Lantana has been expanding in Zimbabwe over the past few decades. It has become a serious weed in at least four of Zimbabwe’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Khami Ruins, Great Zimbabwe, Matobo Hills and Mosi-oa-Tunya). Survey work done by Dambari in 2014 indicated that up to 25% of rangelands in communal areas surrounding the Matobo National Park have been lost to lantana invasion, which has severe implications for human livelihoods, animal wellbeing and biodiversity.
Dambari, along with a group of interested stakeholders (e.g., Matobo Conservation Society, and NUST’s Institute for Development Studies), are in the process of developing a national strategy to combat lantana (and, potentially, other invasive alien plants). Dambari has liaised with the Environmental Management Agency with whom we now have a signed Memorandum of Understanding. Next steps include securing funding and bringing together delegates from government and research, policy, and management institutes in order to develop a holistic approach to controlling the effects of invasive alien plants.