Zimbabwean Biodiversity stakeholders convened for the fourth national report on the CARTAGENA protocol on biosafety amidst heightening calls for better biodiversity conservation standards as the world seeks mitigation of climate change.
The CARTAGENA convention was considered in Nairobi, Kenya, May 1992, opened for signatures at the United Nations Conference on Environment (UNCED) of June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil before it’s formalisation in December 1993.
The protocol is vital in the governance of trade in living organisms with over 195 country’s having signed and Zimbabwe having ratified in 2005 and constitutionally synched the process through the National Biotechnology ACT 14 of 2006 with the aim of safeguarding biodiversity in a technological world.
Biodiversity remains key in addressing the effects of climate change with the convention availing a platform from which Zimbabwe can be better placed to strategies it’s biodiversity standards while enhancing ease of doing business.
“We have to understand that biodiversity conservation is a broad area that calls for a collaborated approach within higher and tertiary education departments especially at a time the President has availed the innovation hubs at most universities. There is need for our institutions to springboard research on biodiversity at a time the world is affected by climate change.” The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development , Professor Fanuel Tagwira said.
The convention avails a clear benchmark from which country’s can individually plan on biodiversity conservation, structure in transit biodiversity management mechanisms and protects them from other countries actions that affect their biodiversity.
“The world of biodiversity has a wide scope. As we are aware African Ministerial leaders are gathered in Hwange for the Elephant Conference, that is all biodiversity, our grains and most food products are all part of biodiversity. As such the convention, National Biotechnology Authority, as well as the report we are gathered to finalize have a bearing on our country’s success in biodiversity conservation. Dr Dexter Savadye, the NBA CEO said.
The fourth report by the NBA is for the period 2016 to 2019 and was due for submission in 2020 despite the global COVID 19 pandemic having affected the efficient implementation of the process, resultant in the delay.
“The report is the fourth since Zimbabwe ratified the CARTAGENA protocol and is for the period between 2016 to 2019. However, owing to the COVID 19 we failed to meet the deadline and hence we are here gathered.” Proffesor Florence Mtambanengwe, the NBA board Chairperson said.
The draft report which was implemented by NBA and a consultant, Professor Parwira shall be submitted to the United Nations Secretariat met agreements from stakeholders who included ministerial representatives, seed manufacturing companies, tertiary education representatives despite lacking environmental civic society representatives and development partners.
The report comes at a time the world commemorated biodiversity day this week and the quest to address the effects of climate change continually gathers global momentum as natural normalcies change.