Unesco Green Citizens

Monavale Vlei Biodiversity Project

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Project begin: 29/04/2001

Monavale Vlei, a unique wetland of exceptional beauty and biodiversity in Zimbabwe, is under threat. Local inhabitants decided to take action before it’s too late.

Leading organisation: Conservation Society of Monavale (COSMO Trust)
The country where the team is based: Zimbabwe
Theme: Biodiversity
Sub-themes: Natural resource management
Tag: #Africa #Women #Youth
Selection: 2021
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Nearly all the green spaces in Greater Harare are vleis (wetlands). These biodiverse natural water reservoirs renew the water table, filter and purify water and prevent erosion and flooding, as well as acting as carbon sinks. By feeding into rivers and streams, they provide more than half of Zimbabwe’s population with water.

The role and size of these wetlands is increasingly threatened by farming and development. To protect such essential habitats and their precious flora and fauna, local organisations are working together to restore Monavale Vlei. In 2001, they set up Monavale Residents’ Environmental Action, which grew into Conservation Society of Monavale (COSMO Trust) in 2005.

Protecting Zimabawe’s wetland resources

The COSMO Trust helps local communities reclaim, manage and restore their wetlands. Having built up extensive local knowledge about biodiversity, the trust organises different initiatives including livelihood training courses and indigenous tree nurseries. This model is now being replicated across Harare through the creation of community-based organisation trusts (CBO Trust).

To raise awareness about the importance of these wetlands, inhabitants are invited to discover the vlei and children have fun learning at the COSMO kids club.

Safeguarding wetlands and their natural resources is more urgent than ever. Would you like to help protect Zimbawe’s vleis?


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