Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
EVERY citizen has a role to play in the protection of the environment and if everyone does their part there will be no gaps which might lead to environmental degradation, a Government official has said.
Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Deputy Minister Barbra Rwodzi said this on Friday while addressing the 11th Edition of the Africa Green Waste and Energy Expo and Conference.
The Africa Green Waste and Energy Expo and Conference was facilitated by the Zimbabwe Sunshine Group and ran from the 26th to the 29th of July 2022 at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show Society’s Exhibition Park.
The conference ran under the theme, “accelerating locally-led interventions for low carbon and climate resilient societies”.
Addressing the annual conference, which had delegates from 12 African countries, the Deputy Minister Rwodzi said stakeholders have been leaving gaps in addressing the protection of the environment and climate change issues.
“When we continue to leave gaps as stakeholders we can never achieve our desired goals. There are a lot of gaps between the civil society and the Government. We need to bridge these gaps so we can achieve our desired results,” she said.
She said Government appreciates the reflections and recommendations from the Stockholm +50 Conference held in Sweden in June this year and efforts are being made to implement the recommendations from the conference.
Focus will largely be on upscaling and accelerating action on sustainable environmental management including climate action.
“The Government of Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy 1: 2021-25 sets a thematic area on Environmental Protection, Climate Resilience and Natural Resources Management. Among the strategies for delivering on this priority is enhancing integrated waste management through waste minimization, separation, recycling, and waste to energy initiatives. Climate change mitigation and adaptation are prioritised, recognising the threat of climate change, the country’s high vulnerability and limited adaptive capacity. The Green Expo and Conference provided an opportunity to discuss and share best practices on waste management and the response to climate change which I have no doubt will propel a whole of Government and whole of society approach, which also draws from the South-South exchanges with our regional counterparts,” said Deputy Minister Rwodzi.
She emphasised and challenged the participation of the youth, women and children urging them to claim their space in addressing climate change and waste management problems.
She said Government is open and ready to enhance collaborations with the youths, civil society, private sector and development partners towards an integrated approach to address the current environment and climate challenges.
The conference was supported by the United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF, GEF Small Grants Programme, Schweppes, the Swedish Embassy, Petrozim, Miracle Missions, Africa Institute, and representatives from the Zimbabwe Sunshine Group’s regional counterparts from Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, South Africa and Botswana.