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-ZBC News Online

The National Dialogue on Eco-Tourism and Renewable Energy Conference being hosted by the Zimbabwean government and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is underway in the resort city of Victoria Falls with climate change adaptation in the tourism industry high on the agenda.

The Eco-Tourism conference which runs from the 28th to the 30th of April will also see delegates unpacking the country’s Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) and prioritised mitigation options in the tourism industry.

Speaking at the event the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Hon Mangaliso Ndlovu upheld Zimbabwe’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Although Zimbabwe has remained a low Green House Gas (GHG) emitter contributing less than 0.05% of global emissions, the country is committed to reducing its carbon footprint across all economic sectors of the economy as reiterated by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa in his Speech at the Climate Action Summit in December 2020,he said.

The Minister also challenged Victoria Falls to champion activities that are environment friendly and use that in its quest to become a marketable tourist destination.

It is time that the tourism sector sees the opportunities that come from embracing a green economy and not envision these externalities as a cost to their profitability. Victoria Falls can be the first of one such destinations in Southern Africa to be termed a green tourist destination and help champion the country’s economic recovery,he added.

Among those attending the national dialogue include policy makers, researchers, senior government officials, tourism players, executives from various state-owned companies, civic society representatives and environmentalists.

The conference is being held at a time Zimbabwe and UNDP are in the the final stages of implementing the 3-year Support Towards Implementing Zimbabwe’s National Determined Contributions (STIZ-NDC) project under the Paris Agreenent on Climate Change.

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