Vice President John Landa Nkomo says government through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management is actively working towards the establishment and maintenance of adequate environmental protection standards and the conservation and protection of natural resources.
Officially opening the inaugural Environment Expo in Harare, Vice President Nkomo said Zimbabwe is currently facing a host of environmental problems which are affecting economic development, among them poaching, deforestation, land degradation, pollution, veldt fires and climate change.
He said government is working to establish and maintain adequate environmental standards through policies to ensure conservation is treated as an integral part of planning and implementation of development projects.
â€œGovernment ensures that compensation is provided should substantial environmental damages occur even where the activities were not known to be harmful at the time they were undertaken,â€ said VP Nkomo.
Turning to the expo, Vice President Nkomo said the exhibitors reflect a genuine commitment by all sectors of the economy to manage and protect the environment and natural resources.
He however challenged participants to apply what they are exhibiting for the sustenance of the environment.
Environment and Natural Resources Management Minister, Cde Francis Nhema said the Environment Expo will be an annual event meant to come up with big projects to protect the environment as well as educating the public on the importance of reducing and recycling waste into useable products.
The official launch of the expo was attended by a number of government ministers, senior government officials, non-governmental organisations, among other dignitaries.
The official opening of the expo was also marked by a tree planting session where Vice President Nkomo had an opportunity to plant a tree as a symbol of life and in accordance with the theme of the environment expo, â€œGreening the economy.â€