Vice President John Nkomo has called for extensive scientific research into the status of bio-divesity in Zimbabwe and the threat of climate change resulting from global warming.
This yearâ€™s World Tourism Day commemorations which were held in Victoria Falls this week were marked by a number of activities in the resort town, including a cleanup campaign and a march aimed at raising awareness amongÂ the public on the importance of tourism and its contribution to the economy.
Guest of Honour at the commemorations, Vice President Nkomo emphasised the need for extensive research into the status of the countryâ€™s bio-diversity, considering that this directly affects the countryâ€™s wildlife-based tourism industry.
He noted: â€œAlthough the tourism sector is one of the four pillars of economic development, it is under threat from human activities and climate change as a result of global warming, hence the need for all stakeholders including local communities, to practice conservation farming among other environmentally-friendly measures.â€
Cde Nkomo however raised concern at the alarming rate at which veldt fires are destroying human and animal life as well as the ecosytem.
He underscored the importance of the commemorations in creating awareness of preserving the environment.
The Vice President said the theme for the World Tourism Day this year, which is â€˜Tourism and Bio-diversityâ€™, is important considering that human activity is contributing tremendously to the destruction of bio-diversity, hence the need for controlled human activity.
The Governor and Resident Minister of Matabeleland North province, Cde Thokozile Mathuthu spoke strongly on the need for all Zimbabweans to protect and conserve the environment, adding that a decline in animal and vegetation varieties will have a direct influence in tourist arrivals, leading to a reduction in government revenue.
Cde Mathuthu said the last two months have seen an increase in the number of tourist arrivals in the resort town of Victoria Falls, and urged Zimbabweans to strive to maintain bio-diversity, which is the backbone of tourism in the country.
Zimbabwe has this year gone a step further by designating the whole month of September as Tourism Month, in a move aimed at seeking strategies to develop and ensure growth of the sector as well as demonstrating the countryâ€™s commitment towards the cause of preserving the countryâ€™s bio-diversity.