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Andrew Muvishi Herald Reporter
Government has urged all stakeholders to partner the Environment Management Agency (EMA) in ensuring sustainable utilisation of wetlands.
A wetland is a low lying marshy area that forms headwaters for rivers. Wetlands act as natural water reservoirs.
Speaking at the at the Ramsar wetlands pre-cop stakeholder consultation meeting held in Harare on Thursday, the deputy director in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Tanyaradzwa Mundonga said the ministry is ready to partner all stakeholders on sustainable development issues.
“The benefits from wetlands are even more crucial as the number of people living in urban areas is increasing. Although we have a diverse group of stakeholders representing various interests, as we deliberate on the agenda issues, I urge you all to lay aside personal interests and dwell on sustainability issues.
“Wetland management issues remain immersed in serious challenges that include; non-cooperation by citizens, negative attitude by project developers, lack of appreciation of wetland values, low compliance by local authorities and competing human interests, which tend to negate proper wetland management,” he said.
“Wetlands provide important provisioning, regulatory and cultural functions such as water storage and retention, flood control, carbon sequestration, water purification and wildlife habitat among other services.”
Speaking at the same occasion the acting environmental planning and monitoring manager Maxiwell Maturure said the maintenance of wetland ecological character is achieved through the implementation of ecosystem approaches, within the context of sustainable development.