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Firewood controls considered

Firewood controls considered

Firewood controls considered

A new bill aimed at protecting Zimbabwe’s natural timber resources has been tabled by the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management. The Firewood, Timber and Forest Produce Controls (SI 116/2012) has been designed to protect indigenous trees through the regulation of the use of wood for flue-curing tobacco as well as general purpose firewood.

The use of Msasa, Munondo and Mopane for flue curing tobacco will be prohibited except under stringent conditions while licenses will be required from the regulatory body, the Forestry Commission, for the sale of firewood and transportation of more than half a cubic meter of firewood.

Criminal penalties and fines will be levied against offenders found breaking the regulations, including the impounding of vehicles used to transport firewood. The regulations will be enforced by Forestry Commission officers and the Police while Forestry Commission and Rural District Council officers will be tasked with monitoring the implementation of the regulations on the ground.

“The new regulations will have the effect of reducing the rate of deforestation in Zimbabwe particularly in tobacco growing and peri-urban areas,” said the general manager of the Forestry Commission, Darlington Duwa.

Zimbabwe is considered to be in the top ten countries in the world most affected by deforestation with an average annual decline in forest cover of +1.4% or 313,000 hectares in the period 1990-2005. The estimated total deforestation for the entire period is 21% or 4.6 million hectares of the country’s forests lost to fire or illegal wood cutting.

Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 10, Sept 2012)

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Bulawayo & Matobo Hills