Zambia will be desert, warns Kapeya
Published On October 18, 2014 » 2282 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » HOME SLIDE SHOW, SHOWCASE
 0 stars
Register to vote!

. Kapeya

. Kapeya

By SYLVESTER MWALE –
LANDS, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Mwansa Kapeya says Zambia risks becoming a desert if the current rate of deforestation is not controlled.
Mr Kapeya said the country is currently experiencing one of the?highest rates of deforestation with up to 300,000 hectares of land?losing trees every year.
“The country is currently experiencing high rate of deforestation?estimated at 250,000 to 300,000 hectares per annum,” Mr Kapeya said.
“Without concrete measures put in place to ensure sustainable forest?management and subsequent forest conservation, the country risks?becoming a desert as a result of the high rates of deforestation.”?The minister was speaking when he addressed the Zambia Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (ZPCC) in Lusaka yesterday.
The ZPCC consists of parliamentarians from both the opposition and?ruling parties and is aimed at sharing knowledge on conservation and?natural resources management.
The one-day conference which is the brainchild of the Conservation?Council of Nations, International Conservation Corps, also drew?participants from civil society organisations, cooperating partners?and various ministries.
The indiscriminate cutting of trees without replacing is attributed to?different factors including illegal harvesting, uncontrolled charcoal?production and inadequate technical and monitoring staff members.
Most timber and charcoal piled and being sold in Zambia along the rail?line and some roads is illegally produced and traded.
Mr Kapeya called for concerted efforts towards responsible forest?management and conservation that would benefit the future generation.
He said deforestation posed a risk of having critical water shortages?that could affect not only the energy sector which relied on water for?power generation but also the tourism as the Victoria Falls could run?dry.
Earlier, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Stephen Kampyongo, who is also?co-chairperson of the ZPCC, said the organisation was still young and?trying to develop a strategic plan that would meet the prevailing?trends in conservation and natural resources management.
Mr Kampyongo assured the general public that MPs would provide them with a voice that would help in conservation and proper management of natural resources.
However, some participants expressed concern at the slow pace by the government to take the Bill to Parliament on the management and?conservation of natural resources.
Kasempa MP Kabinga Pande said there was need to seek alternative sources of energy to charcoal in order to reduce the high levels of deforestation especially in rural areas.

Share this post
Tags

About The Author