particularly developed countries, to curb unsustainable consumption patterns which have caused environmental degradation and poverty. Through the Commission on Sustainable Development, Zimbabwe hopes to effectively participate in poverty alleviation and changing unsustainable consumption patterns.

Latest 1996
GDP per capita (current US$) 227.5
Real GDP growth (%)
Annual energy consumption per capita (Kg. of oil equivalent per capita)
Motor vehicles in use per 1000 inhabitants
Other data

Government policies affecting consumption and production.

1. Goals and Agents (Stakeholders)

Indicate with a () those agents which your Governments policies are meant most to influence.



Material efficiency
Energy efficiency:


2. Means & Measures and Agents (Stakeholders)

Indicate with an (R) those agents who assume primary responsibility for any of the policy measures indicated; indicate with an (I) the agents for which the impact is expected to be especially significant.


Means & Measures

Improving understanding and analysis
Information and education (e.g., radio/TV/press)
Evaluating environmental claims
Form partnerships
Applying tools for modifying behaviour
Community based strategies
Social incentives/disincentives (e.g., ecolabelling)
Regulatory instruments
Economic incentives/disincentives
Voluntary agreements of producer responsibility for

aspects of product life cycle

Provision of enabling facilities and infrastructure

(e.g., transportation alternatives, recycling)

Procurement policy
Monitoring, evaluating and reviewing performance
Action campaign
Other (specify)



STATUS REPORT: Zimbabwe National Population Policy: In 1996 Zimbabwe commissioned the drafting of a national population policy. This was due to the realization that development planning which concentrated only on economic growth and fertility regulation was unlikely to attain sustainable development, therefore the need for a multi-disciplinary approach. In order to develop this policy, research was commissioned in the following areas:
- Population and education;
- Youth and adolescents in Zimbabwe: definitions, policy problems, prospects and recommendations;
- Population and legal reforms;
- Population ageing in Zimbabwe;
- Culture and gender inequalities;
- Population and the Environment;
- Reproductive health extended: domestic violence and child sexual abuse
- Adolescent fertility and sexual behavior in Zimbabwe;
- Mortality and mortality determinants in Zimbabwe;
- Determinants of fertility in Zimbabwe;
- Population and employment;
- People with disabilities;
- Early demographic, social, and economic impact of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe;
- Internal migration in Zimbabwe 1982-1992.

This research work is currently being synthesized to help formulate the National Population Policy, with specific strategies focusing on population issues, economic growth, education, environment, youths/adolescents, persons with disabilities, the elderly, HIV/AIDS, health and nutrition, fertility management, gender equity, domestic violence and child abuse, legal reforms, and agriculture.

It should be noted that the focus on population has been mainly on improving the health of the mother and child, through child spacing and fertility management, rather than on reducing numbers per se. Another approach has been to increase access to birth control devices as well as education and awareness, particularly for women and girls. Programmes on population have generally focused on education and awareness, child spacing and fertility methods, and the health of the mother and the child.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: There is a proposal to establish a National Population Council, to be chaired by the National Planning Commission as a Government steering body, and also a National Population Forum to serve as an inter-sectoral body of both state and non-state actors.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: University of Zimbabwe - Population Studies Unit
- to give short courses on population and development studies;
- to strengthen the vital registration system and data collection at district level; and
- to strengthen capacity of national data collecting agencies.

3. Major Groups: Government ministries; NGOs; industry and commerce organizations; trade unions; and farmers' organizations.

4. Finance: No finance

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information

Population (Thousands) mid-year estimates
Annual rate of increase (1990-1993)
Surface area (Km2)
Population density (people/Km2)
Other data:

Life expectancy (1990) 61 yrs Population growth rate 3.1%
IMR (1990) 66/1000 47% pop. below 15 yrs
CMR (1990) 26/1000 3% pop. above 65 yrs
TFR (1994) 4.30 contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) = 42% (15-44)


STATUS REPORT: Zimbabwe's public health system lays emphasis on environmental health. An Environmental Impact Assessment Policy, adopted in 1994, requires assessment of impacts of any development programme before it is approved. Health impacts form an important part of any EIA. Zimbabwe has an effective and strong environmental health component, with environmental health workers educating communities on vector control through both chemicals as well as environmental manipulation. The latter is proving very effective in malarial control. Occupational health and safety is enforced in the workplace. In rural areas, programmes have been put in place to improve access to clean water supply and sanitation. The policy is that each household should have a "Blair toilet" and people should not have to walk more than one kilometer to the nearest borehole and not more than ten kilometers to the nearest clinic. The implementation of these policies has been delayed due to the lack of financial resources. By law, waste management is a responsibility of local authorities and the Ministry of Health maintains strict monitoring systems. Food quality in Zimbabwe is monitored through the Food Standards Act and is strictly enforced by environmental health workers.

Primary health care is underpinned by a National Policy entitled "Equity In Health". This policy emphasizes the delivery of primary health care, which includes: education concerning prevailing health problems and methods of preventing and controlling them; promotion of food supply and proper nutrition; adequate supply of safe water and basic sanitation; maternal and child health care, including family planning and immunization against major infectious diseases; prevention and control of local endemic diseases; appropriate treatment of common diseases and injuries, and provision of essential drugs.

The following is a list of other programmes which have also been put in place:

Control of communicable diseases: A Rapid Weekly Surveillance System linking 420 health centres nationally and monitoring malaria, measles, diarrhea and dysentery. The effect of HIV-AIDS is also being integrated into the system.

Public information & health education: Zimbabwe is developing a School Health Master Programme in which 2 teachers per primary school are taught primary health, including HIV-AIDS issues. To complement the programme, teaching materials have been developed, such as "Health for Living" for primary grade 1-7, and "Caring for my Body" for grade 1-4. A health education strategy 1995-2000 has been adopted with emphasis on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, control of diarrhea, infant malnutrition, reproductive health, and interpersonal communication for health delivery personnel. All these strategies are complemented by public education campaigns, such as: the Drink Wisely Day, No Tobacco Day, World Aids Day, World Health Day, World Breast Feeding Day, World Mental Health Day, among others. Recently Zimbabwe introduced a Patients Charter to assist patients to make informed judgment about their care.

Protecting vulnerable groups: Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and has already produced a children's Action Plan. Specific programmes to protect children's health and welfare include the Child Supplementary Feeding, for those children under the age of five, and Promotion of Breast Feeding. Up to date 39 baby friendly hospitals have been established which promote the exclusive use of breast milk. Growth monitoring programmes have been introduced at every clinic and community, the only limitation is the availability of scales.

Promoting women in decision making: Zimbabwe initiated a programme, with the assistance of the WHO, for promoting women's health, functional literacy and income generation activities through inter-sectoral actions. The objective is to improve the living standards and health status of vulnerable women, and to use their health status as a measure of development. This was initially a pilot project to be implemented in the Chivi district which will be replicated to other districts. The target group included women between the ages of 15-49, with at least one child below the age of 15, one child who died of preventable diseases, who have the least income, are unable to read and write, and may be unmarried single mothers. The project has been a major success in improving the women's health as well as their socio-economic status and it is ready for replication.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Health plays a regulatory role for matters relating to both public health and primary health care. This ministry works closely with the ministries of Environment and Tourism, Labour and Social Welfare in environmental health, occupational health and safety respectively. Local Authorities provide and manage local level health centres and are also responsible for waste management and pollution control. The Food and Food Standards Advisory Board and the Drug Advisory Council represent the inter-sectoral fora for discussing health related issues.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups:
- Local authorities;
- food producers;
- Pharmaceutical producers;
- Health providers practitioners.

4. Finance: Financing of health services in Zimbabwe is mainly from fiscal revenue complemented by substantial donor assistance. At 2.5% of the government budget, health care is one of the biggest. Nevertheless, this allocation is is far too small to meet the health needs of the population. Most heath centres lack essential facilities and basic drugs.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Zimbabwe is a member of the World Health Organization and uses some of the WHO standards and guidelines in the health field.

