Elita Chikwati in Victoria Falls
President Mnangagwa will today officially open the inaugural African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) Wildlife Economy Summit which presents a platform to strategise on unlocking value from wildlife in the continent.
He arrived here yesterday afternoon.
Representatives from 30 other African countries and international delegates are also expected to attend the summit.
Key issues expected to be deliberated on at the summit include unlocking investments and the power of wildlife economy, how to create an enabling environment for investment in an African wildlife economy, transformative potential of the wildlife economy, opportunity for Africa including economic and social justice benefits and how to move to scale the challenge.
Delegates are also expected to discuss what should be done to unlock the power of communities as partners and exploration of key innovations that can unlock new economic benefits with public and private partnerships.
Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira said the inaugural AU/UN Wildlife Summit presents Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) nations an opportunity to share views on unlocking value from wildlife.
KAZA is situated in Southern Africa where the national borders of five countries converge — being the upper Zambezi River and Okavango basins and Delta, the Caprivi Strip of Namibia, the south-eastern part of Angola, south-western Zambia, the northern wildlands of Botswana and western Zimbabwe.
It is home to 61 percent of the world elephant population.
She was happy that Zimbabwe was hosting the first ever AU-UN Africa Wildlife Summit and was looking forward to a successful conference.
“Zimbabwe is in the KAZA region and KAZA boasts hosting over 60 percent of the world’s elephant population,” she said.
“We will discuss how wildlife impacts the ordinary people and how we can manage human-wildlife conflict.
“We want to come up with resolutions which will be good for conservation and make sure people living with wildlife also benefit.
“There will be various international speakers and our own Zimbabweans will contribute in the deliberations,” she said.
Minister Mupfumira said elephants were a symbol of success in conservation strategies in the region and a key draw card to the tourism industry.
“The summit is most opportune to reflect on this important species as well as recalibrate strategies to ensure that appropriate benefits accrue to nations and respective communities,” she said.
Source : The Herald