Zimbabwe, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme has embarked on a two-week apiculture training programme for rural communities meant to save the country’s forests.
Supported by the Russia government, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) programme, under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, will see Bulilima wards 8 and 22 benefiting.
Climate change mitigation expert Lawrence Mashungu said the project would enable the country meet its NDC targets.
“It is important to have a functional and effective MRV [Measuring, Reporting and Verification] framework in place to facilitate partnerships with investors and companies. This also enables opening up investments, collaboration and technological exchange for low emission development,” he said.
“The total annual greenhouse gases emissions for the country in 2015 summed up to 22.0 MtCO2e, which constitutes 0.045% of the global emissions … the country was reported to be losing approximately 312 900 hectares of forest per year from a total of 257 783km² during the period 1990 and 2000.”
Mashungu said this amounted to an average annual deforestation rate of 1,41%, between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change increased by 16,4% to 1,64% per annum.
“This loss of biodiversity can compromise the contributions of the indigenous forests to climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration affecting carbon and nitrogen cycles and livelihoods sustainability,” he said.
“Most rural communities in Zimbabwe, however, still have dense natural and artificial forests which need to be maintained and enhanced so as to enhance the carbon sequestration capacity for Zimbabwe.
“These forests can also support beekeeping, but the challenge is the lack of capacity of communities to kick start such ventures, the knowledge on how to operate at optimum levels and produce sustainable yields. In the past, traditional methods have been used for beekeeping which have resulted in increased deforestation and forest degradation due to the unsustainable use of tree barks to construct beehives.”
There has been rampant deforestation and forest degradation as communities seek firewood, wood for construction, clear land for agriculture and wood fuel for brick-moulding.
Increased veld fires have also affected forests.
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