Life expectancy at birth




Infant mortality (per 1000 live births)
Maternal mortality rate (per 100000 live births)
Access to safe drinking water (% of population)




Access to sanitation services (% of population)
Other data


STATUS REPORT: Human settlements in Zimbabwe are divided into 6 categories as follows:
- Individual households (urban and rural);
- Business centres;
- Rural Service Centres;
- Growth Points;
- Towns (Rural and Mining);
- Municipalities and cities.

Zimbabwe subscribes to the concept of planned human settlements and has put into place programmes to develop human settlements, such as villagization, which involves the replanning of rural areas to facilitate the provision of services. Service centres have been designated through physical planning to ensure accessibility to the communities which they serve. The Government, through different departments, has programmes to provide various services. The local government structure, instituted in 1984, was meant to decentralize planning and to encourage investment in the rural areas.

As in many other developing countries, Zimbabwe continues to suffer from rural to urban migration leading to the unsustainable growth of cities, which has resulted in unsustainable human settlements as the government fails to cope with urban housing demands.

A capacity building project has been instituted to develop capacity in rural district councils to enable them to promote sustainable human settlements.

Shelter: Zimbabwe in 1992 adopted a housing construction policy the main objective of which is to foster speedy and mass production of housing and upgrading of slums by construction units of the MPCNH. The Ministry applies its professional and technical know-how, financial and other strengths to utilize land for housing and complement local authority initiatives. All subsequent housing policies have been geared towards the provision of decent, durable and affordable accommodation for every family in all urban and rural sectors.

The National Housing Report addresses "AGENDA 21 and its Implication", (MPCNH, 1996). Zimbabwe participated in the Habitat II Conference in Istanbul, in 1996. The MPCNH designed a "Framework for Future Human Settlements Development in Zimbabwe", which aims to overcome the current constraints faced in human settlements by adopting a plan of action expected to result in sustainable development and improvement of human settlements over the period 1996 - 2010.

Most urban centres in the country have operational master plans guiding their development which ensure sustainable land management. Issues of concern emerging in large towns include urban sprawl, traffic congestion, water pollution and agricultural land use conflicts, all with potentially negative impacts on the environment. Shanties and informal settlements are a source of housing for the urban poor.

Infrastructure connections are good in large and medium towns but poor in rural areas. Up to 81% of urban households are supplied with water, compared to 35% in rural areas, and 67% urban households have sewerage, compared with 37% in rural areas. Rapid rural growth in Harare has implied decreased accessibility, congestion and a strain on infrastructure facilities. Waste management is also becoming a problem in large towns.

The current policy is to create an enabling environment for the growth of medium and small towns, through the designation and planning of provincial capitals in eight provinces, and the development of infrastructure at growth points to encourage industrial activity in rural districts.


Houses in Zimbabwe are comparatively affordable, although there is inadequacy for 40% of urban dwellers, with 97% of the structures classified permanent and complying with the existing regulation. Structures in rural and informal settlements are of non durable materials. Housing provision is currently low as indicated by the low investment in the sector despite good policies.

In terms of finance, the Government has offered subsidies to encourage private financial institutions to issue low income mortgages, to make housing more affordable for households in the lower income bracket. A large proportion of the budget in the fiscal year 1995 was channeled to low income stand development. The 1992 revision of the Minimum Building and Planning Standards, a policy of the Housing Act which was previously a strain on the poor and on affordability, reduced the plot size for low income detached house from 300 square meters to 150 square metres, and the minimum plot area from 50 to 36 square metres. As a result of the 1992 reforms, 70% of the population can now afford to buy a house, a rise from 23% before 1992. The lowest income groups address their housing needs through self-reliance and collective support and 60% of housing finance comes from people's own savings.

The Government implements the concept of public/private partnership or joint venture for low income housing. The use and approval of locally available materials such as thatch, stabilized blocks, farm bricks has implied savings on costs, time and transport. Nonetheless, 66,000 housing units have to be built a year, until the year 2000, in order to eliminate Zimbabwe's housing shortages.

In rural areas, the MPCNH is encouraging an integrated approach to rural settlement provisions, which involves the participation of other Government departments, NGOs, the private sector and the community itself. Government initiatives recognize the needs of vulnerable groups, such as women, youth, the aged, among others, and its efforts are concentrated at leveling the terms of access rather than affirmative action.

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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The guiding principles and basic sectoral settlement policies are identified in the Regional Town and Country Planning Act with related statutory instruments. The Housing Standards Act and related Model Building Bye-laws, as well as the Minimum Building and Planning Standards defines the standards for shelter and structures. The Department of Physical Planning of the Ministry of Local Government Urban and Rural Development (MLGURD) is working towards a National Urban Development Strategy which will address the fast annual urban population growth rate. The MPCNH has produced a National report on Human Settlements in Zimbabwe, a basis for a framework for future human settlements developments and Plan of Action for the period 1996 - 2010.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: In 1996 the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development set up a capacity building programme for Rural District Councils. The programme trains local authorities in terms of manpower, institutional building, resources and human resource development. The Department of Rural and Urban Planning of University of Zimbabwe carries out research and training in this area.

3. Major Groups: The public sector, local authorities, community based organizations, NGOs, the private sector and civic groups.

4. Finance: Building societies, the Government, local authorities, insurance and pension funds, individuals, and co-operatives.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The Government of Zimbabwe encourages increased partnerships with the private sector, NGOs, other members of the civil society, and the international community. Zimbabwe participated in Habitat II, Istanbul 1996, as well as in the SADCC and other regional initiatives in local and regional development planning

The World Bank and the Zimbabwe Urban Development Project provided a loan in 1995 to promote Zimbabwe's financial and institutional capacity to supply affordable housing through reform of the housing delivery system and the housing mortgage market. The 1995 USAID and the Private Sector Housing Programme address the institutional bottlenecks with respect to registration of surveys and deeds as well as shelter provision in terms of housing guarantee loan.

Urban population in % of total population
Annual rate of growth of urban population (%)
Largest city population (in % of total population)
Other data: (*) Average. The annual growth rate of large and medium size cities is approximately 12%. (MPCNH, 1996)


(See pages vii and viii at the beginning of the profile)

STATUS REPORT: Zimbabwe participated fully in the process leading to the Rio summit and subscribes to the principles of AGENDA 21. Zimbabwe has therefore put into place policies to integrate environmental considerations into economic development planning.

The Environmental Impact Assessment Policy of 1994 was developed as a tool to ensure that development proposals are environmentally sound. The government is working on translating the policy into law under the current environmental law reform process. It is also working on sectoral guidelines for EIA, and has completed a review of environmental standards with a view to developing new standards to facilitate environmental monitoring.

The current environmental law reform seeks to provide a legal framework for environmental management. An economic analysis of the law reform is underway to examine the impact of the environmental management law on the economy as well as the use of economic instruments.

The ESAP has also included retrofitting and retooling to ensure that the economic machinery does not harm the environment.

Capacity building in planning and policy coordination is in progress in order to link closely the environmental and economic planning functions.

All of the above measures are meant to ensure that the environment and economic development are integrated.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure (please also refer to the fact sheet): No information

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information

3. Major Groups: No information

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information



The Montreal Protocol and its Amendments

The Montreal Protocol (1987) was ratified in 1992 and came into force in 1993.
The London Amendment (1990) was ratified in 1994.
The Copenhagen Amendment (1992) was ratified in 1994.

The latest report(s) to the Montreal Protocol Secretariat was prepared in 1993. The reports were on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Greenhouse Gas Abatement Costing Country Studies.

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

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The UNFCC was ratified in 1992 and the instruments for Zimbabwe came into force in 1994.

The country is 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.

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.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: 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:

* The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, which is responsible for air pollution as it relates to its impacts on human health.

* The Department of Meteorology in the Ministry of Transport and Energy, which is responsible for meteorological data as it relates to the atmosphere. This department has programmes for drought monitoring and early warning systems primarily as they relate to the agricultural sector.

