National Legislation

Environmental Legislation in Zimbabwe

Environmental legislation is administered by various Government Departments in various ministries. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism, however, administers most of those acts that deal with the environment directly. Zimbabwe is different from most Southern African countries in that its environmental legislation is comprehensive, and covers all the most important areas. There are nearly 20 Acts and nearly 40 statutory laws that are used in the country. Of the most important include the Natural Resources Act (1941), Forest Act (1949), Harzoudous Substances and Articles Act (1977), Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act (1971) Water Act (1976) and Communal Land Act (1982). The absence of a framework law or umbrella legislation has not made any stumbling blocks or draw backs in enforcement.

Zimbabwe and UNFCCC

The Government of Zimbabwe signed the UNFCCC at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and ratified it on 5 November 1992. It is committed to fulfil its obligations as laid in the Convention. The country has accepted the global principle of common and differentiated responsibility. Further, Zimbabwe has adopted the precautionary and 'no regrets' principle. This implies early appropriate action to be taken so as to mitigate possible future climate change damage. However, the implementation of these actions is a function of the prevailing economic climate, especially now that Zimbabwe is bracing itself for a harsh second phase of the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme. In a bid to meet its obligations enshrined in the Convention, Zimbabwe has identified the following areas for appropriate actions:
  • compilation and periodic updating of sources and sinks of greenhouse;
  • mapping out of policies, strategies and programmes which are concomitant with the objectives the Climate Change Convention;
  • putting in place of supporting relevant measures such as human resources, research and development public awareness and education and
  • a framework for producing and submitting the national communication to the COP timely.

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