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Association of Zimbabwean
‚s‚’aditional Environmental Conservationists
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is a Zimbabwean Non Governmental Organization that emphasizes the need of taking cultural identity and local knowledge as a point of departure in the management of natural resources and the enhancement of indigenous sustainable agriculture. AZTREC was formed through a tripartite relationship of spirit mediums, chiefs and war veterans, who shared the concern about the depletion of the environment, the revival of the degraded culture and the failure of conventional methods to address the need for sustainable development. AZTREC is a non-governmental organization based in Masvingo Province and currently expanding into the North and Western (Mashonaland and Matebeleland) provinces of Zimbabwe. AZTREC activities are implemented through indigenous traditional institutions, spirit mediums, chiefs, war veterans, elders, womenfs groups, youth and the indigenous farmer innovators. The organisation was legally registered in 1985. AZTREC saw this as an opportunity to stimulate the debate and catalyse action on indigenous social, cultural and technical knowledge in order to sustainably manage the limited resources within the marginalised indigenous people of Zimbabwe.

is committed to promoting ecologically sound natural resources management that integrates traditional and modern methods through the restoration and improvement of the ecological system within the communities of Zimbabwe, the sub region and the world (MISSION STATEMENT).

as a small voluntary organisation of traditional institutions reviving the culturally significant environmental management practices, the methods used were/are traditional ceremonies, where discussions pertaining to Indigenous Knowledge System. Culture and Cosmovision and the precautionary measures to be taken to respect the environment were held. This resulted in the creation of tree nurseries to grow, besides gum trees and other much demanded exotic species, indigenous tree species which play an important role in traditional life (use of medicines, rehabilitation of spiritual habitats, food and several domestic uses. This resulted in the revival of the practices of holding traditional ceremonies before starting activities like tree planting, which makes activities more culturally relevant and increase the participation of the local communities in project activities.

AZTREC is an umbrella organization for the traditional environmental conservationists. Through its work in Masvingo, AZTREC has initiated a project whose main objectives are to increase/enhance the capacity of the Charumbira, Zimuto, Shashe Mazunguniye and Mupata communities in Masvingo province to autonomously revive and develop their indigenous knowledge, techniques and skills in order to meet the requirements of sustainable agriculture and natural resources management in a changing socio-economic and physical environment. Another objective is to develop methodologies that enable communities and organizations to start this process of endogenous development in other parts of Masvingo, Zimbabwe and Southern Africa.
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