* Local authorities of major urban and mining centres, such as Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare, Hwange and Kwekwe. Local authorities, like the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, collect data emissions (both dust and gases) as it relates to human health.

* The Department of Energy in the Ministry of Transport and Energy. The Department is generally responsible for energy development, efficiency and consumption. This includes reduction of emissions from the energy sector.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology 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 centres 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.

3. Major Groups: 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).

4. Finance: 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.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: 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.

CO2 emissions (eq. million tons)
SOx "
NOx "
CH4 "
Consumption of ozone depleting substances (Tons)
Expenditure on air pollution abatement in US$ equivalents (million)
Other data: Carbon dioxide from the energy sector (mill. tonns)

Nitrogen dioxide from the energy sector

Methane from the energy sector






STATUS REPORT: 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.

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

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.

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 manpower, 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 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.

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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: 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.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: 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.

3. Major Groups: Local Communities, farmers, local government, and the private sector.

4. Finance: Substantive funding for the planning and management of land resources has been provided by the Government through its Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP). Donor funding has also been provided for specific programmes, such as DEAP, NAP, Biodiversity and Rural Afforestation.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information


STATUS REPORT: 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.

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.

Programmes to Combat Deforestation

Zimbabwe has drafted a National Strategy for the sustainable management of forests and 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. The Schools and Colleges Tree Growing and Tree Care Programme was implemented 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. There was an increase in tree seedling production 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. Another relevant initiative is the 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.

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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: 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.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: 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.

3. Major Groups: Local communities, grassroots institutions, local government institutions, private farmers, farmer organizations, NGOs, private plantation owners, concessionaires, women, youth and children.

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

5. Regional/International 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 will host, in 1997, the 15th Commonwealth Forestry Conference whose theme will be "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.

Forest Area (million hectares)
Protected forest area (million hectares)
Roundwood production (solid volume of roundwood without bark in mill m3)
Deforestation rate (Km2/annum)
Reforestation rate (Km2/annum)
Other data: (*) Commercial and industrial roundwood production excluding indigenous (cubic meters) 1992 = 872,000

(*) Reforestation rate of only commercial and exotic species (in hectares) 1992 = 3,225

(*) Total seedling production by FC programmes including communities (millions) 1992 = 7


STATUS REPORT: The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa was signed in 1994. The process of ratification is underway.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

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.

In 1994 Zimbabwe signed the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) initiated at the Earth Summit in Rio. The process to ratify the Convention is underway. Zimbabwe is a Party to both the Climate Change and the Biodiversity Conventions. 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:

I. Awareness raising campaign, promoted by an interim committee, the forerunner of a permanent task force on Desertification spearheaded by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

ii. Compilation of a work plan summary and background information papers for the development of the National Action Plan.

iii. Consultation processes to establish a National Desertification Fund.

iv. A National Workshop was convened, in 1995, to develop a Desert Margins Initiative (DDI) Strategy and to identify a specific objective for Zimbabwe focusing on policies, research and technology transfer programmes for dry land natural resource management systems.

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.

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.

Drought monitoring and mitigation

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:

1. Food Security and Early Warning Project, which covers SADC.

2. Establishment of a drought monitoring center.

3. Food Reserves Programme to improve food holding capacity and technology.

4. Zimbabwe adopted a policy of building a medium size dam per district per year, a target which has not been achieved. A more successful initiative, started in 1993 in partnership with the private sector, NGOs, and donors and administered by local authorities, is the "Give a Dam Programme" in which organizations assist communities to construct small dams.

5. Drought relief through food distribution, borehole drilling and drought recovery programmes consisting of seed and fertilizer packs alleviate the impact of drought on poor households.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: 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 MET 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.

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.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The Natural Resources Management Programme has maintained a focus on capacity building in policy development and integrated resource monitoring.

3. Major Groups: Local communities, the private sector, and NGOs.

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

5. Regional/International Cooperation: 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.

Latest 199_
Land affected by desertification (Km2)
Other data:

A 1993 survey showed that about 10% of the land is extensively to moderately eroded.


STATUS REPORT: 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. 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.

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 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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: No information

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information

3. Major Groups: No information

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information



STATUS REPORT: 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 on sustainable agriculture and rural development. 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.

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.

Sustainable Rural Development Programmes

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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: 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. Their 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.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: 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 Center focuses on biotechnology and capacity building.

3. Major Groups: Farmers and communities, the Farmers Union, and NGOs

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

5. Regional/International 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.

Agricultural land (ha.)
Agricultural land as % of total land area
Agricultural land per capita
Consumption of fertilizers per Km2 of agricultural land as of 1990
Other data


STATUS REPORT: Zimbabwe is a Party to the Convention on Biological Diversity and as part of our obligations under the convention we are developing programme of action for the conservation of biodiversity. The Country is also a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and obliged to implement the provisions of the convention. 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.

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. Zimbabwe has a programme for promoting the recovery of threatened species from the endangered list. The Parks and Wildlife Act provisions control 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.

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. 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.

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 is 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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: 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 Presidents 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.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: 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.

3. Major Groups: Communities, Conservancies, Rural District Councils and CAMPFIRE. Association, NGOs.

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

5. Regional/International Cooperation: 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.

Protected area as % of total land area
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Number of threatened species
Other data: (*) List from the Department of Natural Parks and Wildlife Management, 1991. The list includes all orchids and not all tree ferns but not specified by species.


STATUS REPORT: Zimbabwe has demonstrated its commitment to the sound management of biotechnology by investing in the establishment of a Biotechnology Research Institute (BRI) as part of the newly established Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Center (SIRDC) described in Section 6. The BRI promotes the growth of national programmes in biotechnology research and strengthen the educational and manpower development needs of the country. To this end, the BRI presented a mission statement -The BRI Mission (May 1996)- in a memorandum to the Research Council of Zimbabwe which outlines the objectives of BRI.

The Institute is carrying out research in the following core areas:

a) Basic molecular biotechnology;
b) Agricultural biotechnology;
c) Medical biotechnology;
d) Industrial biotechnology; and
e) Environmental biotechnology.

Under environmental biotechnology, issues regarding biosafety and environmentally sound management of biotechnology are considered. The Biotechnology Research Institute offers special services on biosafety issues to the southern Africa sub-region by drafting and implementing guidelines and regulations and providing technical assistance in environmental protection, risk assessment and risk management. The institute also offers services in genetic resources and biodiversity conservation and acts as a watchdog against bioprospecting, biopiracy, and intellectual property loss, both at the national and sub-regional levels. Each country in the sub-region is expected to form a national biosafety committee which Zimbabwe has already done.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: No information.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Capacity-building efforts have been concentrated on infrastructure development. The government has committed some funding for building office blocks and state-of-the-art laboratories and providing equipment to facilitate research activities. Scientific and technical staff are being trained in various specialized areas through a staff development programme.

Projects under implementation
* Maize improvement research project
* Cotton improvement research project
* Sweet potato micro-propagation research project
* Sweet sorghum utilization project
* Fermentation technology for indigenous foods
* Biosafety project
* Forestry biotechnology research project
There are other projects still in the proposal stage.

3. Major Groups: No information

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information




The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

Zimbabwe ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: No information

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information

3. Major Groups: No information

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information

Latest 199-
Catches of marine species (metric tons)
Population in coastal areas
Population served by waste water treatment (% of country's

total population)

Discharges of oil into coastal waters (metric tons)
Releases of phosphate into coastal waters (metric tons)
Releases of nitrate into coastal waters (metric tons)
Other data


STATUS REPORT: 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. 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:

1. the institutional development and legal framework.

2. the water resources management strategy project.

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

1. to recommend required legislative reforms to review the Water Act and the institutional framework;

2. to produce guidelines on the equitable allocation of water, quantification of total water resources, demand, management and increased water use and efficiency in all user sectors;

3. to develop guidelines for investment in the water sector;

4. to guide the process of selecting and adopting a pricing policy and strategy;

5. to produce guidelines on catchment planning and facilitate the development of two pilot catchment developments in Mazowe and Mupfure;

6. to facilitate stakeholder participation, publicize and disseminate information;

7. to facilitate capacity building in the Department of Water Resources; and

8. to produce guidelines on environmental management, recommending policy changes on water pollution and effluent discharge.

