President Lungu with pupils at Kabulonga Girls Secondary School
President Lungu with pupils at Kabulonga Girls Secondary School

President Edgar Lungu has revealed that Zambia lost an average 276,021 hectares of forests per year between 2000 and 2014 due to forestation.

President Lungu attributed the high rates of deforestation to agricultural expansion, uncontrolled wood fuel and timber extraction, bush fires, mining and infrastructure development.

He said he is also aware that there is a lot of illegal harvesting of timber across the country resulting in reduced forest cover.

President Lungu said destruction of forests, coupled with excessive settlement and other human activities, lead to uncontrolled severe soil erosion, high sediment load and subsequent siltation of hydroelectric dams and decreased river flow.

President Lungu was speaking in Lusaka during the National Tree Planning ceremony held at Kabulonga Girls High School.

“If we harness this resource properly, it is capable of creating wealth and jobs for our citizens particularly the youth. we will therefore, as a responsible government, pursue this path of development through both internal and external avenues,” he said.

President Lungu said government is committed to ensuring that the country’s forests are well conserved for them to become a viable resource for the country’s socio-economic development.

“It is for this reason that my government adopted the national forestry policy in October, 2014 and the Forests Act no. 4 of 2015 was also enacted to ensure effective implementation of this policy. The new policy and legislation provide for the establishment of private and community forests,” he said.

President Lungu said government’s position is to promote value addition in order to avoid export of unprocessed and semi-processed timber.

He said this will significantly contribute to wealth and job creation and consequently improving the living standards of our people.

“In this regard, for us to promote forest conservation and reduce the pressure on forests as a source of wood energy, we must encourage the use of alternative domestic energy sources and sustainable charcoal production techniques. I wish to direct the ministry of lands and natural resources to ensure that all timber extraction and other forestry-related activities are conducted within the provisions of the forests act of 2015. perpetrators of illegal forestry-related activities must be brought to book,” he said.

“Let me underscore the need for to take keen interest in environmental protection by planting trees at least one tree every year. Let us get involved: the youth, women, men, that chief executive, that minister, that member of parliament in planting a tree today.”

President Lungu arriving at the Tree Planting exercise at Kabulonga Girls School
President Lungu arriving at the Tree Planting exercise at Kabulonga Girls School
President Lungu chats with former President Rupiah Banda during the tree planting ceremony
President Lungu chats with former President Rupiah Banda during the tree planting ceremony
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10 COMMENTS

  1. Are you where you are planting trees is really where we need them? In fact why do we replace indigenous tree with exotic ones? I though we should replant to restore ecological balance to assure the interdependence of species. Why not also monitor all construction sites to minimize tree felling since in most cases we clear trees even where we are not putting any buildings and then start planting exotic trees which do not even offer sufficient shade!!

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    • All this destruction has happened under PF. The powercuts must have contributed tremendously because people have to use charcoal to cook and even heat homes at night. Of course PF claims that powercuts have no impact on the country, environment, economy and society.

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    • “Lungu attributed the high rates of deforestation to agricultural expansion, uncontrolled wood fuel and timber extraction, bush fires, mining and infrastructure development.”

      No mention of PF INCOMPETENCE and LACK OF VISION and PLANNING that has caused the unprecedented loadshedding that is collapsing our economy and creating a massive demand for charcoal!

      This man is either just too dull to see what is right in front of our eyes, or so dishonest and devious that integrity is not in his brain.

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  2. It is a pity that lungu and his PF GRZ don’t see the correlation between load shedding and increased deforestation.

    If lungu knew that connection , 80% of house holds in zambia would have been using solar energy.

    This was a good time to set up solar panel assembly plants in zambia that in cooperated copper conductors from our copper thus inhancing local industries and job creations.

    Massive custom taxes on imported panels would have secured a large ready market for panels assembled in zambia and secured many many jobs.

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  3. Lets start with mining companies….in australia mining companies must replant native trees and rehabilitate the mine sites.. the traditional land owners are employed to collect seed, propogate, grow and plant out. Not just used but are paid to do this. This is law..
    Problem in zambia even if we further work the wood where is the market to sell the products. If serious why not ban all export of hardwood timber for a period. With all the smuggling government is not getting any benefit any way.
    Licenced harvesters of timber must also EMPLOY local villagers to collect seed and grow out trees for future planting then emplly them to plant. Why wait an SI can make this happen. This is for our future so all political paries come together and make this happen. ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION ONE…

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  4. Comment:
    Don’t pass silly comments on the former republican president. Even the president needs friends. what is wrong with that? what hurts you if you see them together like that? Nimwana wa nyoko. leave him alone they are just friends and good friends for that matter.

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