On the 2nd of February, Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in commemorating the World Wetlands Day. This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar. The treaty became commonly known as the Ramsar Convention.

Zimbabwe is a signatory to this treaty hence it is mandated to protect and treat wetlands as special habitats for several forms of plants, birds and animals. Moreover, Zimbabwe together with other  168 contracting parties have committed themselves to; work towards the wise use of all their wetlands, designate suitable wetlands for the list of Wetlands of International Importance (the “Ramsar List”) and ensure their effective management and cooperate internationally on trans boundary wetlands, shared wetland systems and shared species.












Drieffontein Wetland is one of the designated Ramsar sites and the venue of the 2018 national World Wetlands Day Commemoration.

Designated Ramsar Sites in Zimbabwe

In accordance to the Ramsar Convention, A total of seven (7) sites have been designated as ‘Ramsar protected wetlands’ covering 28 582.40ha and these are as follows;

  • Victoria Falls
  • Cleveland Dam
  • Lake Chivero
  • Middle Zambezi/Mana Pools
  • Chinhoyi caves
  • Monavale Vlei and
  • Driefontein Grasslands

What are wetlands?

Wetlands are areas of land that are flooded with water, either seasonally or permanently. Common names of wetlands in Zimbabwe are Matoro/Mapani (Shona) and Amaxhaphozi (Ndebele).

What drives wetland loss and degradation?

Wetlands often viewed as wasteland and the following result in wetland degradation?

  • Agriculture

  • Grazing animals

  • logging

  • Water diversion through dams, dikes and canalization

  • Infrastructure development, particularly in river valleys and coastal areas

  • Air and water pollution and excess nutrients

What is the theme for 2017?

Wetlands for a Sustainable Future.This year, the national commemoration will be held at Drieffontein Wetland, Chirumhanzu, Midlands Province. This will be cascaded to communities, particularly in areas where wetlands have been preserved. Particular attention will be given to those communities that have benefitted from the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

What can be done to preserve wetlands?

The Environmental Management Agency regulates the activities that destroy wetlands. You can also play your part by doing any of the following:

  • Learn More about wetlands and how to protect them
  • Seek non-wetland sites for development
  • Help inform and educate others about the value of wetlands
  • Encourage and support local laws to protect wetlands
  • If you see what you think may be illegal wetland work, report it to EMA.

What does the law say about Wetlands?

Wetlands in Zimbabwe are protected by law and authority for their utilisation may be granted by EMA. Wetlands are fragile and sensitive ecosystems on which human interference should be avoided completely.

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The Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) in collaboration with the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) invites research proposals focusing on sustainable environmental management through safe disposal of waste. Read More ...

Anti Corruption - Fraud Message

The Zimbabwe Code on Corporate Governance promotes good governance and high standards of integrity.  In line with this code, the Environmental Management Agency is committed to promoting sound corruption, bribery and fraud prevention mechanisms. Every employee of the Environmental Management Agency who knows or suspects any illegal, dubious or fraudulent activities occurring within the Agency should report them via WhatsApp, toll free or the website. Similarly, all stakeholders who are aware or suspects any illegal and dubious business activities involving Agency employees, suppliers and third parties are requested to report the issues on the mentioned platforms.  The Agency has a zero tolerance to corruption policy.

To report corruption anonymously please use the following channels:

Econet Toll free: 08080028

Tweeter: @EMAeep

WhatsApp: 0779 565 707

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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About EMA

The Environmental Management Agency is a statutory body responsible for ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment, the prevention of pollution and environmental degradation, the preparation of Environmental Plans for the management and protection of the environment. It was established under the Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27] and operationalised on the 17th of March 2003 through SI 103 of 2003.

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