Talent Chimutambgi and Tanyaradzwa Rusike
Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira yesterday announced the appointment of a new 10-member Environment Management Board led by Ambassador Florence Chideya.
Ambassador Chideya will be deputised by Mr Christopher Chitindi. Other members of the board are Mr Abraham Matiza, Mr Irvine Kunene, Ms Juliet Chiketa, Mr Leon Muoni, Ms Molline Mayahle, Mr Nickel Mushangwe, Ms Sheila Sidambe and Mr Tinofara Hove.
Minister Mupfumira challenged the board to ensure that the agency realises its mandate to ensure the sustainable utilisation of natural resources as well as the protection of the environment. “The agency is expected to come up with plans to control pollution, loss of biodiversity and land degradation in fulfilment of its obligations as Government’s environmental watchdog,” she said.
She said the environment was facing a myriad of challenges owing to rapid increases in population.
“There is no doubt that our generation has been facing a wide range of environmental challenges since the turn of the century.
“The findings of the latest global environmental assessment report indicate that our planet is increasingly getting populated leading to climate change, losing biodiversity at a high rate, and witnessing high rates of deforestation, ecosystem and land degradation, among others,” said Minister Mupfumira.
She singled out human beings as the main perpetrators of environmental degradation.
Minister Mupfumira said the board members were chosen in recognition of their capabilities. “All individuals that form part of this board have been individually selected for their various skills, expertise and experience which are fit to guide the agency in performing its mandate to its fullest potential,” she said.
She urged the new board members to work towards addressing the challenges affecting the environment.
“I therefore implore the board to pay particular attention to topical issues such as wetland protection and preservation, the national drive towards a clean, safe and healthy environment through proper solid and liquid waste management as well as protection and rehabilitation of our natural environment from the adverse impact of the extractive mineral resource industry,” said Minister Mupfumira.
In her acceptance speech, board chairperson Ambassador Chideya pledged to discharge her duties in line with the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act and the mandate bestowed on the board by the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27).