By VIOLET MENGO
GOVERNMENT is reviewing the National Biodiversity Strategic Action Policy (NBSAP) to tackle climate change challenges.
Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Permanent Secretary IÃ±utu Suba said the government is also in the process of preparing the fifth national report to the Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD) secretariat to share the implementation efforts and highlight challenges being faced.
Ms Suba was speaking in Chisamba on Friday when she officially opened the second preparatory meeting for the 20th session of the conference of parties under the CBD.
â€œThe challenges faced in the conservation of biodiversity include habitat loss due to unsustainable practices, invasive alien species which crowd out indigenous species and over exploitation,â€ Ms Suba said.
She said pollution particularly of water bodies which are important habitat for aquatic species and most importantly climate change are other challenges.
Ms Suba said while the government is doing everything possible to address most of the challenges, solutions to some of them require broader international cooperation and conferences such as the forth-coming Korea conference.
And the permanent secretary warned the workshop delegates against wasting government resources by holding conferences while doing nothing tangible for the country.
Ms Suba said Government and stakeholders should ensure that conferences and workshops generate benefits for the country.
â€œWe spend a lot of money trying to build capacity in our personnel. We spend a lot of money on conferences, the most expensive conference like the one that you are preparing for. What I do not see is your presence on the ground as you come back from these conferences,â€ Ms Suba said.
She wondered why technocrats and non-governmental organisations were reluctant to do Government work of ensuring that natural resource like timber is not exported illegally.
Ms Suba said when people get back from the conferences, there is need to put into lessons learned into practice.
â€œYour action on the ground is missing, absent. I do not see it nor hear it. Sometimes I feel I like Iâ€™m a lone voice and in the end people are likely to misunderstand me. I want to recruit you to my cause, the cause that requires men and women of very high resolve,â€ she said.
She urged the participants to make sure that they work hard for the betterment of the country.
â€œWe are also sponsored by the international community. Let us make sure that we have something to show and we have a good legacy for our children and grandchildren,â€ Ms Suba said.
By VIOLET MENGO