World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Zambia has advised government to consider increasing funding in the wildlife and tourism sector as it has the potential to contribute to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country.
WWF Energy Led, Michael Sakala notes that much attention has been given to underground resources but less attention has been put into wildlife which can also contribute to the growth of the economy.
Mr. Sakala explained that wildlife based economy countries in other parts of the world are performing well and cited Kenya in Africa as of the economies performing well because of investing in wildlife and tourism which has created a positive shift in those countries GDP and with the negative impact of climate change it is best to invest in both underground resources and wildlife and tourism to boost the economy of the country.
He said this during an information session with the media on the New Deal for Nature and People (ND4NP) the organization intends to implement next year with its cooperating partners.
Mr. Sakala notes that there is also a need to increase restocking of depleted species in various parks across the country and maintaining wildlife habitats.
And WWF Zambia New Deal for Nature and People Country Focal Point Person Mweene Chaambwa explained that demand for charcoal in urban areas is leading to a rapid rise in deforestation.
Mr. Chaambwa said the institution will be pushing for the implementation of the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) so that people reduce their dependence on hydropower which leads to an increase in demand for charcoal when in short supply.
“Promoting private investments in small and medium sized renewable energy projects in the country will help people change their mindsets into investing more in gas as it is efficient and clean renewable electricity.” He said.
He stated that his organization would work with the government and other stakeholders to develop the national strategy for renewable energy to promote floating energy for alternative energy sources.
“We will also engage the private sector companies for local investment in renewable energy which help in implanting the REFIT,” he said.
WWF is embarking on a New Deal for Nature and People that addresses the rapid loss of nature across the world. In Zambia, this New Deal focuses on the connection between nature and the economy with emphasis on energy, freshwater, wildlife and forestry.
The ND4NP campaign seeks to protect and restore nature for the benefit of people and planet – proposing no more loss of natural spaces or extinctions as well as having the negative impacts of unsustainable production and consumption.