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Mnangagwa urges citizens to plant trees

by Staff reporter
28 Oct 2022 at 06:18hrs | Views
TREES are a source of life and every Zimbabwean should take a responsibility to plant one regularly, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.

Speaking at the 7th Zanu-PF National People's Congress Tree Planting Day at the Harare International Conference Centre, President Mnangagwa said the importance of tree planting as a way of restoring forests and biodiversity cannot be overemphasised.

To mark the occasion, the President planted an auspicious umbrella tree in the vicinity of the HICC main auditorium while Zanu-PF Vice Presidents and Second Secretaries Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi also planted their trees.

The party's National chairman, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, also planted her own tree and that of the First Lady, Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, who is Zanu-PF Secretary for Environment and Tourism.

Amai Mnangagwa, who is spearheading the nationwide tree planting programme, was absent from the ceremony due to the death of her late grandson, Yasha Mafidi Mnangagwa, who passed away on Sunday.

Addressing party supporters after the planting of the trees, President Mnangagwa urged the nation to reverse negative trends associated with over exploitation of trees and forest destruction by wild fires.

"The importance of tree planting as one of the means to restore forests and biodiversity cannot be overemphasised. It is the survival of our forest resources that determines our desired progress in our development endeavours as a nation.

"Delegates to the 7th National People's Congress and all other Zimbabweans countrywide are challenged to take today's tree planting event as a precursor to widespread tree planting during the forthcoming tree planting season," he said.

President Mnangagwa said at the global level, hectares of forest land continue to be lost through the conversion of land to various uses.

He said in the case of Zimbabwe, a number of factors are causing deforestation urging communities to continue implementing measures to protect the natural forest resources.

"This is important as forests provide physical products and ecosystem services.

"These include among others, a habitat for land-based species, climate change mitigation, buffering storms and floods, provision of shelter and jobs as well as security for forest-dependent communities," President Mnangagwa said.

The President said the sustenance of trees is critical and urgent, directing stakeholders in the environment sub-sector to implement the National Environmental Action Plan and other strategies towards scaling up afforestation programmes.

"With regards to wildland fires, it is sad that the nation was recently befallen by a dark cloud when it lost 10 fire fighters to a wildland fire in Umzingwane District, Matabeleland South Province.

"I have since directed the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to review its Fire Management Strategy to ensure that we prevent further losses of life, property and the environment in a similar manner," he said.

Yesterday's tree planting ceremony coincides with the first anniversary of the historic Glasgow Declaration, wherein leaders of the world undertook to fight climate change through enhancing forest and land use management during COP26 in Scotland last year.

"To achieve this feat, tree planting and forest conservation must be extended to all land-uses, rural and urban areas alike.

"As we intensify the clean-up and beautification of our cities, towns and growth points, I look forward to an increasingly improved natural landscape, covered with a variety of plants, which also contributes to climate change mitigation," President Mnangagwa said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Muchinguri-Kashiri, said the ruling party was demonstrating its commitment to good environmental practices and protection.

Muchinguri-Kashiri said the event had been organised by the party's Department of Tourism and Hospitality as part of proceedings at the 7th Zanu-PF National People's Congress in order to raise awareness, promote tree planting and forestry conservation.

She also saluted the distinguished work being undertaken by the First Lady, Amai Mnangagwa, who is also Secretary for Environment and Tourism in the Zanu-PF Politburo. The First Lady is championing the conservation of forestry resources.

Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu echoed similar sentiments, saying the moral support the ministry is getting from Amai Mnangagwa has far exceeded their expectations.

"We have heeded your (President) call to implement the beautification of cities, towns and growth points programme starting this year. We have already crafted an elaborate plan for its official launch covering all the 10 provinces.

"We have embarked on a renewed rural afforestation programme in response to the ever increasing challenges of deforestation affecting our landscapes," the Minister said.

Source - The Herald