Wildlife Policy Review Consultations
The Government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry (MECTHI), with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing a 6-year Global Environmental Facility project. The title of the project is “Strengthening Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management and Climate Smart- Landscapes in the Mid to Lower Zambezi Region of Zimbabwe known as the Zambezi Valley Biodiversity Project. One of the outputs of the project is to review and update the national policy and regulatory framework in accordance with the new Zimbabwe Constitution and national development priorities. The policies and legislation to be reviewed include the National Wildlife Policy, the Parks and Wildlife Act, and forest legislation.
MECHTI with support from UNDP commissioned a review of the Zimbabwe Wildlife Policy of 1992. The review process will include the following:
(i) Review of conservation practices, nationally, locally, and internationally and get an understanding of recommendations from international protocols and treaties for the purpose of discerning best practices, and
(ii) Consultations with key stakeholders to understand existing constraints, legal bottlenecks and opportunities in national conservation practices.
An inception report has been produced and consultations of key stakeholders in major wildlife areas will be conducted.
Objectives for the regional consultative workshops
1. Define national wildlife conservation principles, vision, goals and strategies; Establish synergies and areas of complementarity with other relevant sectoral policies to ensure consideration of cross-cutting issues; and
2. Build consensus among beneficiaries and key stakeholders and thus establish ownership and public confidence in the formulation process to enhance chances of implementation;
- All stakeholders understand the national wildlife conservation vision, principles and strategies
- Stakeholders have confidence and a sense of ownership on the review process of the Wildlife Policy and formulation of the HWC Policy and give input
Methodology and Approach
The consultants have carried out an extensive review of the following literature;
- Relevant national laws:- the Parks and Wildlife Act (Chapter 20:14, the Forest Act (Chapter 19:07), the Communal Land Forest Produce Act (Chapter: 19:04), Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27), Rural District Councils Act (Chapter 29:13), and the Water Act (Chapter 20:24), National Environment Policy and Strategies of 2009 and the Draft Forest Policy of 2017.
- The current body of knowledge on wildlife and fisheries management is based on research and science in Zimbabwe.
- Relevant wildlife policies, laws, practices, protocols, agreements and current body of knowledge on wildlife and fisheries management in the Southern African region and at the international level. SADC conservation protocols include the SADC Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement (1999), SADC Fisheries Protocol, SADC Forestry Protocol, SADC Protocol on Shared water Courses, and SADC Protocol on Development and Tourism. The consultants have looked at SADC Agreements on Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs).
In addition, the consultants are looking at the human-wildlife conflict (HWC) issues in the country. HWC is very costly and frustrating to communities that live with wildlife. The consultants are also reviewing literature in relation to HWC in SADC countries and beyond. In order to get input from communities in HWC hotspots, the consulting team will conduct meetings with communities after holding other stakeholder meetings.
The Consultants have used information from the reviews, particularly best practice approaches to do a gap analysis of the 1992 Zimbabwe Wildlife Policy. This has formed the basis for the review of the 1992 Policy and to come up with a Draft for the reviewed Policy (Draft Policy). The Terms of Reference of the consultants also require that the Draft Policy forms the framework for consultations with the stakeholders.
Five stakeholder consultative workshops will be held for the review of the 1992 Zimbabwe Policy for Wildlife. Three of the workshops are regional and are designed to cover major wildlife production areas in the country from which participating stakeholders will be drawn. One workshop is proposed for Tsholotsho, a human-wildlife conflict (HWC) hotspot area. A validation workshop will be held in Harare.
The regional workshop locations have also been designed to be central to the major wildlife management areas in the country.