Green Associates UZ

Green Associates UZ The official page for the University of Zimbabwe Green Assosiates Club which aims at spreading the message on environmentalism.


Rebranding, Rebirth and growth has always been in the pipeline. We see the light at the end of the tunnel


the Green Associates was a creation of passionate and driven young people at the university of Zimbabwe. it broke many expectations, it shocked many people the extent to which the organisation broke into new frontiers.
the history and the potential of this grouping does not deserve the premature abandonment and dormancy that it has been subjected to.

the season of restoration is here, we will thrive and grow bigger. A team will be assembled and we will again contribute towards the healing of our nature


As carbon emissions continue un-halted worldwide, the effects of global warming are now upon us. The world's poorest communities are the hardest hit, and those in Africa are frequently experiencing extreme weather outside the natural variability of African climate. Zimbabwe has not been spared from the effects of global warming. According to the meteorological services of Zimbabwe, since 1987 the country has experienced its six warmest years on record, with daily minimum and maximum temperatures having risen by approximately 2°C over the past century. This has seen the country experience extremes of weather over the past two decades. We have had to deal with 10 droughts, decreased freshwater and destroyed biodiversity.

According to Zimbabwe Power Company, the water levels in Zimbabwe’s main lake, Lake Kariba, have dropped to below 30%, and this is seriously affecting power generation in the country. Hydropower contributes a significant proportion to the country’s electricity generation. Episodes of drought in the past few years coupled with changing rainfall patterns within the country have led to the decrease in Kariba’s water levels. The rains have become so erratic in some districts of the country that the United Nations Development Programme predicts agricultural production – Zimbabwe’s main livelihood source for nearly three quarters of the population – could decrease by up to 30%, which could lead to an increase in hunger and poverty.

In the past, Zimbabwe has shown great commitment to addressing climate change issues by being among the first countries to ratify the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Yet despite its support for climate issues, the country has failed to reduce the carbon emissions released by coal power stations. Zimbabwe continues to greatly rely on coal-powered thermal stations that emit large amounts of pollution. In order for Zimbabwe to reduce its emissions, the country needs to enact laws that promote the use of cleaner sources of energy, such as solar energy. The Zimbabwean Government needs to quickly push for a reduction in carbon emissions so as to foster a post-fossil-fuel society and introduce policies that allow for acclimatization to environmental changes.

Right now, solar power offers a good alternative source of energy for Zimbabwe. Research carried out by the International Energy Initiative shows that Zimbabwe receives on average good direct solar irradiation, which is far higher than that received in other countries within our region. It is important that momentum is not lost in exploring cheaper and cleaner sources of energy.

Climate change could mean significant loss for Zimbabwe. It is important that more research into how our locals can adapt to the changing weather patterns is done so that preventive measures can be undertaken in this area, as millions of people's lives are at stake, and the well-being and lives of vulnerable populations are on the frontline. Research indicates hat surface water resources within the country will reduce significantly by 2080, which will place a great part of Zimbabwe’s population at risk of water shortages. Western and southern parts of Zimbabwe are projected to experience drying up, leaving millions of Zimbabweans to face the resulting hunger and poverty.

As climate negotiators drawn from different countries meet in Paris for the COP21 conference, it is my sincere hope that they reach a concrete resolutions. The task largely rests with developed countries to show ambition and determination in order to find a solution that satisfies every country. These countries need to realise that in Africa we are not only interested in getting a climate deal that supports a reduction in carbon emissions, but we expect far more than that. Our expectation is that the issue of the impact of climate change on Africa be well addressed and included in the final agreement. The COP21 climate conference must also yield firm commitments from developed economies not only to reduce carbon emissions, but also to make funding available to developing countries such as Zimbabwe that will finance climate adaptation work.

Across Africa, many national governments are initiating adaptation programmes, which focus on mechanisms such as disaster risk management, public awareness, adjustments to relevant technologies and scientific-based approaches to farming. However, according to estimates by a 2013 United Nations Environment Programme study, most African countries cannot fund these projects and will require an increase in funding from developed countries.


