MDC leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday called on Parliament to enact legislation to criminalise the destruction of wetlands and the indiscriminate cutting-down of trees.
Speaking in Norton where he planted a tree to mark the national tree planting day, Chamisa said the tobacco industry must recover, but not at the cost of the environment.
He urged farmers to invest in solar energy to preserve vegetation.
“The constitution of Zimbabwe, section 73 gives certain fundamental environmental rights and obligations,” he said.
“At law, the State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights set out in this section.
“Authorities and Parliament need to show seriousness by enacting legislation to criminalise the destruction of wetlands and the indiscriminate cutting-down of trees.
“There should be stiffer penalties to deter the offenders. We need sustainable afforestation projects.”
Chamisa added: “We aim to plant two million trees annually until 2026 and even beyond. All our cities, towns, villages and communities must be climate smart, making Zimbabwe a wholly green country by 2026.”
He urged people to make planting trees a culture.
“Trees contribute to the environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, sequestering carbon, protecting biodiversity, preventing soil erosion and supporting wildlife,” Chamisa said.
He named the tree he planted yesterday the “New Zimbabwe Democracy tree”.