By Daniel Chigundu
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says there is a need for continued collaboration among government, communities and stakeholders involved in wildlife conservations so that local people can derive benefits.
African has a lot of wildlife species but these have not benefitted the local communities and in some case have led to poaching.
Speaking at the gala dinner held on the sidelines of the AU-UN Environment Africa Wildlife Summit in Victoria, President Mnangagwa said success coming from working and benefitting together.
“Governments, stakeholders and communities must increase dialogue and collaboration as was alluded to by various speakers earlier today the creation of appropriate nature-based economies is paramount in this new dawn of sustainable resource utilisation.
“Communities which are host to the wildlife deserve, more speed, realistic and responsive interventions, we must thrive to achieve an equitable fair distribution of revenue derived from wildlife and nature-based economies.
“There cannot be they and us approach in this issue success lies in us working and benefitting together to sustainable resource utilisation and the improved quality of life for rural and marginalised communities and indeed for the animals themselves when new provide for them medically as well as in terms of water supply and protection from poaching, they should be grateful that we are doing that,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also told the delegates that there is also a need to increase funds especially in the fight against poaching which has seen the country lose a lot of animals.
“The success of wildlife economy lies in new innovative approaches that we use to address contemporary challenges it is also imperative for us to increase investment towards fighting poaching and wildlife crime as well as addressing the effects of climate change on both wildlife and the host communities around wildlife.
“…I would like to propose that this kind of dialogue and networking should be held regularly to consolidate opportunities for collaboration and a better understanding of our respective perspective in this issue.
“The journey is just beginning and once again I would like to thank you all for coming to Zimbabwe to participate at this summit. We look forward to maintaining a friendship with global conservation family from the region, the continent as well as the world at large,” he said.
Africa is trying to speak with once especially against CITES ban on sustainable utilisation of species such as elephants and rhino which are classified as endangered.
However, even though there appears to be unity in Southern Africa, such countries as Kenya which are benefitting from the green fund are said to be leading the campaign which is calling on a total ban of sustainable utilisation.
The President said that there is a need for Africa to unite and speak as one especially at international platforms.
“We have no choice but to be united, let us speak with one voice at the international forum as African continent so we can be heard for the benefit of our communities who cohabit with the wide range of wildlife species found on our African continent.
“As I highlighted this morning the wildlife economy whose value chain cuts across wildlife, flora and fauna should enhance the sustainable performance of our economies.–