Water Supply

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.

Water Quality

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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: 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.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: 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.

3. Major Groups: The major groups are agriculture, industry, mining and communal areas (mainly rural water supply).

4. Finance: 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.

5. Regional/International 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.

Latest 199-
Fresh water availability (total domestic/external in million m3)
Annual withdrawal of freshwater as % of available water
Other data: Surface water resources summary (million cubic meters)
mean annual rainfallPotential Present Percentage
19,910 Storage - yield Storage - yield
39,820 -11,260 5,831 - 2,476 22


NATIONAL PRIORITY: 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.

STATUS REPORT: 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 Government maintains a register of all toxic chemical produced in the country and those imported from abroad. Before any toxic chemical is imported, approval is required from the Government through liscensing. 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.

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.

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. 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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: 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.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: 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.

3. Major Groups: The major groups are the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, local authorities, industry, agriculture and the general public.

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International 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.




The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal

The Basel Convention was signed in 1992 and has not been ratified yet.

The Bamako Convention was ratified in 1993.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

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. Since Rio the following activities have been carried out:

- the enforcement of existing legislation has been strengthened;

- a radiation protection services department has been established;
- a Hazardous Substances Control Advisory Board has been instituted and various sub-committees formed; and
- hazardous waste management regulations have been introduced and national guidelines for the disposal of hazardous waste developed for local authorities.

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

1. Encouraging the industrial sector to treat, recycle, re-use and dispose of hazardous wastes at the source of generation, when its generation is unavoidable and when it is economically and environmentally efficient. This is being done through meetings of the Industrial Chemicals Association.

2. Development of draft regulations, currently being reviewed, by the Hazardous Substance Unit in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare which lay down the responsibility of industries for environmentally sound disposal of hazardous wastes generated by their activities.

3. Development of draft guidelines and methodologies for the characterization and classification by the Hazardous Substance Unit in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare. These are currently being reviewed.

4. Development of draft legislation to prevent the illegal import and export of wastes. The legislation is currently being developed.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: 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.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: 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.

3. Major Groups: The major groups are the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the industrial sector, local authorities and the general public.

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: 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.

Latest 199-
Generation of hazardous waste (t)
Import of hazardous wastes (t)
Export of hazardous wastes (t)
Area of land contaminated by hazardous waste (km2)
Expenditure on hazardous waste treatment (US$)
Other data


NATIONAL PRIORITY: The national priority is to minimize environmental pollution from solid waste disposal sites and from sewage disposal practices. The focus is on the safe disposal or recovery of wastes. The focus is on addressing the root causes, that is a sustainable pattern of production and consumption.

STATUS REPORT: The Natural Resources Act, the Water Act, the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act regulate the disposal of Waste in Zimbabwe. 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:

with the exception of Harare, solid wastes are not sorted according to the type of wastes;

the pollution from leachates is not properly understood; and

the impact on ground water has not been analyzed.

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.

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. 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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The main decision making institution responsible for solid wastes is the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development. Responsibility for handling solid wastes is also shared with local authorities, including municipalities, who are responsible for operating municipal disposal sites.

The Department of Water in the Ministry of Lands and Water is responsible for sewage related issues, with local authorities responsible for day to day operations. The Department also works with the national Water Pollution Advisory Body which is composed of all stakeholders and relevant institutions.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: 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.

3. Major Groups: The Government, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry, local authorities, the Department of Water, a local NGO Environmental 2000, and other members of the civil society.

4. Finance: 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.

5. Regional/International 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.

Latest 199-
Generation of industrial and municipal waste (t)
Waste disposed(Kg/capita)
Expenditure on waste collection and treatment (US$)
Waste recycling rates (%)
Municipal waste disposal (Kg/capita)
Waste reduction rates per unit of GDP (t/year)
Other data:

Waste paper recovery and consumption 1984

Paper recovery as a percentage of paper consumption 31

Lake Chivero Raw Water Quality

(tests resulting from treated water delivered to consumers)

Total solids
Dissolved solids
Suspended solids
Source: R.S. Maya (Ed) Perspective in Water Quality and Conservation in Zimbabwe's Urban Centres. Southern Center for Energy and the Environment, 1996.


STATUS REPORT: 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.

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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: No information

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information

3. Major Groups: No information

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information



The role of major groups are also covered under the various chapters of Agenda 21. The following is a summary of main objectives outlined in Agenda 21. Please check the appropriate boxes and describe briefly any important steps or obstacles.



The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was signed in 1991.

24.b Increasing the proportion of women decision makers.

24.2.e assessing, reviewing, revising and implementing curricula and other educational material with a view to promoting dissemination of gender-relevant knowledge.

24.2.f and 24.2.c formulating and implementing policies, guidelines, strategies and plans for achievement of equality in all aspects of society including issuing a strategy by year 2000 to eliminate obstacles to full participation of women in sustainable development.

24.2.d establishing mechanisms by 1995 to assess implementation and impact of development and environment policies and programmes on women.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): The government reaffirmed its commitment to the advancement of women by signing the Rio Declaration. Agenda 21 was superceded by the Global Platform for Action and the Beijing Declaration (4th World Conference on Women, Beijing, China 4-15 September 1995) which built upon and further developed the actions proposed in Agenda 21. Preparations for the Beijing Conference meant that many of the actions outlined in Agenda 21 were explored, reviewed, and discussed by a wide spectrum of women from the grassroots to the national level and their priorities were identified. Zimbabwe's signature of the Beijing Declaration also reaffirmed its commitment to the cause of women in Zimbabwe.

After Beijing the government set up a national mechanism in the Ministry of National Affairs and Employment Creation to spearhead the incorporation of gender issues in development. This national mechanism works through gender focal points in each ministry. These focal points were trained with funding from UNICEF and they have the responsibility to spearhead gender issues in their ministries. Through this institutional framework the government has drawn up draft strategy documents which cover the following critical areas: environment; power and decision making; economy; institutional mechanisms; access to health and related services; poverty; violence; armed conflict; human rights; the media, and the girl child, as identified in the Beijing Plan of Action. These strategies were compiled into the National Gender Policy which was drafted in October 1996. The vision of the Gender Policy is to create a prosperous society that is free from gender-based inequalities with respect to power, access to, control, and use of resources. The policy seeks to provide a broad framework for the promotion of gender equality in the social, political, legal, and economic spheres at all levels of society.

Zimbabwe's signature of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1991, though it preceded UNCED, resulted in activities to assess the status of women in all sectors. Zimbabwe's First Report on CEDAW, prepared in October 1995, examined the articles of the Convention and the country's responses to them. By committing itself to taking action for the advancement of women in various relevant conventions, Zimbabwe is obligated to monitor and evaluate progress in the advancement of women. A draft report entitled Monitoring the Status of Women has been prepared. The report identifies indicators and benchmarks for monitoring progress in each sector.

A three year project is being implemented in three districts. The objective of this project is to disseminate legal information to women. The laws are simplified and translated into the vernacular before being distributed to local communities. The provincial and district gender focal points are trained to explain these laws and they train village community workers who, in turn, explain the laws to the community.



25.4 establishing processes that promote dialogue between the youth and government at all levels and mechanisms that permit youth access to information and opportunity to present their views on implementing A21.

Name relevant youth fora (3-4 most important): See below

Describe their role in the national process: See below

25.6 reducing youth unemployment. See below

25.5 ensuring that by year 2000 more than 50% of youth -- gender balanced -- have access to appropriate secondary education or vocational training. The goal set in Agenda 21: See below

Brief comments on this chapter:

Dialogue between youth and government: Dialogue between the government and youth has been carried out mainly through the National Youth Council, which was created by the Zimbabwe Youth Act. The Council has coordinated activities of NGOs working on youth issues. The term of operation of the council has expired and the government is working on new legislation to create a more autonomous body to coordinate youth activities. Before the Council was dissolved there were a total of 25 youth organizations affiliated with it.

