GOVERNMENT has said it would not tolerate the losing of Luangwa Valley ecosystem as it habours the most famous South Luangwa National Park which contributes largely to tourism sector that was helping improving the economy of the country.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo said at the Seventh Round table meeting held at Luangwa Lodge in Chipata that Lundazi National Forest acts as a buffer to the South Luangwa National Park, North Luangwa, and Luembe National Park.
Mr Kasolo said in a speech read on his behalf by Assistant Secretary Royd Tembo that he was reliably informed that Lundazi National Forest is being lost through encroachment.
”We have also seen the Mphomwa Forest go leaving the mountains bare.We cannot afford to sit back and watch,”he said.
He said the environmental threats were many ranging from deforestation,unsustainable charcoal production,unsustainable farming practices, illegal timber harvesting, poaching, and encroachment in the protected areas.
Mr Kasolo said if not checked and without sustainable livelihoods, it would lead to total deforestation and depletion of wildlife resources.
He said it was his expectation to enhance efforts in coordinating sustainable environmental management programmes in mitigating the environmental challenges.
Mr Kasolo said Government alone cannot address the challenges stating that it needs full collaboration with stakeholders in the private sector and the communities at large.
He also said climate change was real and If stakeholders just talk without action,the vision to have Eastern Province with an improved framework that would involve all structures from household level to the provincial level with sustainable livelihoods that would contribute to a healthy Luangwa Valley ecosystem will not be realised.