There is much that is not known concerning the environmental implications of land resettlement in Zimbabwe. However, fears that land resettlement would have detrimental environmental impacts and lead to the replication of the ‘communal area conditions’, have been prominent since the outset of the land reform programme (Cliffe, 1988). Ten years on, the Council of Commercial Farmer’s Union reported that,
with few notable exceptions, the majority of resettlement schemes to date have led to a serious loss of productivity, denudation of resources, insufficient income and even food aid being required by settlers (1991, emphases added).Subsequently, many Zimbabwean writers have presented resource conservation and poor peasant land husbandry as argument for the restricted pace of land redistribution and for agrarian reform in the communal areas (CAs) themselves (Moyo, 1995). In the main, however, the validity of this environmental debate to date has been limited by the general lack of objective data or systematic monitoring concerning the environmental impacts of land resettlement.