Completion of the National Wetland Master Plan is a welcome development that will boost the country’s environmental management efforts in line with National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), an official said.
Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Education and Publicity Officer Ms Amkela Sidange said yesterday that the creation of the wetland master plan will also inform the development of the national areas policy. wet.
She said the master plan was very comprehensive and consisted of the Zimbabwe National Wetlands Map; 10 provincial wetland maps; 63 maps of the district’s wetlands; Wetland maps in the field; and the National Geographic Database of Wetlands.
“It also has the National Interactive GIS Wetlands Web Map which provides an interactive platform for viewing wetlands to the general public, and the mobile application accessible online,” said Ms Sidange.
“As an organization we see this as an appropriate window to strengthen the sustainable wetland management program in the country and we are ready to roll out any further statements to improve this.”
She added that wetlands remain one of the country’s vital ecosystems that have traditionally provided a wide range of ecological goods and services.
Ms Sidange said the recent Cabinet announcement confirms the country’s obligation to prioritize meaningful wetland protection.
She said that the sustainable management of wetlands was a major outcome of the National Development Strategy (NDS1), and therefore the protection and restoration of wetlands remains a key catalyst in achieving the aspirations of the master plan.
“To this end, the National Wetland Master Plan is essential for improving integrated wetland management by taking a landscape approach in developing a range of sustainable strategies in the management of these vital ecological systems,” said Mrs Sidange.
“Some of the steps that can be taken to achieve this include, but are not limited to, integrating wetlands into local plans to shape current and future developments that do not compromise the integrity of wetlands.
Others integrate wetlands into watershed and river basin planning, as they remain an integral part of water management at the river basin scale “.
She said it was essential to integrate wetlands into disaster management, as they play a central role in flood management, mitigation of soil erosion, pacification of the impacts of climate change and additionally act as buffers against veld fires, among other related functions.
Ms Sidange said that if properly managed, wetlands could fit well into the protection of livelihoods, life and property and could add non-consuming economic tourism.
“The sustainable management of wetlands remains a deliberate and unavoidable ploy to ensure that wetlands continue to provide goods and services in optimum quantity and quality, to support biodiversity and life on earth,” she said. .