Involvement of youth and children in environmental protection: Youth, particularly school children, have been involved in conservation programmes such as gully reclamation and tree planting. Many community outreach programmes on tree growing and tree care have aimed at involving school children. Many schools have been involved in activities of the World Environment Day and the National Tree Planting Day and in various competitions on essay writing on environmental topics. The DEAP project aims to mobilize the youth during the entire planning process.

Combating human rights abuse against young people particularly women and girls: With the increasing incidence of child rape the government has set up an inter-ministerial committee, chaired by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, to develop strategies to deal with this problem. Some initiatives to address this problem have been implemented, including the following:

- establishment of victim friendly court hearings for minors;

- introduction of "Fast Track" for cases needing immediate attention;
- establishment of rehabilitation institutions for victims;
- training programmes for magistrates and police officers on how to handle child cases;
- increase advocacy in human rights for children in order to curb abuses, gain support and encourage more victims to come forward.

Reduce current levels of youth unemployment: Unemployment in Zimbabwe is between 30 and 44 percent and informal sector employment has been declining since independence. The majority of the unemployed are youth between the ages of 15 and 24, accounting for two thirds of the number of unemployed. One of the main objectives of ESAP is to reduce unemployment, particularly among the youth. The establishment of youth training centres is meant to equip them with the skills necessary for employment. The focus of investment promotion has been to create more jobs and reduce unemployment.


There are two major programmes under implementation, one of which is the 4Hs youth and child development programme aimed at enhancing the leadership and economic skills of children and youth. To date, 57 school youth projects have been funded under this programme. It has also funded 170 4Hs in school youth projects countrywide. The second programme is the "Training for Enterprise Projects", which involved the upgrading of existing Youth Training Centres and shifted its emphasis from technical training to business management skills. Instead of training job seekers, the centres now train entrepreneurs. After completing their training graduates are offered loans to be able to start their own businesses. Twelve training centres have been established throughout the country.

Youth enrollment and access to appropriate secondary education: Since independence, the enrollment of children into both secondary and primary schools has increased dramatically. Enrollment in secondary schools has increased from 74,000, in 1980, to 670,600 in 1989.



26.3.a establishing a process to empower indigenous people and their communities -- through policies and legal instruments: No information

26.3.b strengthening arrangements for active participation in national policies. No information

26.3.c involving indigenous people in resource management strategies and programmes at the national and local level. No information

Brief comments on this chapter):


27.5 developing mechanisms that allow NGOs to play their partnership role responsibly and effectively.

27.6 reviewing formal procedures and mechanisms to involve NGOs in decision making and implementation.

27.8 promoting and allowing NGOs to participate in the conception, establishment and evaluation of official mechanisms to review Agenda 21 implementation. See below

27.7 establishing a mutually productive dialogue by 1995 at the national level between NGOs and governments. See below

Brief comments on this chapter :

Partnerships with the government : In both the pre and post Rio process the government has sought to involve NGOs as a key stakeholder in environmental planning and management. NGOs participate in various steering committees and forums which have been established to spearhead sustainable development. Although NGOs pledged to work in partnership with the government at the National Response Conference and vice-versa, the Rio+5 NGO and Private Sector Organizations Consultation meeting, held in Zimbabwe, identified the need to strengthen this partnership even further. Mechanisms to develop partnerships need to be drawn up. Examples of partnership between the government and NGOs are demonstrated in the climate change area.

NGOs have been partners of the government in producing reports on national inventories required under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and assisted also in the development of methodologies for costing greenhouse gas emissions (UNEP Greenhouse Gas Abatement Costing Studies: Zimbabwe Country Study October 1993). NOGs have participated in training programmes for government personnel. For example, a capacity building project which involves the training of government personnel in 4 countries, including Ghana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Kenya, to prepare national inventories on greenhouse gas emissions. The project is being implemented by the Southern Center for Energy and Environment.

Two national NGOs, ZERO and the Southern Center for Energy and the Environment, participated in the regional network of African experts on climate change which was coordinated by ACTS in Nairobi. The project was supported by the Swedish government through the Stockholm Environmental Institute. The project sought to define Africa's responses to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and to identify priorities for action to be taken as part of a preparatory process towards the first conference of parties to be held in Berlin. Some of the information generated by the project was used to lobby government positions on the convention.

Apart from strengthening the role of NGOs through partnerships, the government has developed legislation to facilitate the registration of NGOs and to remove taxation which inhibited their participation in various programmes. The government has also strengthened the role of NGOs through recognition of NGO coordinating bodies like NANGO and the Environmental Forum of Zimbabwe. The Government has also signed financial agreements with donors on behalf of NGOs.



28.2.d encouraging local authorities to implement and monitor programmes that aim to ensure participation of women and youth in local decision making. See below

Government support of local agenda 21 initiatives: See below

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): A survey was jointly conducted by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) to document the activities by local authorities around the world which had implemented Agenda 21. The results of the survey were presented at the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul in June 1996. There was a very low response rate to the questionnaire with only five out of 22 urban authorities in Zimbabwe responding. Of these 3 have a local agenda 21 which constituted an environmental policy. None of the councils that responded to the survey had held local consultations. Only one local council, the Harare City Council, has tabled a motion before its council to adopt the concept of Agenda 21. The motion was accepted. Harare has also formally approached the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to get technical and financial assistance to facilitate the development of a Local Agenda 21. A person has been designated by the City Council to spearhead a programme to develop and implement a Local Agenda 21. Since there appeared to be little understanding of what Agenda 21 should contain, there were calls from local authorities for capacity building and environmental training.

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives has started a programme to train local authorities in EIAs as part of capacity building for local Agenda 21. In Zimbabwe the project will only train personnel in Harare and Bulawayo city councils.


29.2 full participation of workers in implementation and evaluation of A21.

29.3 a to e (By year 2000, (a) promoting ratification of ILO conventions; (b) establishing bipartite and tripartite mechanism on safety, health and sustainable development; increasing number of environmental collective agreements; (d) reducing occupational accidents and injuries; (e) increasing workers' education and training efforts. See below

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

Limited progress has been made with respect to the ratification of ILO Conventions. Zimbabwe is a party to 9 of the ILO Conventions relating to labour and trade, including the following:

Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention, 1921 (No. 14)

Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925 (No. 19)

Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery Convention, 1928 (No. 26)

Underground Work (Women) Convention, 1935 (No. 45)

Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81)

Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery (Agriculture) Convention, 1951 (No. 99)

Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100)

Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129)

Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1973 (No. 144)

The Government is also considering entering into three other conventions: Forced Labour, Freedom of Association, and Discrimination. Ten tripartite formal and informal institutions have been established:


1) Tripartite consultative committee to discuss matters relating to Convention 144

2) Tripartite committees within NSSA - Board of Directors, Zimbabwe Occupational Health & Safety Committee and the National Occupational Health & Safety Committee

3) NAMACO which advises the Minister on manpower development and training

4) Wages & Salaries Advisory Board

5) Retrenchment Committee

6) Employment Boards recommend terms and conditions of a certain economic sector


7) Consultation on draft labour laws and policies

8) Informal meetings

9) Tripartite inspections on matters of safety and occupational health

10) Zimbabwe Industrial Relation Association which promotes the study and development of industrial relations

Efforts have been made to increase workers' education and training. For example, a Training & Resource Support Center has been established to provides education and training to the industrial community in both health and safety matters. However, with the increased economic activity that Zimbabwe has experienced, efforts to reduce occupational accidents and injuries have had limited success. The Labour Advisory Board was established to address labour related issues but has limited jurisdiction over broader industrial matters relating to economic and sustainable development.

