Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT has approved proposals to re-focus and revitalise the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire).
Cabinet noted that a widely consultative review process that was conducted in 2016, revealed that Campfire was experiencing institutional, operational, legal and external challenges while being highly dependent on hunting revenue, which generates 90 percent of its total revenue.
To guarantee proper regulation and enforcement of the stakeholder benefits and to resolve current misunderstandings between rural district councils and the producer communities, Cabinet concurred on the need to ensure that Campfire becomes more efficient and induces economic growth in line with Vision 2030.
In her post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the proposal will result in an improvement in manner in which Campfire is run including and further operationalising the devolution concept.
“Implementing the proposals will result in a more effective and transparent Campfire that will benefit communities and further operationalise the devolution concept. The Campfire initiative targets the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wildlife and other natural resources as livelihood options for rural communities,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“Furthermore, the Campfire model is highly dependent on hunting revenue, which generates 90 percent of the total revenue. There is need for diversification if the programme is to remain viable.”
Cabinet noted that the Campfire programme should diversify into other activities, such as photographic safaris, ecotourism, and bird viewing to widen the revenue base and explore alternative markets for trophy hunting.
“In order to guarantee the proper regulation and enforcement of the stakeholder benefits and to resolve current misunderstandings between Rural District Councils and the producer communities, Cabinet agreed on the need to ensure that the Campfire becomes more efficient and induces economic growth in line with Vision 2030,” she said.
Cabinet thus approved that a Statutory Instrument on Campfire Regulations be enacted clearly spelling out, among other things, the definition of Appropriate Authority status and roles, Appropriate Authority conferment procedures and revocation, producer communities, revenue sharing mechanisms and ratios, and accountability and institutional arrangements for a renewed Campfire Model.
Cabinet also resolve that the Parks and Wildlife Act, and the Environmental Management Act will be aligned to the Constitution, and that the provisions on the clear roles and responsibilities of ZimParks as regulator of the Campfire programme be incorporated.
Cabinet also directed that appropriate SOP for Campfire and Community-Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) be established.
To attract improved funding flows to Campfire the existing laws will be strengthened to compel Campfire to establish credible systems.
“In addition, a practitioners manual for Campfire and CBNRM in Zimbabwe will be developed by the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Cabinet also adopted revised Zimbabwe Agro-Ecological Zones that replace the outdated ones done between 1945 and 1960 to take into account the change in climatic conditions in the various regions since then.
The new revised Agro-Ecological Zones are expected to assist farmers in planning their activities and boost productivity as part of Government’s efforts to improve food self-sufficiency. The revised Agro-Ecological Zones were done locally and were presented to Cabinet by Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Amon Murwira.
“Based on the observed pattern of rainfall and temperature and their influence on agricultural practice, the revision of the Agro-Ecological Zones had two main objectives: (1) to redefine the Agro-Ecological Zones based on the current climate trend and recommend land-use practices for each zone, and (2) to develop an interactive software (Agro Zim mobile application) that would assist users of the updated Agro-Ecological Zones to get important spatially explicit information required to guide agricultural practice in Zimbabwe,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The Zimbabwe Agro-Ecological Zones map will be availed as a mobile application, bringing numerous benefits to farmers who will be able to access information related to their Agro-Ecological Zones; the appropriate land use; as well as the rainfall patterns, temperatures, and soil types of their areas; among other information.
The mobile application will be free to download and will be available on Google Play Store. — @mashnets