By CHATULA KANGALI –
THE Centre for International Forest Research (CIFR) has urged Government to find ways in which the country can sustainably and legally export timber to China.
Currently, the Government has banned the export of any form of timber in a bid to reserve the natural resource and the environment.
A research conducted by the CIFR, revealed that Zambia had sufficient timber with 2.9 billion cubic meters of standing trees of which only 12 per cent could be exported to China.
Zambia National Association of Sawmillers (ZNAS) president William Bwalya said this was reviewed at the China and Zambia Timber export conference in Livingstone at the weekend.
He said the association was supporting calls from CIFR on finding ways of sustainably exporting timber to China.
Mr Bwalya said the export of at least 12 per cent could help grow the economy and provide the needed jobs for the Zambian people.
“We are in support of the CIFR calls on how the country can find ways to sustain the export of timber to China, the supply of timber to China from Zambia is currently not stable, the Chinese are willing to strengthen collaboration and foster development,” he said.
Mr Bwalya said there was need to expose Mukula whose uses were not known to most Zambians.
He said the Chinese delegation that attended the event stated that Mukula was used in carpentry and turnery and that the need for the spice had do with technology.
It was observed during the conference that exporting countries like Zambia lacked the state-of-the-art technology to convert Mukula into valuable wood products.
The conference which took place at the Protea Hotel Livingstone was sponsored by the Economic Social Research Council and the International Department for Development of United Kingdom (UK).