By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | iZiviso Global Editor At Large
Harare, Zimbabwe – A hauntingly beautiful exhibition titled, “While We Wait” which highlights the degradation of the earth’s resources opened to the public on World Environment Day, Tuesday in Harare.
Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, Environment and Natural Resources Management Minister Francis Nhema said that Zimbabwe needs a green economy.
The exhibition, which consists of a photographic and filmic depiction of the devastation of the earth’s resources, will run until June 20. The exposition by photographer Eric Gauss and filmaker Nigel Gullet, makes a provocative and abstract look at the impact of the abuse of the environment.
In one of the pictures titled “Drowning,” a little boy is shown drowning in litter, cans, cigarettes and a discarded computer monitor.
Also on showcase is a five-minute film which highlights the extent to which the earth’s resources are being abused.
European Union Ambassador Dr Aldo Allicio said that twenty years ago, in June 1992, at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development also known as the Rio Conference or the Earth Summit, the risks were clearly spelled out.
“In front of the gravity of the situation, 172 governments reached an agreement on the Climate Change Convention which in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol. Fundamental documents were signed; important legally binding agreements were proposed to the stakeholders, like the Convention on Biological Diversity or the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Other conferences followed and we are now preparing for RIO + 20,” he said.
“But “While we Wait”, as is the title of this beautiful exhibition, the ‘clock is ticking’ and our environment is increasingly threatened by the challenge between growth and sustainable use of natural resources. And it seems that sometimes selfish interests prevail.”
He added that there was a need for awareness and action in Zimbabwe on the environment.
“Zimbabwe is endowed by exceptional natural resources that if properly managed could be converted as a pillar for sustainable economic growth that reconciles the respect of pressing environmental concerns with the right of Zimbabwe to seek prosperity for its citizens. Unfortunately number of threats exists and need to be tackled urgently, in order to avoid that the blessing becomes a curse,” he said.
He pointed out that alarming deforestation that impacts on biodiversity and Zimbabwe carbon dioxide absorption capacity. He said that land degradation in arable land that reduces agricultural potential, biodiversity loss that undermines Zimbabwean natural heritage, water pollution that leads to environmental health diseases and climate change that weakens rain-dependant activities continue to pose challenges.