The Global Environment Facility Agency has extended US$71 125 176 to Zimbabwe to fund land reclamation and reforestation programmes in the country.

The programme, known as the Global Environmental Facility 7th Cycle, Dry Lands Sustainable Landscapes Impact Programme (GEF7 DSL IP) will focus on three provinces; Manicaland, Masvingo and Midlands.

Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu told reporters in Bulawayo on Friday that the programme will support the country to fight degradation, desertification and deforestation through the proper use of natural resources. Said Ndlovu:

The project title is a cross-sector approach supporting the mainstream of sustainable forest and land management to enhance ecosystem resilience for improved livelihoods in the Save and Runde Catchments of Zimbabwe.

The GEF7 DSL IP project will provide significant support to the country to avoid further degradation, desertification and deforestation of land and ecosystems through the sustainable management of production landscapes.

He said the programme will deal with issues of land degradation, climate change, biodiversity conservation and as well as environmental security.

Ndlovu also revealed that the Global Environment Facility 7th Cycle DSL IP Project involves the 7th GEF funding also known as GEF7 (2018-2022).

The expected Global Environmental benefits are 2 150 hectares of land to be restored, Ndlovu added.