The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has launched a new environmentally conscious initiative for Mana Pools National Park code-named â€œCarry In-Carry Outâ€ that will see the authority enforcing an effective refuse collection system in the wildlife area.
A first of its kind in Africa, the Carry In-Carry Out initiative requires visitors the Park to take their waste such as bottles, cans and plastics out of the park with them when they leave.
Officially launching the refuse collection programme, Environment and Natural Resources Management Permanent Secretary, Ms Florence Nhekairo said the initiative is part of Zimbabwe National Parkâ€™s mission to improve the sustainability of its parks and to enhance their attractiveness to all visitors.
“Parks officials will be better able to focus on park maintenance and education programmes by not having as much rubbish to collect, less fuel will be needed to keep incinerators running thereby reducing our carbon footprint,” she said.
The ‘Carry In-Carry Out’ project which has been adopted by many parks in Europe and North America has its roots in the ‘Leave No Trace Environmental Movement’ centering on low impact sustainable practices that began in the US in the late 1960s.
The project which has been on trial since March 2011 will see all tourists into Mana Pools receiving a complimentary refuse bag which they are supposed to use and carry out of the park for correct disposal.
The initiative which is expected to be introduced in other national parks before the end of the year started in Mana Pools as it has the biggest concentration of wildlife and attracts international tourists from all over the world.