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AWF Partners with Ministry of Environment to Review Zimbabwe Biodiversity Economy Report

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The Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry (MECTHI), with support from the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), will this week hold a workshop to review the findings of the first-ever report prepared to assess the state of Zimbabwe’s biodiversity economy.

The workshop will be held in Harare, Zimbabwe on April 7, 2022, and will bring together high-ranking officials from the Zimbabwean government including representatives from MECTHI, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks), Zimbabwe Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Forestry Commission, Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, and the Office of the Auditor-General Zimbabwe. Also involved will be members of the press and various non-government stakeholders including the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) and Anchor Environmental Consultants, who are the lead authors of the report.

“The Zimbabwe Biodiversity Economy report validation will provide stakeholders an opportunity to collectively agree on the way forward in terms of implementing the recommendations of the report. We have been falling short as a country in terms of implementation, therefore stakeholders need to shape and buy-in on clear practical actions that need to be taken to position the biodiversity economy as an important sector to invest in, grow and conserve in support of sustainable development,” said AWF Country Director for Zimbabwe, Olivia Mufute.

This week’s workshop will provide an opportunity for the authors of different sections of the report to present findings from their areas of focus, including fisheries, wildlife, forestry, and bioprospecting. Also in the draft report are the natural capital accounting framework and the investment blueprint. The natural capital accounting framework outlines the roadmap for compiling and integrating the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services into national accounts. The investment blueprint identifies the investment opportunities and measures that need to be taken to convert the opportunities into real economic and conservation benefits. The participants will carefully review the report and provide feedback to allow for improvement and the filling of any existing gaps.

The report is expected to be finalized and released later this year.

This inaugural report seeks to raise the profile of the biodiversity economy in Zimbabwe, and highlight the importance of biodiversity as an asset to conserve and invest in. It will provide insights into the economic benefits derived from the sustainable use and/or conservation of indigenous species in their natural habitats. It includes business transactions related to wildlife, wild-capture fisheries, indigenous forestry, bioprospecting, trade in wild-harvested non-timber products ('biotrade'), and the supply of ecosystem services. It also includes economic benefits that are not recorded in monetary terms, including the provision of subsistence livelihood benefits, health benefits, and ecological functions that underpin economic production or save costs in other sectors.