More tree plantations are coming – Kapata ….as government races to combat climate change effects
Krakow, Thursday December 6, 2018
BY FIRST SECRETARY (PRESS) KELLYS KAUNDA, ZAMBIA EMBASSY, BERLIN, GERMANY
Plans are underway to increase the number of provinces from four to seven with tree plantations, says the Honorable Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Ms. Jean Kapata.
Ms. Kapata, who is also Mandevu Member of Parliament, says the program shall be undertaken by ZAFFICO as part of Zambia’s response to the adverse effects of climate change.
She made the remarks shortly after concluding her engagement at the ongoing Conference of the Parties, COP24, an annual meeting organized by the United Nations to discuss climate change.
“We have 4 million pupils that include both primary and secondary schools who we are targeting to participate in the tree planting exercise”, the Minister says adding, “This will also include households”.
Ms. Kapata says her Ministry could have been as ambitious as planting four million trees, one pupil, one tree per year but has chosen to moderate the ambition to one million tree per year.
The Zambian government is expected to mobilize seedlings for distribution in schools and households so that each home plants a tree and each pupil that shall receive the seedling plants a tree.
Through the House of Chiefs, the Ministry of Lands is expected to seek the participation of chiefs who in turn should encourage their subjects to play a part in the exercise.
According to official statistics, Zambia loses an estimated 276,000 hectares of trees due to deforestation thereby endangering food security as the rain cycle is adversely affected.
“Instead of cutting trees for charcoal, we want to encourage Zambians to go into beekeeping as the export market is lucrative”, says Ms. Kapata.
Experts say it takes about three months to harvest honey translating into about 4 harvests in a year. This will ensure a decent income for families to meet their daily needs.
The tree planting exercise comes in the
wake of calls by experts on governments around the world to take measures to halt and reverse the devastating impact of climate change occasioned by the activities of mankind.
The COP24 in the Polish city of Katowice that has brought together thousands of government, private sector and NGO representatives is expected to draw up a framework of guidelines to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The world is targeting the holding of global temperatures below 1.5 degrees in the few years ahead.
President Edgar Lungu delegated the Minister of Lands to represent him at the meeting. She was accompanied by Permanent Secretary Trevor Kaunda and Zambia’s Ambassador to Germany and Poland His Excellency Anthony Mukwita.
Taking part in the negotiations is a team of about 14 Zambian experts drawn from both government and civil society.