CHOMBA MUSIKA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT is disturbed that the country has continued to lose 300,000 hectares of forests annually, with indiscriminate cutting down of trees and charcoal production being among the major causes of deforestation.
Meanwhile, Government has appealed to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support programmes for improving land conservation and proper water sanitation in Zambia.
Minister of Water Development, Environment and Sanitation Lloyd Kaziya said it is worrying that Zambia loses between 250,000 to 300,000 hectares of forest annually due to indiscriminate cutting down of trees.
Mr Kaziya said there is urgent need to aggressively educate citizens on the need to embrace smart sources of energy, as alternatives for charcoal.
He said this at Bole International Airport on arrival from Gabon, where he was attending the African ministerial conference on the environment.
This is contained in a statement issued yesterday by first secretary for press and tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Inutu Mwanza.
“There is need to fight this scourge [deforestation] as it has negative effects on the environment and climate change.
“Some of the challenges the country is facing [as a result of deforestation and climate change] include persistent droughts,” he said.
Mr Kaziya called on the Ministry of Education to consider including climate change smart information in their curriculum so that young people can grow up with the culture of protecting the environment by detesting the indiscriminate cutting down of trees.
Mr Kaziya said he will partner with the Ministry of Agriculture counterpart to prevent the allocation of land in water sources such as wetlands.
And Government has asked GEF to support programmes meant to improve land conservation and proper water sanitation in Zambia.
Mr Kaziya made the plea during the African ministerial conference on environment.
“Some of the resolutions from the meetings included the need to promote the allocation of an adequate percentage of national revenue accruing from natural capital assets for reinvestment in innovative environment solutions,” he said.