Rampant poaching and deforestation remain major challenges hindering tourism development in Zimbabwe.

This came out during the launch of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Conservation Caucus in Harare on Friday.

In 2013 over 100 elephants were killed through cyanide poisoning at the Hwange National Park while animals continue to be at the mercy of poachers.

On the other hand trees are being used as a source of energy in areas where there is no electricity while some have been used tobacco drying.

Speaking at the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Conservation Caucus in Harare Tourism and Hospitality Industry Deputy Minister, Cde Anastancia Ndlovu said efforts are being made to counter biodiversity terrorism in order to promote the country’s tourism development.

The chairperson of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Conservation Caucus, Cde Wonder Mashange said the caucus is a platform to engage stakeholders in conservation programmes.

Zimbabwe has set a target to achieve a US$5 billion tourism economy by 2020.