Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 2507–2533 | Cite as

Green economy initiatives in the face of climate change: experiences from the Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve, Zimbabwe

  • Olga Laiza KupikaEmail author
  • Edson Gandiwa
  • Godwell Nhamo


This study investigates climate change adaptation and mitigation interventions within the framework of green economy for sustainable development and poverty eradication in the Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve, Zimbabwe. The study adopted a mixed methods approach, mainly drawing data from field observations, focus group discussions (FGDs) drawing representatives from a household survey and key informant interviews. Primary data were collected in April and August 2015 from FGDs whose participants were derived from household heads who had previously participated in a broader climate change study. Key informant interviews were also held with traditional leaders, local experts and managers in the wildlife sectors. This was supplemented with data from secondary sources. Findings from the study indicate that stakeholders in the biosphere reserve implement green economy and climate change-related programmes and projects. Results also indicate that the biodiversity- and/or wildlife-related laws and policies developed prior to 2010 do not directly mention the term green economy and climate change yet these indirectly address the green economy agenda. However, recent soft law documents (post 2010) such as the Zimbabwe’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2013–2020) and local councils’ strategic plans prioritise climate change adaptation, mitigation and green economy-related issues. Although the wildlife sector has green economy-related initiatives in place, there exists a gap in terms of mainstreaming the green economy concept in biodiversity-related policies.


Biosphere Climate change Green economy Middle Zambezi Wildlife Zimbabwe 



We would like to acknowledge joint funding from the Department for International Development (DfID) under the 2015 Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) programme, the European Union under the DREAM project and Chinhoyi University of Technology. The contents of this paper are the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union. Special thanks go to the Institute of Cooperate Citizenship, Exxaro Chair in Business and Climate Change University of South Africa, South Africa for hosting OLK during the CIRCLE fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga Laiza Kupika
    • 1
    Email author
  • Edson Gandiwa
    • 1
  • Godwell Nhamo
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Wildlife, Ecology and ConservationChinhoyi University of TechnologyChinhoyiZimbabwe
  2. 2.Institute for Corporate CitizenshipUniversity of South Africa, UNISAPretoriaSouth Africa

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