The Environmental Management Agency is exhibiting at the ongoing 108th edition of the Harare Agricultural Show, which started on the 27th of August 2018 and ends on the 1st of September 2018. The overall theme for the exhibition is “Field to Industry: Produce, Connect, Develop.”
According to the theme, Zimbabwe is an agro-based economy. Agriculture is a vital component of the nation’s industry as it provides the later with raw materials. In the end, after value addition, the manufacturing industry presents its finished products to the consumers. In as much as the industry needs agriculture for it to function well, it is reciprocal. The industry also provides the field with inputs and mechanical implements, hence it’s a mutual relationship.
In the same vein, the field, which is the major resource in agriculture production, can be endowed with minerals below the surface. The relationship between the field and the industry remains whereby both depend on each other. However, for that mutual relationship to last, the sustainability aspect comes in. Therefore, EMA customised its theme to “Field to Industry: Promoting Green production and Development”. Both extraction of minerals and agricultural production need to be done in a green and sustainable manner that causes little or no harm to the environment. By so doing, it follows that the same environment will be able to sustain generations and generations to come. In that way sustainable development becomes attainable.
What is sustainable development?
Sustainable development is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” with its interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars being economic development, social development and environmental protection.
In other words, sustainable development brings the balance between economic development and environmental management. For any development to take place, especially agriculture and mining related, there is definitely some disturbance to the environment, in most cases it is inevitable. Nevertheless, there are some best practices that can be employed to ensure that this kind of damage to the environment is minimised.
How can we ensure sustainability?
As EMA we interface with various players at various stages of development through our regulatory, monitoring and capacity building functions. Consequently, it is important that we see how the various stages of development can be influenced to ensure ethos and values of sustainable development are not compromised throughout the system.
Dangers to food production include understanding how veld fires can have a devastating effect on food security, when produce is lost to veld fires. The impact of veld fires is also felt in livestock production. Our legislative provision such as the EIA process is something that need to be understood if the benefits of value-chain production are to be realised. Sustainable mining and waste management also need to be embraced as we pursue economic development.
What to expect at EMA’s exhibition stand
EMA is showcasing its environmental projects and how they contribute to sustainable agricultural and industrial production and development. These projects include Wetlands projects, climate smart projects, and Agro Forestry projects. The thrust of the exhibition will be to showcase statistically, how these have assisted communities to improve their livelihood options and made a contribution to national economic and industrial development.
Veld fire management are showcased, focusing on how they affect agricultural production, particularly in light of command Agriculture and Command Livestock government initiated programs. EMA interventions with regards to veld fire management like hay baling, grass combing and fire guard construction are being showcased as they have contributed to agricultural production or its sustainability.
Sustainable Mining and Greener Production Processes are being showcased focusing on the Environmental Impact Assessment process as it relates to development programs. Visitors will also be appraised on latest interventions by the Agency in promoting sustainable mining practices particularly within the small scale mining sector. As has become the tradition the EMA laboratory will also be showcasing the various services that it offers to both to the Agriculture and mining sector. You are therefore invited to the EMA stand and get a full understanding of how EMA contributes to sustainable development.