GOVERNMENT has launched a revised Forests Policy designed to reduce deforestation and forest degradation while focusing on increased forest cover and enhanced carbon stocks through integrated participatory forest management, improved law enforcement and private sector investment.
Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Charitable Ngimbu said this yesterday when he launched the 2014 policy and the Forests Act of 2015.
She said the policy would explore appropriate approaches to trans-boundary forest management and trade in order to ensure benefit to the country and local communities
Ms Ngimbu said this during the commemoration of the International Day of the Forests at Government Complex yesterday.
“Exports of forest products, especially timber will be regulated in order to promote sustainable practices in the harvesting of forest products and promote value addition,” she said.
The 2014 National Forestry Policy encourages participatory forest management anchored on the active participation of local Communities, traditional institutions as well as the private sector and the utilization of forest resources at all levels in decision making.
The minister said Government had recognised the importance of charcoal both as a source of energy and income for the rural and urban and has put in place measures to ensure that it was sustainably produced in order to reduce deforestation while contributing to the livelihood of people.
Ms Ngimbu said Zambia was endowed with a good forest cover and had been globally identified as a potential country that can contribute to the mitigation of climate change
“Forests play an important role in sustaining natural water systems, it is a well-known fact that well managed forests influence the water cycle, thereby contributing positively to the water resources both in quality and quantity,” she said.