Trade Unions have fully participated in government efforts to implement and evaluate Agenda 21. In December of 1992, these and other sector-specific groups took part in a national response conference to Rio and assisted with the development of a Country Report. Since then, representatives of industry and trade unions have participated in conferences, meetings and working teams taking steps to implement Agenda 21. However, in general, the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) has weakened the role of workers and trade unions and strengthened the role of the employer through the deregulation of the labour market. Although collective bargaining was introduced as part of ESAP, the deregulation of the labour market has nonetheless weakened the position of workers.



30.6 increasing the efficiency of resource use, including reuse, recycling, and reduction of waste per unit of economic output. See below

30.18.a encouraging the concept of stewardship in management and use of natural resources by entrepreneurs.

See below

List any actions taken in this area:

30.18.b increasing number of enterprises that subscribe to and implement sustainable development policies.

See below

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

Industry in Zimbabwe has become proactive in environmental management and is involved in a variety of initiatives such as the cleaner production centres. They are also supportive of ISO 14001 which is a management system that includes environmental policies, auditing and efficient management. An Environmental liaison forum has been created under the Chamber of Zimbabwe Industries.

The Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers (ZIE) took the initiative to discuss such matters as environmental legislation and decisions regarding major public works of significant environmental impact, with other environmental bodies with which it can form a strong coalition to be able to influence government.. It also became an advisory body on environmental issues related to engineering by disseminating information to all concerned. Seminars, public debates and environmental committees will also be organized for the same purpose. A code of practice will be developed to encourage transparency and environmental reporting in companies.

The Southern Center for Energy and Environment, a local NGO, has established a capacity building pilot project for decision makers in industry concerning actions which can be taken to abate or mitigate climate change impacts from industry. As part of the project, the Southern Center for Energy and Environment conducts training workshops and seminars which are attended by decision makers. The project is supported by CDG. The pilot phase of the project is being implemented at the Willowvale industrial estate.

The Government has taken a number of initiatives to strengthen the role of business in sustainable development. These initiatives include:

1. The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries has been represented in the National Sustainable Development Committee, which was created after Rio to oversee the implementation of Agenda 21.

2. Delegations to international business meetings have included members of the business community.

3. The Indigenization programme under ESAP helps strengthen the role of indigenous business in sustainable economic development as well as the promotion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

4. Lines of credit and soft loans have been opened for the informal sector and SMEs so as to increase their participation in economic development.

5. The reduction of capital gains taxes was also meant to strengthen the role of business.

6. The thrust of ESAP has been to strengthen the role of business and reduce the role of the public sector through commercialization and privatization.



31.3.b improving exchange of knowledge and concerns between s&t community and the general public.

Scientific community has already established ways in which to address the general public and deal with

sustainable development.

See below

31.9 developing, improving and promoting international acceptance of codes of practice and guidelines related to science and technology and its role in reconciling environment and development.

See below

Brief comments on this chapter not already described in chapter 35 (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): In late 1994 a multi-institutional committee was established by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Institute of Environmental studies (IES) at the University of Zimbabwe. This committee comprises several government departments, the university, SIRDC, the Research Council and the NGO community. Its role is to facilitate multi-institutional, interdisciplinary and policy directed research by securing and disbursing funds. The committee also provides a forum for the exchange of information and dissemination of research results. Through this committee six projects were funded by CIDA, an environmental seminar was conducted in late 1996 and three environmental prizes were awarded to stimulate high quality environmental research. A think-tank was also formed to prepare a National Strategy for Environmental Research Projects.

The southern African Consortium for Interdisciplinary Research (SACAIR) was formed to ensure that countries in southern Africa benefit from regionally conceptualized and implemented research and training initiatives, since they share common problems in natural resources management. A survey of regional academic institutions involved in environmental work was conducted in 1996 - Applied Interdisciplinary Research and Training on Natural Resources Management: A Situation Report For Southern Africa (Mandondo 1996). This report is part of a series of initiatives to strengthen collaboration in training and research in the region and the capacity of institutions in 6 countries.

A coordination committee has been formed with representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and from three departments of the University of Zimbabwe, with the MET providing financial support for research and purchasing reference materials. This has helped to improve capacity at the University as well as to link training to the needs of the government. The MET will also organize EIA training through the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, as a way of building capacity for future training programmes and to ensure sustainability. The Tobacco Research Board has been working with the government on the phase out of methyl bromide, while the Scientific Industrial Research and Development Center (SIRDC) has been collaborating with the government on the issue of biotechnology.


32.5.c promoting and encouraging sustainable farming practices and technologies.

32.5.e developing a policy framework that provides incentives and motivation among farmers for sustainable and efficient farming practices.

32.5.f enhancing participation of organizations of farmers in design and implementation of sustainable development policies.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

The government set up a commission of inquiry into appropriate agricultural land tenure systems in relation to sustainable resource management. The Report of the Commission Of Inquiry Into Appropriate Agricultural Land Tenure Systems: Main Report (October 1994), states that the effectiveness of any tenure system is measured by its ability to facilitate high and sustainable levels of production as well as enhanced social cohesion. The report makes several recommendations to the government, including that it establish a decentralized system of administration designed to allow households at the local level to be the decision makers regarding the use of their resources. The Commission also recognizes the role of traditional institutions in local level development and recommends that these, rather than the new institutions, be given authority over resource management and control at the local level.

Kuturaya "participatory farm experimentation" is a methodology developed by the Department of Agricultural Technical Extension (AGRITEX) to involve farmers in experiments to improve their own production. In Kuturaya, farmers and researchers work together to develop appropriate technologies through experimentation. The methodology incorporates experiences from the participatory technology development experiences of the AGRITEX-GTZ conservation tillage project, implemented in the southern part of the country, the Masvingo province, and the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) food security project in the same province. The methodology empowers farmers to participate in farm experiments and develop their own capacities.

There have been several initiatives to involve farmers in extension and to empower them to direct their own research and extension agendas. One such initiative is the training programme supported by ITDG to train both farmers and extension workers in a process called Training for Transformation. Training for Transformation is a participatory methodology which empowers farmers to question the appropriateness and delivery methods.

Another methodology being developed through a project funded by the Dutch Government is using the actor-oriented approach to identify and streamline the roles of various stakeholders in extension. The actor-oriented approach examines the actions of all institutions involved with farmers and identifies desirable outcomes from these interactions on the basis of farmers' opinions and priority needs. This project is a joint effort by the 2 departments of the University (IES and CASS) and two departments of the Ministry of Agriculture (AGRITEX and Research and Specialist Services) .

The government has also developed credit support schemes for farmers, particularly communal farmers to enable them to purchase inputs. Drought recovery schemes have also been put into place to enable communal farmers to survive in drought years. The Government supports research through the department of Research and Specialist Services to improve farmers' productivity. Courses are also offered on various subjects for communal and small-scale commercial farmers.


Financial resources and mechanisms are also covered under each sectoral chapter of Agenda 21 where relevant. This summary highlights broader national financial policies, domestic and external (including ODA)

STATUS REPORT: Official development assistance to Zimbabwe is normally below 10% of the GDP, with the exception of the drought year when it rose to 15% of GDP. External capital flows, both ODA and FDI, have increased since ESAP. However, while FDI funding has been flowing into private sector projects, such as mining, manufacturing, tourism and construction, ODA funding has been financing mainly public sector projects. Although aid to Zimbabwe is limited, it has some negative effects on the development process due to the unpredictability of disbursements. Development assistance has had positive impacts on the economy, particularly in capacity building and infrastructure development. Donor coordination has been improving in Zimbabwe as a result of the formation of a Consultative Group (CG) between donors and the government coordinated by the UNDP. To date, the UNDP has made a strong financial commitment towards the implementation of agenda 21 initiatives.

CHANGES IN NATIONAL BUDGET TO ADDRESS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The Government has budgetary allocations to respond to Agenda 21, with the largest part of the budget going to the improvement of social services. At present social expenditure in health and education alone account for over 20% of the budget. The budget of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, which is being reviewed so the Ministry can effectively implement Agenda 21 initiatives, shows commitment on the part of Government.

