ZIMBABWE STATEMENT BY HON. O.C.Z MUCHINGURI – KASHIRI; MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE DURING THE PARTNERSHIP DIALOGUE 5: INCREASING ECONOMIC BENEFITS FOR SIDS AND LDCs AND PROVIDING ACCESS FOR SMALL – SCALE ARTISANAL FISHERS TO MARINE RESOURCES AND MARKETS.
Co-Chairs, Your Excellencies
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country that takes the implementation of SDG 14 seriously. The country has extensive inland water resources with over 10 000 medium to large dams. In these inland water bodies, there are over 50,000 small scale artisanal fisheries with fishing permits. These small scale artisanal fisheries are contributing significantly to achievement of SDG goals (number 2 and 3) which focus on ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and ensuring healthy lives and well-being for our people. The main players in small scale fisheries in Zimbabwe are women and youths organized into fishing cooperatives. For us to achieve the targets of SDGs 2 and 3, there is need for countries to take drastic measures in ensuring that the targets of SDG 14 are met.
Co – Chairs
While Zimbabwe recognizes the importance of the small scale fisheries sector, Government notes that the sector is unable to meet the country’s national fish demand owing to a number of factors. Key among the challenges include limited technical expertise especially to develop bankable projects, limited fish stocks and limited financial resources. As a way of addressing these challenges, the Government came with a National Fisheries Policy that provides an enabling environment for the sector to grow. From this Policy, we have initiated a Command Fisheries Programme aimed at enhancing food and nutrition security, creation of employment opportunities, improving accessibility to fisheries resources and building the resilience of local communities against the effects of climate change.
As a way of promoting sustainable utilisation of fisheries, Zimbabwe has put in place mechanisms to ensure that communities are benefiting economically from the resource. We believe the only way to ensure sustainability is to incentivise communities and include them in all decision making processes in fisheries management. My Government has embarked on a Command Fisheries Programme which will be largely driven by rural communities mostly women and youths at small scale artisanal fisheries level. In order to make this programme sustainable, the Government has partnered private sector and NGOs to provide technical expertise on breeding and managing the fish stocks.
In an effort to promote the growth of the fisheries sector in Zimbabwe, the Government is in the process of introducing fisheries studies in the national curricula at primary educational level as well as vocational training centres. So far 6 fisheries research centres have been established throughout the country and the Government is in the process of establishing more research centres. These research centres will assist in the propagation of fingerlings and fisheries development in the country.
In conclusion, the Government of Zimbabwe remains fully committed to supporting small scale fisheries so that they reach their potential in contributing to the national economies. As such Co – Chairs, may I take this opportunity to invite stakeholders in the business of promoting small scale fisheries to partner Zimbabwe as we strive to grow our fisheries sector which we believe can contribute towards achievement of the SDG 14 targets.
I thank you Co – Chairs
For more details on sustainable fisheries management in Zimbabwe, please contact the following;
The Director General
Mr. Geoffreys Matipano
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority
Corner Borrowdale Road and Sandringham Drive
Box CY 140
Telephone: +263 772 116 389