MDC president Nelson Chamisa yesterday planted a tree in Norton to mark the national tree planting day which is observed on the first Saturday of December every year. Chamisa called for stiff penalties against those who destroy wetlands and cut trees unnecessarily. He further urged farmers to invest in solar energy as a measure to reduce deforstation. He planted what he named ‘The New Democracy Tree’. Chamisa had this to say
The constitution of Zimbabwe, section 73 gives certain fundamental environmental rights and obligations… At law, the State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights set out in this section.
Authorities and Parliament need to show seriousness by enacting legislation to criminalise the destruction of wetlands and the indiscriminate cutting-down of trees… There should be stiffer penalties to deter the offenders. We need sustainable afforestation projects.
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We aim to plant two million trees annually until 2026 and even beyond. All our cities, towns, villages and communities must be climate smart, making Zimbabwe a wholly green country by 2026.
Trees contribute to the environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, sequestering carbon, protecting biodiversity, preventing soil erosion and supporting wildlife.