An initiation workshop was held from the 1st to the 2nd of March 2018 in Bindura. Workshop participants included representatives from the five communities, government and non-governmental organisations.
A total of 42 participants attended the workshop from a range of NGOs, government departments, academics, researchers and community leaders.
The main aims of the workshop were to:
- Familiarize stakeholders with the objectives of the project.
- Consolidate the lists of priority NTFPs species (Food and medicinal) from representative communities in and around the five biodiversity hotspots.
- Identify additional information holding institutions and develop a plan of action.
- Share knowledge and skills acquired from the BID capacity enhancement workshop with all stakeholders.
The workshop started with some opening remarks from the Dean of the faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Science and was officially opened by a representative from the office of the Resident Minister for Mashonal and Central Province. The workshop activities included an outline of the BID project and workshop objectives.
Presentations were given by the project coordinator, team members and guests from Natural History Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe. An overview of NTFP species in Zimbabwe was given by a representative from National Herbarium and Botanic Gardens. Group discussions on food and medicinal plants in each biodiversity hotspot area were led by community representatives. The initial discussions were on prioritisation of food plants followed by medicinal plants. Each group prioritised and ranked the species in each area with a final presentation in the plenary session. Participants were however, sceptical on the publicity of information on medicinal plants. Prioritised species were discussed in vernacular and these were later converted to scientific names, by taxonomists and botanists from Bindura University and National Herbarium.
The Workshop also discussed the issue of being a node and the representatives from the ministry of environment proposed an interim committee to start the process. The communication from GBIF was circulated to the selected people for consideration. Additional discussions were done to list biodiversity data holding institutions and a list of organisations was produced.