Environment Africa is an African rooted not for profit organisation with over 20 years of African experience in responding to the needs of all African people and our environment. We believe that we have to focus on African solutions for the most pressing environment and development challenges, working with conservation and communities in a collaborative, innovative and action orientated way that promotes a sustainable future for Africa.
Through our work, we know that sustainable development, together with conservation and communities, is key to addressing some of Africa’s challenges such as sustainable livelihoods, climate change, environmental governance and biodiversity, the 2010 to 2014 priority areas for Environment Africa. Environment Africa is committed to excellence, transparency and accountability in delivering our work, responding to the needs of the people and our environment, taking care of our staff and in working together with our partners, communities and all sectors of society for long term solutions. The thrust is Moving from Aid to Trade.
Environment Africa is a Southern African organization based regionally and represented internationally
Environment Africa works with all sectors of society throughout Zimbabwe and Southern Africa to protect and manage natural resources and to promote sustainable development
Environment Africa is proud to foster partnerships that collaboratively develop and implement African solutions to African challenges
To work together with all sectors of society raising awareness, encouraging action and advocating a better environment that uplifts the livelihood of current and future generations
To Champion the African Environment
1986 / 1987 : Cycling to save the Rhino
Environment Africa was formed after the famous transcontinental bicycle journey that became known as the ´Ride for Rhino´ undertaken by Charlene Hewat and Julie Edwards. Both became known as ‘The Rhino Girls’. They raised funds and awareness for African endangered species, particularly the Black Rhino. They set out from Glasgow, Scotland in September 1986 and cycled through Scandinavia, down through Europe across to Africa and down the African continent across the mighty Zambezi River at Victoria Falls and into Harare one year and 22 000km later! As well as laying the foundations for Environment Africa, the Rhino Girls, with the help of Allan Munn, published the book ‘Extinction is Forever’ which set the tone for the organization’s watchdog and environmental advocacy roles.
The Rhino Girls met many famous celebrities along the way, including the then Prime Minister of England, Margaret Thatcher, Phil Collins, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, the Pope, George Adamson and Kenneth Kaunda. They received local and international acclaim as a result of their ride and were awarded with the nomination for the Rolex Award for Enterprise in 1989; the Schweppes Award for Outstanding Service to the Community in 1989 and, in 1995. Charlene Hewat was awarded the Junior Chambers International Award for The Most Outstanding Young Person of the World for Environmental Leadership.
1990 : Environment 2000
With the vision of a better 2000 the birth of the Environment 2000 Foundation saw the growth of the organization from a staff of five to one of Zimbabwe’s leading environmental organizations. This growth was determined by the great interest that Zimbabweans demonstrated in participating in environmental issues and a call for guidance and encouragement to take action. Before the year 2000, Environment 2000 was also elected to the Global 500 Role of Honour of the United Nations Environment Programme in recognition of outstanding practical achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment, amongst other recognitions.
2001 : Environment Africa
In 2001 the organization was re-branded with the name Environment Africa. This was the formalization of the organization’s commitment, not just to Zimbabwe but also to the region and Africa as a whole.
2007 – 2008 : Environment Africa in the Region
Environment Africa registered as a local organization in Malawi and Zambia and has established a Board of Governors to govern the organization in these countries. In 2008, Environment Africa registered a UK Charity called Tree Africa, which is a resource-mobilizing office to support Environment Africa projects in southern Africa.
2010 and beyond : Environment Africa stronger beyond borders
Environment Africa has become a key national institution in Zimbabwe, one of the major agencies outside of the States, dealing with the broad range of environmental issues critical to everyone’s livelihood and wellbeing. Environment Africa has built skills and capacities and a network of active supports and has gained a solid reputation for delivering successful programmes and projects in both rural, peri-urban and urban communities while still maintaining best management practices.
Environment Africa has been invited by Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania to share skills, passion and success with their people and move beyond borders. Further resource-mobilizing offices are being considered for Germany, USA and Australia to add to the UK charity and it is hoped that further support will be obtained for the important work that is being carried out in southern Africa.
Mr Albert Katsande
Environment Africa is an African rooted organization with over 20 years of African experience in responding to the needs of African people and the African Environment. We believe that we have to focus on African solutions for the most pressing environmental and developmental challenges, working with conservation and communities in a collaborative, innovative and action orientated way that promotes a sustainable future for Africa.
