REMARKS BY THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE HON. S KASUKUWERE, (MP) PERTAINING THE APPOINTMENT OF THE ZIMBABWE PARKS AND WILDLIFE AUTHORITY BOARD; 20 JUNE 2014.
Ladies and Gentlemen
We are here today for the announcement of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Board of Directors. The new Board is expected to guide the Authority in delivering its mandate in terms of its strategic plan and ZIMASSET.
The Board comes at a time when the sector is facing challenges such as poaching, uncontrolled fires and illegal settlements within the Parks Estates. There is organized commercial poaching targeting species of high economic value such as elephants and rhinos. Only last year we lost over a hundred elephants to poachers in Hwange and I am happy that perpetrators were brought to book. What still worries me is that the major financiers for such operations are still out there.
The Authority is facing challenges related to mining activities that not only threaten our wildlife, but leave vast tracks of degraded land.
It also comes at a time when the implementation of the Wildlife Based Land Reform Policy has picked momentum. All these challenges require a visionary and competent Board to give ZIMPARKS the much needed strategic direction for the next four years.
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE BOARD
At your first Board meeting, I urge you to thoroughly probe issues ZIMPARKS is grappling with in terms of operational challenges which have hindered its ability to effectively execute its mandate.
The Authority has just developed a strategic plan which will guide its operations into the future.
The Board is expected to oversee the implementation of this plan and where necessary, review and align it with the Authority’s national aspirations as spelt out in the Zim-Asset.
As you would all know, ladies and gentlemen, ZIMPARKS’ main asset is Wildlife, that is, both flora and fauna. To that end I will look up to the Board to draw up sustainable and viable management strategies that would ensure improved revenue streams into the Authority. However, revenue generation should not be done at the expense of conservation.
Zimbabwe has around 70 tonnes stockpiles of ivory and 5 tonnes of rhino horn which we cannot trade because of our international obligations to CITES.
This is one area where I expect the Board to devise some strategies of benefication involving local communities, so that we could get some revenue from these stocks and be able to support our conservation efforts.
Wildlife is the basis of tourism in this country and I expect this Board to ensure that it continues to support the tourism industry.
You have come at a time when Save Valley Conservancy is now under Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and as such, my expectation is to see a smooth integration of this area into mainstream Parks Estates.
I will also expect the Board to grow the Authority’s revenue base through the expansion and development of the strategic business units. I expect new joint venture initiatives to be forged. I also expect you to ensure we restock our dams so as to enhance our fishing industry. These activities are provided for in the Parks and Wildlife Management Act. The Board is expected to promote value addition as spelt out in our Zim-Asset.
The Board will need to come up with modern and efficient ways of strengthening the authority’s human resource base with a view to retaining professional staff and coming up with motivation strategies for the critical staff.
I also expect the Board inculcate a business culture in ZIMPARKS through the implementation of the Performance Management System and Result Based Management. As a Board, I expect you to ensure that our staff are trained in business development skills.
In conclusion, I would therefore want to implore the new Board to live up to the task. The task ahead is huge, the road will not be smooth and the going maybe arduous, but I am positive that through our collective effort and unity of purpose, we will deliver. I wish you the BEST!
I THANK YOU