Zimbabwe to host environment indaba
The theme of the conference, to be held at the Belvedere Teachers College, is “The environment for everyone, everyone for the environment.” Speaking at the launch of the Media Campaign for conference, on Friday, Environment and Tourism Minister, Francis Nhema, said the conference would give Zimbabwe an opportunity to show regional and international guests that it has positive lessons to share with the rest of the world on environment management, environmental education, sustainable living and hospitality. He said the media was critical in highlighting the importance of the environment. “The media is indeed an important agent as it can introduce people to new ideas, attitude and knowledge systems,” he said. “We are encouraging the media to promote environmental friendly habits through the production of well researched, balanced and probing stories in indigenous languages as well as in English.” Zimbabwe, like most other Southern African Development Community countries, embraced concepts of environment and sustainable development with the country ratifying a number of international conventions and protocols. It has also developed national policies and strategies such as the Environmental Impact Assessment Policy, the Environmental Management Act and the Zimbabwe National Environmental Educational Policy and Strategies of 2004. Established in 1982, EEASA is a regional organisation of countries in southern Africa with the main objective to provide environmental education practitioners with technical skills, information and opportunities to share ideas and experiences in the overall effort to protect the environment and promote sustainability for all. Zimbabwe won the bid to host conference for the first time after several unsuccessful attempts due to negative international publicity. Countries that have hosted the conference in the past include South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho and Zambia. Meanwhile, Nhema said the government was considering banning the manufacture of all disposable plastic material as part of efforts to reduce environmental pollution. “As government we are considering banning the manufacturing of plastic material which is between 15 and 12 micro-metres, the majority of which is used for packing bread and take-away foods,” he said. Nhema said consultations to effect the ban were underway with various stakeholders and plastic manufactures. He said a long-term solution was to manufacture reusable plastic materials. ‘ New Ziana.