NEW ECONOMIC INSTRUMENTS: The following economic instruments have been introduced:
1. ESAP - line of credit, retooling and retrofitting have been introduced;
2. Vision 2020 has introduced the concept of green taxes;
3. ISO 9 000 and ISO 14 000 has imposed some trade restrictions on timber exports.

Subsidies: Subsidies have been eliminated on some farm inputs and on electricity. Proper pricing of fossil fuels have made alternative fuels more competitive. Water pricing is still a problem.

ODA policy issues

Zimbabwe is a recipient country.

ODA funding provided or received (Total US$million)
Average for
Average for 94-96
Net flow of external capital from all sources as % of GDP
Other data


Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building is also covered under each sectoral chapter of Agenda 21 where relevant. This summary highlights broader national policies and actions relating to chapter 34.

STATUS REPORT ON LINKS BETWEEN NATIONAL, REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION NETWORKS/SYSTEMS: In the 1970s technology transfer was seen as a potential threat to the environment, therefore requiring regulation and control. In the 1990s, and particularly with the impetus from "Our Common Future" as well as the results of UNCED, technology transfer is now seen as a source of opportunities for promoting sustainable development. The challenge is for governments to move from the traditional control of technology to new approaches of technology assessments. This transition towards environmentally sound technology is now being mediated mainly through research and development.

The level of technological development is low; it is consequently more prone to technological dependence. The low rate of technological change implies a sluggish transition towards the use of environmentally sound technologies. Problems are created by declining import capacity due to the economic crisis and the decline in foreign investment. There is a need for government induced policies to stimulate rapid technological development and acquisition. To be effective such policies must be comprehensive and address all functional sectors of society. In most countries, including Zimbabwe, incentives for technological development have often been implicit and mediated through investment incentives for industry . They have so far favoured the inflow of large scale capital-intensive investments with little consideration for technological development. In the national environmental assessment policy there is no consideration for the need to assess technologies. Studies have shown that countries which develop a strong internal capacity to search out and evaluate technologies are usually able to acquire the technologies on satisfactory terms.

In Zimbabwe, the Scientific and Industrial Research Development Center (SIRDC) has for a number of years been operating a Technological Information Promotion System (TIPS), as part of an international network dealing with trade, technology, and investment opportunities. The objective of this information system is to facilitate the exchange of information about technologies developed or available for use in the various sectors of the economy, at a regional and local level. The information system was established following the convening of two UN Conferences on Science and Technology, held in 1978 and 1979, where the need to create markets for technologies developed in developing countries and promote technology transfer was emphasized. The TIPs framework has expanded from 9 countries (1986-1988) to more than 30 national bureaux, and Zimbabwe has remained a key participant. At the national level, TIPs offers a bulletin board system which permits local industries to consult the database and download information with a local phone call. TIPS also has a homepage in the World Wide Web, which offers information on the TIPs network and its services. There are no technology restrictions on what can be ordered into the country or standards that must be adhered to.

A notable institutional development in Zimbabwe has been the creation of SIRDC and its seven constituent institutes, namely: the Biotechnology Research Institute; the Building Technology Institute; the Energy and Technology Institute; the Environment and Remote Sensing Institute; the Mechanical and Production Engineering Institute; the Microelectronics and Electronics institute; and the National Meteorology Institute. The mission of SIRDC, through these various institutes, is to provide a center of excellence in research for the provision of science and technology leadership to the industrial sectors.

The Cleaner Production Center and the Ozone Office are an opportunity for the transfer of environmentally sound technologies. Another opportunity is through the programme on Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ), which is still under discussion between government and the private sector. There is a lot of scope for improvement in the transfer of environmentally sound technology, particularly from developed countries.

Describe any work being undertaken at the national or local level regarding efforts to promote clean production processes and/or the concepts of eco-efficiency. These processes may include training, preferential financial arrangements, information dissemination and changes in legal or regulatory frameworks.

Provide information on the adoption of environmental management systems. National reaction to environmental management system standards such as the ISO 14000 Series and others. Please note efforts made at the national level to promote their adoption and the creation of certification infrastructure in order to facilitate access to these standards to local industry.

List and describe programs or work under way to facilitate the transfer of ESTs to small and medium sized enterprises. Please note efforts to facilitate access to financial resources and other transfer strategies.



The National Response Conference encourages research that provides policy support to the government through rigorous analysis of policy options for environmental management. It also noted the need for science to provide research data on scientific assessments of environmental phenomenon. In response to these needs, the Research Council drafted a National Science and Technology Policy following consultations with relevant agencies. The policy document has been circulated to relevant organizations for comments but is not yet finalized.

Following the Rio Summit, the government organized a national workshop to identify research needs for the implementation of Agenda 21 and to assess the possible role of universities in the field of environment and development. The meeting also discussed the establishment of the Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) at the University of Zimbabwe. The proposal for the establishment of the institute was discussed at the workshop. The role of the IES is the following:

- to promote, facilitate and, where needed, coordinate research on environmental issues, thereby enhancing the national capacity to tackle national environmental problems and to contribute to the resolution of regional and global problems;
- to provide expert advice to policy makers and planners dealing with environmental issues, thereby increasing Zimbabwe's capacity to plan and implement environmentally sustainable development policies, programmes and activities; and
- to promote awareness of the environment through teaching and information dissemination, thereby contributing to better informed and more effective public participation in decision making on environmental and sustainable development issues.

The institute coordinates research in the University and serves as an independent catalyst for action outside the university through the provision of a forum for discussion, analysis of and cooperation and advice on environmental issues. The institute maintains a register of experts on different environmental matters.

The government requires support in strengthening the scientific base to support sustainable development. Strengthening institutions such as Universities and government research centres (SIRDC and the Research Council of Zimbabwe ) will go a long way in developing a strong scientific base for sustainable development.

Number of scientists, engineers and technicians engaged in research and experimental development # 19--
Total expenditure for research and experimental development (US$eq.) $ 19--
Other data


STATUS REPORT: Environmental education at Universities encompass a wide range of disciplines in the natural and social sciences. This breadth and scope is matched by the current extent of involvement of departments, institutes and staff at the University of Zimbabwe. At least 16 departments and four research centres in 6 faculties include some type of environmental studies in their teaching and research. Two Masters programmes in the University, M.Sc. in Tropical Resources Ecology, and MA in Environmental Policy and Planning are multi disciplinary environmental programmes that have gained both regional and local acclaim as valuable courses. The former though established before UNCED has become even more popular in the region. There is a continuing and growing demand for these courses which can be attributed to the growing realization of the importance of environmental issues.

Reorientation of education towards sustainable development: The Southern African Regional Institute for Policy Studies (SARIPS), an arm of the Southern African Political Economy Series (SAPES) Trust has launched a Masters programme in Policy Studies. The course is accredited to the Universities of Zimbabwe, Fort Hare and Dar Es Salaam. The goal of the course is to enhance the policy making capacities and leadership roles of senior personnel in government and non-governmental organizations. The course offers professionals an opportunity to acquire new analytical and practical skills and to widen their understanding of the policy process. The programme was launched in September 1995 and offers the following courses: I) policy analysis framework;

ii) economic theory and development planning; iii) regional economic cooperation and integration;

iv) gender policy and planning; iv) sectoral economic policy; v) politics and governance;

vi) international relations; vii) social policy; and viii) environmental policy. Lecturers are drawn from the region.

Increasing public awareness: Various ministries, NGOs and other organizations are involved in programmes to educate and promote environmental awareness at the grassroots. Several departments in the government have extension departments through which information is disseminated to the communities. Of these, some have officers operating at the district level while others have village based extension personnel. Information is disseminated in various forms including workshops, short training programmes, seminars, village meetings, household visits, and the media. This dissemination is undertaken by numerous institutions and includes traditional environmental conservation practices.

