TREES present an opportunity for Zambia to not only restore nature’s balance but to also provide an option to raise money from the sale of forest products.
With proper management, Zambia can benefit from its vast area to plant forests on a commercial basis.
Last month, President Lungu launched a Plant a Tree initiative aimed at promoting a tree-based economy as part of Zambias’s economic diversification agenda.
The “Zambia: Plant A Million Trees” initiative was launched in Chinsali district in Muchinga province.
“This initiative marks the beginning of growing money from trees,” Lungu said during the launch.
While acknowledging that Zambia was among countries in sub-Saharan Africa endowed with abundant forests, the Zambian leader expressed concern that continued uncontrolled harvesting was threatening the future of the country’s forests.
The initiative, he said, was meant to promote a tree-based economy as part of the government’s agenda to diversify the economy away from copper dependence and to mitigate the negative effect of climate change.
The Zambian leader has since urged all stakeholders to get involved and pledged the government’s commitment to ensure the initiative’s success.
Last week, Vice President, Inonge Wina launched a 9.3 Million Euros Voices for Climate Change Action programme in Zambia.
The programme is expected to improve resilience and adaptation in some parts of Lusaka and Southern Provinces.
Mrs Wina observed that the five year project will build resilience and adaptions towards climate change in the Kafue flats.
The Vice President said there is need to strengthen efforts to help sustain the livelihoods of people in disaster prone areas by building resilience and adaption to climate change.
Dutch Honorary Consul, Sander Donker stressed his government’s commitment to helping Zambia address the challenges of climate change.
Mr Donker said the Dutch government will continue to provide both financial and technical assistance to the country in order to address issues of climate change.
And WWF Country Director, Nachilala Nkombo said the five year project is intended to address some of the biggest challenge of climate change and build adaptation and resilience strategies.
Currently, Earth’s forests and soil absorb about 30 percent of atmospheric carbon emissions, partially through forest productivity and restoration. While deforestation has occurred throughout human history, the practice has increased dramatically in the past 50 years. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, about 7.3 million hectares (18 million acres) of forest are lost every year, and roughly half of Earth’s tropical forests have already been cleared.
It is important for citizens to acknowledge the role that trees play in our daily lives while also investong in the idea that forests equal wealth