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Vic Falls Becomes Green Destination

by Patrick Chitumba

THE resort town of Victoria Falls has become the first green destination in Africa a plus for the natural wonder that will help it attract more tourists.

Launching the Victoria Falls Green Fund at the Victoria Falls rainforest last week, Environmental and Natural Resources Management Minister Francis Nhema said it was essential to maintain the resort's World Heritage Status.

The VFGF is an initiative by Environment Africa and its partners to encourage conservation and community development in and around Victoria Falls.

"The fund is meant to protect Victoria Falls not only as a natural wonder but as a world heritage site.

"Remember it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and every development should b connected to its natural resource base.

"Tourists want to visit areas that are natural and not artificial.

"They want a natural environment, a natural state and a natural habitat and, therefore, the need for us all today to embrace this initiation and take it to other parts of the country before we go regionally and internationally.

"We have lost a lot of species, trees and it is important to rehabilitate our natural environment, to protect it against environmental degradation and to restore its natural state," he said.

Minister Nhema said this would also combat the negative effects of climate change.

He said the fund would ensure all food served in hotels and homes, and the linen and furniture used would all be produced using environmentally friendly means.

EA chief executive officer Ms Charlene Hewitt said: "Together with all sectors of the society we have the opportunity to drive environmental change in our desire to become a worldwide recognised green destination and to improve living standards in our local communities through ensuring that the environment is used sustainably."

Earlier on Minister Nhema, Chief Tsholostho, Chief Mvutu, Chief Nelukoba and Chief Nekatambe were in Mpisi Village for a ceremonial ritual to celebrate the signing of the Zimbabwe-Integrated Development Plan for the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

Chief Mvutu visited a shrine were he underwent the traditional ceremony of honoring the ancestors by bringing the project to them for their blessing.

The IDP means Zimbabwe joins other countries in the park Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and Angola in completing their components.

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