The Government runs an extension programme which includes workshops, training courses for village leaders, mobile environmental programmes and village awareness campaigns. Since Independence there has been a concerted effort to promote methods of education and awareness that do not impose conservation on communities. Consequently, extension has become more participatory, drawing on traditional experiences of conservation and dissemination of these to wider audience. Many departments, such as the Forestry Commission, now acknowledge the value of traditional practices in forestry conservation and promote these widely. An appreciation of the role and contributions that communities can make to conservation has resulted in proposals to develop initiatives for resource sharing where the government and the community are equal partners in resource management.

Promoting training: In many schools in Zimbabwe environmental science is a subject offered in the primary school curriculum. This subject is in essence environmental education. In secondary schools this subject gives way to geography and agriculture, which again comprise environmental education. Students are also exposed to practical environmental education through school projects and inter-schools competition which promotes various aspects of conservation. There is of course a strong element of non-formal environmental education training as children grow up, particularly those who grow up in communal areas. Many studies, especially those documenting traditional practices, recognize the value of children and youth as repositories of environmental information.


Role of Major Groups: An environmental education subcommittee was established in 1995 as part of the Environmental Liaison Forum in Zimbabwe. The forum and subcommittee consist of representatives of non-governmental organizations, the private sector and the government. In addition to its activity in the country, the committee has actively participated in regional and international networks and conferences, such as the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication. The committee has organized and implemented two national workshops in Zimbabwe, sponsored by UNESCO/UNEP. The committee, along with other organizations, is working towards the development of a national policy on environmental education but limited government resources and staff have hampered this effort. In addition to the foregoing, the following programmes are noteworthy.

Radio Programmes:
Environment 2000
Forestry Commission
Natural Resources Board
Natural Farming Network

Communication and Networks:
Environmental Liaison Forum Subcommittee - Action Trust Regional Net
Forum of Environmental communicators - US Peace Corps
IMERSEC - Natural Farming Network
ART - Silveira House
Environment 2000 - ORAP

International Representations:
IUCN - Commission on Education and Communication

Latest 199-
Adult literacy rate (%) Male
Adult literacy rate (%) Female
% of primary school children reaching grade 5 (1986-97)
Mean number of years of schooling
% of GNP spent on education
Females per 100 males in secondary school
Women per 100 men in the labour force
Other data


National capacity building is also covered under sectoral chapters.

Donors: You may wish to describe here how Agenda 21 has influenced your ODA policies in this area.

Developing countries: You may wish to describe any new national mechanisms for capacity building - and any changes in technical cooperation.


Capacity building has taken various forms and targeted professionals in the relevant ministries and NGOs. Capacity building has been mostly in the form of short term training programmes though several individuals have been sent to higher education institutions to attain degrees in subjects relevant to the environment. In some instances it has resulted in the creation of new institutions and the strengthening of existing ones. This section lists some of the courses offered in an effort to build national capacity to respond to environmental issues.

Zimbabwe Natural Resources Management Programme: The Zimbabwe Natural Resources Management Programme (ZNRMP) is a capacity building project in environmental planning and policy coordination, integrated resources information system, information management, and law reforms. Within the programme there have been many opportunities for training of Ministry of Environment and Tourism staff and staff from other organizations in such areas as project appraisal, project management, economics, environmental impact assessment, information management and communication skills. Graduate education has been offered at the University of Zimbabwe and at various universities in Canada.

MET/World Bank Workshops for Decision Makers: Two workshops for decision makers have been conducted on political economy of the environment. Both workshops were part of a capacity building programme in environmental economics and policy planning. The principal objective of these workshops was to enhance the analytical capacity of participants from the public and private sectors, including academic leaders, parliamentarians, consultants, and NGO managers, to incorporate environmental concerns in the application of micro and macro economics during policy formulation, planning, and investment decisions for sustainable development. Due to an overwhelming demand for similar courses, there are plans to hold future workshops targeting specific groups of decision makers especially parliamentarians.

Campfire: The CAMPFIRE programme aims at building capacity for the sustainable management of natural resources at the community level through a participatory approach.

Waste management and pollution: 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.

International cooperation in capacity building: 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.

The UNDP coordinates the activities of donors through a roundtable where donors and government representatives discuss ongoing projects and funding requirements. Capacity building is a key area of donor support.


Ch. 38: Brief summary of any particular UN System response affecting this country/state:

No information


Ch. 39: International Legal Instruments are covered under the relevant sectoral chapters. This is a listing of major agreements/conventions (not already covered) entered into and relevant to Agenda 21:

The following Conventions have been signed and ratified:
- The CITES Convention
- The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
- The Montreal Protocol
- The Vienna Convention
- The Convention on the Rights of the Child
- The Biodiversity Convention
- The Climate Change Convention
- The Convention on the Law of the Sea
- The Bamako Convention

The Basel Convention and the Convention to Combat Desertification have been signed but not ratified.

The Convention on Indigenous People and the Ramsar Convention have not been signed or ratified.


This chapter is also covered under sectoral and other chapters of this profile. The matrix below gives an overview of how national authorities rate the available information for decision making.

Rating of available data and information suitable for decision-making

Agenda 21 Chapters
Some good
data but
many gaps
2. International cooperation and trade
3. Combating poverty
4. Changing consumption patterns
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
6. Human health
7. Human settlements
8. Integrating E & D in decision-making
9. Protection of the atmosphere
10. Integrated planning and management of land resources
11. Combating deforestation
12. Combating desertification and drought
13. Sustainable mountain development
14. Sustainable agriculture and rural development
15. Conservation of biological diversity
16. Biotechnology
17. Oceans, seas, coastal areas and their living resources
18. Freshwater resources
19. Toxic chemicals
20. Hazardous wastes
21. Solid wastes X
22. Radioactive wastes
24. Women in sustainable development
25. Children and youth
26. Indigenous people
27. Non-governmental organizations
28. Local authorities
29. Workers and trade unions
30. Business and industry
31. Scientific and technological community
32. Farmers
33. Financial resources and mechanisms
34. Technology, cooperation and capacity-building
35. Science for sustainable development
36. Education, public awareness and training
37. International cooperation for capacity-building
38. International institutional arrangements
39. International legal instruments
40. Information for decision-making

Additional Comments

The multi-media system provides an interface of textural, pictorial and video-audio information based on a network of linked components. Zimbabwe, through the Institute of Environmental Studies, in collaboration with South Africa, through the University of Veda, has developed a sustainable management system for the management of the Limpopo valley. The management system incorporates scenario building as an essential component.

IRIS is an Integrated Resource Information System developed in the Department of Natural Resources. This information system provides information on natural resources in the form of inventories (attribute data and maps) which are freely distributed. The data is mainly used in the monitoring of the state of the environment. Much of the data is collected from other relevant ministries, though the DNR also collects raw data where gaps are identified in the existing data base. Since its establishment the information system has widened its scope to incorporate new issues and there are many government institutions and industry who regularly access it.

The MET is setting up a national sustainable development data base for Zimbabwe which will be in time series and will consist of national level indicators including economic, social and environmental development. The data base will provide a consistent set of statistics for researchers, non- governmental organizations and international organizations. The data base on economic indicators will include such issues as the gross national product, trade employment, government spending and revenue. The social indicators will include health, education and nutrition trends, while environmental indicators will include changes in erosion, forests, pollution, water and wildlife resources. The data base will feed into the National State of The Environment Reporting Process which is being coordinated by the MET. The Department of Veterinary Services has established a geographical information system for teak borne disease and other diseases affecting cattle. The GIS also contains information on the environmental impacts of dip tanks. In the same department there is also a data base on the impact of land use on tsetse eradication.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism is coordinating efforts to compile a State of the Environment Report which will be the second report produced for Zimbabwe, following the 1992 report to UNCED. The State of the Environment Report is a requirement for the 5 year review of UNCED and the National Conservation Strategy. To plan the report, a national workshop was held in Kadoma involving all stakeholders to discuss the concept of State of the Environment Reporting and identify information requirements to compile it. Various models of reports from other countries were reviewed and themes for different chapters of the report were identified. The process is being supported by the ZNRMP.

Number of telephones in use per 100 inhabitants
Other data

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11 December 1997