Thursday, 22nd September, 2022 – Ministry of Green Economy and Environment Announcement of Publication of Approved Timber Concession Licences Lusaka
REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA MINISTRY OF GREEN ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT
Press Release ANNOUNCEMENT OF PUBLICATION OF APPROVED TIMBER CONCESSION LICENCES
LUSAKA, Thursday, 22nd September, 2022 –
THE Ministry of Green Economy and Environment wishes to inform members of the public that it has concluded the evaluation of timber concession licence applications.
The application process of concession licences was extended on two occasions in order to allow enough time for citizens to complete the application process and ensure that more Zambians participate in the timber industry.
A total of 1,560 application forms were issued by the Forestry Department to applicants. An unprecedented 483 applications from all the provinces were received demonstrating the desire of many of our citizens to participate in the economic development activities of our country.
In order to ensure transparency and equity in the process of selecting successful applicants, a multi – sectoral ad – hoc committee was put in place to support the Ministry in assessing the applicants in order to build confidence in the selection process. The ad – hoc committee comprised the Office of the President Special Division, Anti – Corruption Commission (ACC), Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).
To ensure sustainable use of the forestry resource and that only deserving persons were given the opportunity, the assessment process was guided by the following key factors:
1. Areas falling in Game Management Areas (GMA) and areas not advertised
Timber concession licenses that have been approved in Game Management areas (GMAs) were concluded with the consent of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) in accordance with the Zambia Wildlife Act No. 14 of 2015. Accordingly, some licenses have not been issued because of conflict with the plans and zonation of ecologically sensitive areas as determined by relevant stakeholders.
In addition, applications for licenses in areas that were not advertised were not considered.
2. Co – operatives, Youth Groups, Local Community Empowerment and Zambian Citizens
In line with the New Dawn Government policy of empowering more people with opportunities and creation of jobs at local level, consideration was given to co – operatives, youth groups and other social groups in the approval of the applications. The approval process excluded non – Zambians.
The selection process has now been successfully concluded and a total number of 190 concession licences have been approved. The approved concession licences are in the categories of small and medium scale only.
The approved concession licences shall be published on 26th, 28th and 30th September, 2022 in the Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia, News Diggers and on the Ministry’s website, Facebook page @zambiamgee and other official platforms.
Collection of all approved concession licences to successful applicants shall be done from the Provincial centres once the successful applicants complete the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process with the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA). The collection of concession licenses has been decentralised to the Provincial level in line with Government policy on decentralisation.
Successful applicants who may be awaiting decisions from ZEMA are encouraged to make necessary follow – ups with ZEMA before the concession licences are issued.
Commencement of harvesting of timber under these concession licences will be effective from the date the concession licence is signed and issued.
All successful candidates are reminded to acquaint themselves with the law governing their operations, particularly the Forests Act No. 4 of 2015, Statutory Instrument Number 50 of 2016 and the tree felling conditions that shall be strictly adhered to.
The Forestry Department will not hesitate to cancel or suspend any licence that will be found to be in violation of licence conditions. All applicants whose applications were not successful will be written to, stating reasons of rejection, in line with the Forests Act No 4 of 2015. All parties with grievances are hereby advised to address them with the respective Provincial Forestry Offices countrywide.
Finally, the Ministry wishes to congratulate the successful candidates and wishes them success in their operations as they contribute to national development.
Hon. Eng. Collins Nzovu, MP
MINISTER OF GREEN ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT