Action needed to address fast-degrading environment, increase in desertification and drought


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Writes Amkela Sidange (Environmental Education and Publicity Manager for EMA)

The 5th of June is World Environment Day, which is a day that was set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness of environmental issues and provide solutions to environmental challenges that we are experiencing both at a national and global scale.

The 2024 theme for World Environment Day commemoration is “Land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience”, which is a theme that talks to our situation as it comes on the background of a fast-degrading environment and a general increase in vulnerability to desertification and drought.
In Zimbabwe, this is a theme that allows us to take stock of our environmental goods and generally the natural capital vis a vis the health of the environment, considering that as a nation, we are also in an agrarian society and we need a healthy environment, healthy or adequate food systems.
Now, if we look at it, we find that generally, the statistics point out that 36.5% of Zimbabwe’s land is affected by land degradation. As a country, considering we are a signatory to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, it compels us to prevent land degradation, restore the degraded land, and at least proffer solutions that will lead us to sustainable land management.
Through the land degradation neutrality target, we are looking to have at least by 2030, increased land cover, increased soil carbon content, as well as increased general land productivity, without ignoring the fact that we also have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Now as we go into this commemoration, the thrust or the encouragement is for the populace of Zimbabwe to adopt and adapt to sustainable land management practices, which at least will ensure that we maintain our land in its best status as far as the health is concerned.
We have commemorations of this important day in all the provinces and districts included.
We will also have a national event, an event that will represent a national commemoration. We have a regional commemoration that is going to take place in Harare to be organised by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).