Zimbabwe Joins the World in Commemorating World Environment Day

Photo Credit to Herald

Zimbabwe joins the global community in commemorating World Environment Day. In partnership with regional and international counterparts, Zimbabwe reaffirmed its commitment to addressing pressing environmental issues, including pollution and climate change. This declaration was made as Zimbabwe hosted the esteemed World Environment Day celebrations on June 5, 2024, at the Geo Pomona Waste Management site in Harare.

For Zimbabwe to host this historic event in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region testifies to the Second Republic’s commitment and enhancement of engagement and re-engagement efforts in developing international partnerships to address common challenges. It also signifies the confidence that SADC has in Zimbabwe through its environment-friendly policies.

The appointment of First Lady Dr. Auxillia Mnangagwa as the SADC Environment Patron is a vote of confidence in Zimbabwe and a significant step forward as the country prepares to host the SADC summit in August. This recognition acknowledges Zimbabwe’s commitment to environmental stewardship and positions the country to play a key role in regional environmental efforts.

The 2024 World Environment Day celebrations take place against the backdrop of a severe El Nino-induced drought that has devastatingly impacted Zimbabwe and the wider region, highlighting the urgent need for collective action to address environmental challenges and build resilience against climate-related disasters. Running under the theme, “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,” the 2024 edition of the World Environment commemorations resonates well with the Second Republic’s environmentally friendly policies. These include tree planting, drought-resistant crops, and green energy initiatives, symbolizing Zimbabwe’s commitment to sustainable environmental practices.

The message from the United Nations has been to facilitate the promotion of women’s participation and leadership in collective action to protect our planet for posterity. Stemming from landmark conferences such as the United Nations Environment and Development Conference (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) and the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), the international community benchmarks women’s full participation in environmental management and development for a healthy and sustainable future.

As the environmental crisis results from human activity, calls have been made for every Zimbabwean to contribute to building a legacy of mobilization and action against activities that perpetuate the negative effects of climate change, such as pollution. Initiatives like cleaning waterways, planting trees, and creating urban wildlife habitats can significantly contribute to the development of sustainable cities and communities as advocated through Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11.

The World Environment Day commemorations are a precursor to the Summit of the Future and the Conferences of the Parties on climate, biodiversity, and desertification, which will be held later in the year. It also comes on the heels of the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) to be held as the year unfolds.

The Government remains committed to addressing plastic pollution by implementing the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) initiative, encouraging producers to take responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products. Public-private partnerships are essential for effective waste handling while ensuring that waste is turned into a resource.

By hosting World Environment Day, Zimbabwe has not only showcased its dedication to environmental issues but also set a powerful example for regional cooperation and global solidarity in addressing the urgent challenges of our time.

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