Through our work, we know that sustainable development together with conservation and communities is key to addressing some of Africa’s challenges such as sustainable livelihoods, climate change, environmental governance and biodiversity which are Environment Africa’s priority areas for the period 2010 to 2014. We are committed to excellence, transparency and accountability in delivering our work, responding to the needs of the people and the environment, taking care of our staff and in working together with our partners, communities and all sectors of society for long term solutions – the thrust being moving from Aid to Trade.
2005 to 2009 was a period of increased partnerships hence our motto “Partnerships for Action” and some of the highlights for this period include:
- Renewable energy projects in Mudzi, Zimbabwe and in Chikwava and Insanje in Malawi
- Conservation agriculture activities in Hwange, Binga, Lupane, Zvimba, Mutare Urban, Harare Urban, Nyanga, Marange and Hwedza in Zimbabwe and Salima in Malawi
- Livestock promotion in Hwange, Lupane, Hwedza, Harare Urban and Mutare Urban
- Waste Management activities in most urban areas in Zimbabwe and in Lilongwe, Malawi
- Biodiversity activities in Victoria Falls, Vumba and Harare
- Environmental governance with a focus on by-laws in Guruve, Nyanyadzi and Mudzi and youth projects in Hwange and Victoria Falls
Social Responsibility and Corporate Partnerships
The five year period of the 2010 to 2014 strategic plan will look at building on the already well established projects and programmes implemented by Environment Africa and look to new innovative approaches as we move forward.
Some of the strategic areas of focus will include the following:
- Strengthen and develop new cost effective and innovative approaches to reduce poverty and improve the lives of the people without negatively impacting on our environment
- Carry out a needs assessment of our stakeholders and communities and identify the gaps for possible interventions with this question in mind: “How do e balance the needs of people with the needs of the planet that supports us?”
- Increase the visibility of Environment Africa and build the brand and communicate the work of the organization internationally utilizing new communication systems
- Increase the funding and support base for Environment Africa through innovative approaches such as the Africa Green Funds, endowment funds and international fundraising initiatives
- Establish and strengthen Environment Africa’s programmes in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa
- Our donors, our members, our supporters, our communities are all key to the success of Environment Africa and by working together we believe that so much can be achieved by an organization which is truly dedicated and passionate about the environment and the people of Africa.
We look forward to continued support and action for the environment.
Over the past decade uncontrolled environmental destruction has led to a loss of livelihood options and capacities and a consequent increase in food insecurity. Climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, local energy and fuel wood solutions and more sustainable agricultural options are all desperately needed by poor and vulnerable rural and peri-urban households across Southern Africa.
The environment is shaped by geography and biophysical factors, by social, economic and political actions and policies. Environment Africa takes a holistic approach to environmental management, recognizing that its actions must address all these factors so as to achieve sustainable development. Environment Africa addresses cross cutting issues such as poverty alleviation, gender equality, social justice, disability issues, children and youths’ rights and also HIV and AIDS issues.
Environment Africa’s programmes and interventions cover key areas of sustainable use of natural resources which include soil and water conservation, training of trainers (TOT) and training for transformation (T4T), establishment of local by-laws and a comprehensive plan for disaster preparedness that sets up and strengthens local Environment Action Group (EAG’s) and supports them to becoming local institutions.
Environment Africa is truly an African organization with humble beginnings. Today it works in many parts of Southern Africa including Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique and has established international links in Europe, USA and Australia.
Environment Africa has a deep understanding of the African Way. We have learnt that in the long term AID is not the solution for our people and our continent and that we need to move from AID to TRADE. To this, Environment Africa is promoting the concept of PPCP’s, Private, Public, Community Partnerships and it is our belief that this is the future for sustainable development in Southern Africa.
This new and innovative funding approach to conservation and communities in Africa has been launched through the Africa Green Fund initiative where countries and smaller localized areas are establishing local Green Funds such as the Victoria Falls Green Fund, to enable the implementation of projects at a local level. This will enable the uplifting of communities and the protection of the environment in the long term as we understand that the key to success is about ownership and empowerment. This initiative truly promotes the concept of PPCP’s as the way forward for Africa and unlocks the keys to empowerment and ownership at the local levels.
“Give a man a fish you feed him today, Teach a man to fish and you feed him until the fish run out. Teach a man to breed fish, you build a business, sustain a community for life and ensure the survival of a species” – Charlene Hewat