Harnessing Innovation for Climate Action: A Quadruple Celebration in Buhera District


Compiled by Tildar Nyakunu

The serene grounds of St. Albans Chiweshe Primary School in Buhera District buzzed with energy and purpose as the Ministry of Environment, Climate, and Wildlife, alongside parastatals and partners, orchestrated a momentous event on 26 March 2024.

This day marked a confluence of four significant international observances linked to environmental protection, namely Africa Environment Day, International Day of Forests, World Meteorological Services Day, and World Wildlife Day. Running under the overarching theme of “Harnessing Innovation for Climate Action and a Resilient Future,” the  celebrations saw communities coming together for a quadruple celebration dedicated to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Guest of honor, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, graced the event and with a symbolic gesture of hope and commitment to preserving nature, officially inaugurated the ceremony by planting a muHwahwa tree.

Although the event drew a diverse crowd, with people from all walks of life converging for the joint celebrations, it was the presence of eager school children that truly illuminated the occasion. Their participation, facilitated by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) supported by  Terre des hommes (TDH), showcased a promising future generation deeply engaged in environmental advocacy. Also notable were women and girls who, underscoring the inclusive nature of the gathering, actively showcased their wares on the day.  

Various stakeholders, including the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZIMPARKS) and the Forestry Commission, also set up informative displays. From majestic lions to industrious bees in their hives, attendees were treated to firsthand experiences of Zimbabwe’s biodiversity. Additionally, the Forestry Commission provided insights into the resilience of small grains in the face of climate change-induced challenges, emphasizing the importance of sustainable agricultural practices.

Amidst the festivities, recognition was given to individuals who completed training programs in fish farming a testament to the community’s dedication to exploring innovative solutions for economic empowerment while preserving aquatic ecosystems.

The celebrations were clouded, though, by the grim reality of human-wildlife conflict. Thus, attendees were reminded of the need to strike a careful balance between conservation efforts and preserving human lives and livelihoods.

As the day drew to a close, a spirit of unity and collective responsibility pervaded the atmosphere. Calls for familial love and solidarity resonated, reinforcing the notion that the protection of our environment is intrinsically linked to our well-being as individuals and communities.

In a gesture of commitment to environmental protection, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the Forestry Commission distributed computers, motorcycles, and bicycles for community environmental monitoring efforts, a tangible investment in equipping local stakeholders with the tools needed to safeguard their natural heritage.

Looking ahead, the Zimbabwe Diamonds and Allied Workers Union (ZIDAWU) Youth Hub outlined a proactive agenda, including the dissemination of event insights among peers, active youth engagement in environmental management, and community education initiatives focused on mitigating human-wildlife conflicts.

The quadruple celebration in Buhera District served as a beacon of hope and inspiration, underscoring the transformative power of collective action in confronting the environmental challenges of our time. Gratitude is extended to ZELA and TDH for enabling the participation of young people to attend this important national and momentous event, laying the groundwork for continued collaboration and progress in environmental conservation efforts across Zimbabwe.

Reviewed by Cosmas Sunguro

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