The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
A TOTAL of 15 000 direct beneficiaries are set to benefit from the implementation of the Global Environment Facility 7th Cycle, Dry Lands Sustainable Landscapes Impact Programme which will be funded at the tune of over US$10 million.
Speaking at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) 7th press conference, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said the project will provide significant support to the country.
“For the 7th GEF funding cycle, also known as gef7 (2018-2022) Zimbabwe was allocated US$ 9,250 million. Of this amount we programmed US$ 7,8 million under the Drylands Sustainable Landscapes Impact Programme with Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
“The amount was increased to US$ 10,433,945 due to GEF incentives for choosing an Impact programme. The project will provide significant support to the country to avoid further degradation, desertification and deforestation of land and ecosystems,” said Minister Ndlovu.
He said that the project which is targeted at Save and Runde catchments covering three provinces namely Manicaland, Masvingo and Midlands, specially eight districts (Chivi, Chipinge, Chimanimani, Masvingo, Zaka, Shurugwi, Bikita and Buhera) will be fund from the over US$10 million.
Minister Ndlovu said at project completion the expected results and Global Environment Benefits (GEB) of the project are that 2 150 hectares of land will be restored (in forests and mixed land-use areas), 172 540 hectares of landscapes under improved practices through the implementation of integrated land-use plans promoting Sustainable Land Management and Sustainable Forest Management.
He added: “Other benefits are 1.26 million metric tons of CO2e greenhouse gas emission will be mitigated and 15 000 direct beneficiaries (at least 52 percent of women). The project in Zimbabwe will be led by the FAO as the GED implementing entity while the Ministry through the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) will be the executing entity. Furthermore, Government will be working with World Vison, Community Technology Development Trust and the private sector to demonstrate the importance of synergies in environmental management.”
Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry has been a recipient of the Global Environment Facility and receive grants GEF after every four years.
The GEF is a financial mechanism for key environmental conventions such as climate change, biodiversity and land degradation.
Minister Ndlovu said: “We have implemented about 43 projects since joining the GEF in 1994. We have received about US$ 269.94 million and attracted about US$ 1.5 billion to date.
“As you might be aware that land degradation is an issue of great concern globally, as 23 percent of the land has been rendered unproductive as a consequence of land degradation. Zimbabwe has a fair share as its contribution to the global degradation status with an estimated 36 percent of the country being considered degraded and urgently in need for rehabilitation,” he added.
In order to fulfill the land restoration commitments made at global and country levels, the Government of Zimbabwe with funding support from the Global Environment Facility will be implementing a project entitled “A cross-sector approach supporting the mainstreaming of sustainable forest and land management to enhance ecosystem resilience for improved livelihoods in the Save and Runde Catchments of Zimbabwe.”