Zimbabwe is losing at least 260 000 hectares of forests annually mainly due to firewood harvesting, farming, mining and urbanisation, among other activities.
This was said by Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Mangaliso Ndlovu while addressing the 2021 graduation ceremony at the Forest Industry Training Centre and Zimbabwe College of Forestry in Mutare.
Ndlovu said forests play an important in regulating the climate and there was an urgent need to address deforestation. He said:
The main causes of this deforestation include logging, fuelwood harvesting, unsustainable agricultural activities, mining, urbanization, timber production and forest fires.
The importance of forests cannot be overemphasized. More than 70 per cent of people in Africa live in rural areas and depend much on forestry resources for some part of their livelihood.
Zimbabwe’s forest resources also contribute about three to four per cent of the gross domestic product.
The graduation ceremony was held under the theme ‘Promoting a green economy through Forestry training’.
The graduates included 35 men and women who were certified by the faculty as qualifying to receive certificates and diplomas.