Article from ROAPE Volume 15 Number 42
Conservation Issue in Zimbabwe
Cliffe de-mystifies the way of thinking about environmental issues; looks at the progress of agrarian reform from before independence, at the colonial origins of the land question and picks apart the vested interests and ingrained inaccuracies such as over-population, soil erosion, ‘improved land use’ , over-stocking and grazing management. He discusses the NCS (National Conservation Strategy), the CA (Communal Areas), the LSCFs (Large-Scale Commercial Farms) (see link below), in relation to the under-utilisation of former white farm areas as the real scandal of land use in Zimbabwe. No solution to the problems of ‘over-population’ and ‘over-utilisation’ of land in the CAs should be considered in isolation from an agrarian reform strategy that includes major land redistribution. Nor is there much chance of actually implementing any conservation policy without land redistribution, for the political history of the last 50 years shows that peasants in Zimbabwe always have understood that there is an alternative solution to plans to enforce ‘proper land use’ on them.