By FLAVIOR CHISHALA –
GOVERNMENT says it will soon revise the Forestry Policy of 1998 and the Forestry Act of 1973 in order for the forestry sector to contribute effectively to national development.
The revisions will also facilitate effective and efficient service delivery by the forestry department.
Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister, Mwansa Kapeya said Government was in the process of preparing guidelines on the implementation of forest and land-use projects related to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
Mr Kapeya said the guidelines would require project developers and implementers to register projects with his ministry to ensure that forests were pleasant for the sight and good for food.
He said this at Arcades Shopping Mall in Lusaka yesterday when he officiated at the commemoration of the International Day of Forests, which was held under the theme ‘Trees pleasant for the sight and good for food’.
“As you all know forests are part of our daily life and there is no single person in the world who does not interact with trees for direct or indirect benefits.
He said there was a high level of domestic dependence on forest products for day-to-day sustenance which include fuel, shelter, food, pasture, fodder, medicines and household utility items such as cooking sticks and spoons.
He, however, expressed worry at the depletion of forests and attributed the challenge to charcoal production, and illegal and careless cutting down of trees.
Mr Kapeya said Zambia loses 250,000 to 300, 000 hectares in terms of trees every year and urged members of the public to join Government in planting tress, encouraging timber value addition, and processing of various non-wood forest products such as honey that could contribute to job creation and national economic development.