Zimbabwe's National Environmental Policy is closely linked to its overal development policy and plans. Although this development model has been considered relatively successful, much of the country's natural resource base is being threatened by human activities. The present distribution of population, which is legacy from the colonial era, has had major environmental consequences. Large scale commercial farmers occupy most of the fertile highlands, while the majority of the population lives in the less productive communal areas. The communal lands, which encompass almost half of the country's land area, suffer from severe environmental degradation.

The country is relatively well endowed with natural resources (forest, agricultural lands, livestock, water resources, wildlife and minerals). The problems associated with the management of these resources are common to many African countries, for instance overgrazing, deforestation and soil erosion. Environmental degradation in the communal and resettled areas is a result of an increasing land shortage and poor management practices combined with a land tenure system which promotes overgrazing.Zimbabwe has a well developed and diversified industrial sector, but particularly the mining sector has damaged the environment. The unregulated establishment of mines has created large waste dumps, and runoff from these has contaminated soil and water bodies. Further, migration from the rural areas to the urban centres has led to overcrowding, but in contrast toother countries in the region, urban sanitation is adequate.

In many respects, Zimbabwe is one of the leading countries in Africa in terms of work on the environment. This for example is reflected in the economically important wildlife sector. Although some species are endangered due to habitat destruction, the country's rich wildlife resources have been well managed. A number of innovations, which hav epromoted sustainable utilisation of wildlife, could serve as a model for other countries. Environmentally sensitive areas have been designed and gazetted as national parks and forest reserves. However, the resource base in the communal and resettled areas are threatened, and the government recognises the need to introduce a more systematic approach to land resettlement. Environmental awareness is generally high, and a number of legislative acts deal with the need to protect the resource base. There is no lack of environmental legislation per se, but existing regulations are fragmented and difficult to enforce. This is also reflected in the large number of ministries responsible for enforcing environmental legislation. The National Response Conference to the Rio Earth Summit convened in Harare in late 1992 presented an elaborate set of future priorities. Building upon the National Conservation Strategy of 1987, the government is planning to develop a comprehensive Action Plan for the Environment.

Environmental Legislation and Institutions The environmental legislation of Zimbabwe will be examined in this chapter followed by a discussion of the main institutions that are responsible for its implementation. Environmental institutions have been broadly defined in this context, to include local institutions and NGOs in cases where these play an important role in envirnmental work.

The most important peice of legislation is the Natural Resources Act whose main objective is to control the use of resources. However, it cannot be applied in the communal areas which cover about half of the totalland area of Zimbabwe, since it is enforced via legal title to land. The land tenure system in the communal areas is based upon traditional usufruct rights, which makes the act ineffective in areas where it is needed the most. A number of other acts were originally made for the commercial areas, and are thus not suitable for the communal lands.

The implementation of the Mines and Minerals Act has also become quite controversial. Exploring the land resources formining can supersede the right of comesome already using the land for farming, without any compensation to the farmer. Once a miing claim is pegged all other acts cannot be considered. Supersession may be an acceptable feature of a legal system, however the supersession of a sustainable land use such as agriculture by surface mining that is dependent upon a non-renewable resource is a questionable practice from an environmental point of view. It has further proved difficult to enforce land reclamation after mining operations have ceased.

The country has adequate expertise capable of monitoring natural resource degradation, but less so far the regulation of industrial pollutants in the atmosphere and in water bodies. The implementation of the relevant acts (Hazardous Substances and Articles Act, Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act and the Water Act) is dependent pon accurate monitoring, which the government has not been able to carry out systematically due to lack of qualified manpower.

Generally, the enforcement of some of these acts is difficult due to the provision of exemptions which allow companies to pollute, in some cases, the various pieces of legislation are conflicting, which leads to further problems of implementation. In other words, there is no lack of legsilation per se, but the various laws are fragmented and a coherent national environmental policy in the form of umbrella legislation, has not yet been developed. One of the prominent and more interesting features of the Zimbabwe legislation is how the law has formalised popular participation. In some instances ministries are supposed to take the views of then local communities, (for example, district development committees, statutory local wildlife committees), into account before making decisions concerning the use of natural resources. A closely related legal innovation concerns the managment of wildlife resources. The utilisation of these resources is carefully regulated, even on private land. Thus, a landowner needs to license in order to hunt specific animals on his own land. Treaties and Conventions

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