Government has partnered with Worldwide Fund for Nature Zambia (WWF) to halt the extinction of plant and animal species in the country.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Jean Kapata says her ministry will incorporate the campaign with existing policies to enhance protection of natural resources.
Ms Kapata was speaking during the launch of the New Deal for Nature and People campaign in Lusaka today.
Ms Kapata explains that she will soon seek cabinet approval of about 2.5 to three million hectares of land in the country to be put under restoration.
“It is sad that we are losing vital plants and animals. For example the country has 20,000 Kafue black Lechwe compared to 250,000 Lechwe the country had in the 1930s and we need to protect our nature together for posterity to benefit,” she stressed.
She stated that the country has lost plant and animal species that are key to the country’s social and economic growth.
Ms Kapata disclosed that her ministry will soon develop a policy that will swiftly bring the forest restoration activities to fruition.
And WWF Zambia Country Director, Nachilala Nkombo expressed satisfaction that the campaign will help address the rising levels of deforestation and land degradation in the country.
“We should all draw lessons from the drought that hit Southern Province the other year by stopping tree cutting and seriously embark on restoration activities countrywide that was real signal to climate change,” she stressed.
She reaffirmed her organization’s commitment to working with government in the preservation of plant and animal species.
Meanwhile, Chief Musungwa of Itezhi Tezhi district and Chieftainess Muwezwa of Namwala district pledged their commitment to the protection of nature in their respective chiefdoms.
The duo said they have initiated deliberate programmes to sensitize subjects about animal and plant preservation.
The New Deal for Nature and People campaign that is part of the global efforts to curtail deforestation and land degradation, will be rolled out countrywide to enhance protection of nature.