Minister of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu has said there is need to ensure that any developmental agenda does not stifle the environment.
Engineer. Nzovu has noted that Zambia like other countries is currently battling climatic crisis mainly because of human activities such as deforestation and pollution.
He cited floods witnessed in some parts of the country that destroyed infrastructure during the last rainy season as a typical example of climatic crisis.
Eng. Nzovu said developmental activities such as mining must be carried out in environmentally friendly ways.
Speaking to reporters at the 56th Zambia International Trade Fair in Ndola, the Minister of Green Economy furthermore repeated the importance of his Ministry.
“I think the important of this Ministry of Green Economy and Environment is underscored by the very fact that this ministry was created (by the New Dawn Government). Coming here at the Zambia International Trade Fair in Ndola, when you see what we are doing at the international fair on one hand, the other hand there is a theme promoting inclusive green growth for sustainable development. The basic elements here are that we are in a climatic crisis of environment degradation, pollution, deforestation and the crisis is with us. You do not have to look far to see the climatic crisis, there is flooding now leading to damage of infrastructure and now we will have to look at expensive climate resilient infrastructure,” Eng. Nzovu said.
“There are droughts now, when there are droughts there is food insecurity. At the same time the country must develop. So, since the country must develop it means it has to use its natural resources. Mineral wealth has it has been talked about; it must produce finished products as we are seeing here. The question is, how are we going to do this in a green manner? How do we mainstream green pathways in our developmental agenda? How are we reacting to this agenda? This can easily be seen by the institutions under the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment.”
Eng. Nzovu has advocated the strengthening of legislation that protects the environment.
He said laws enacted to protect the environment should be seen promoting inclusive growth for sustainable development.
“Number one, there is environmental management unit that is responsible for legislation. The Forest Act Number Four of 2015 for example how do we strengthen it to ensure that the fees (fines) in there prevent repeat offenders from cutting down our trees. How do we ensure that the fees obvious the penalties as well for valuable trees now they will be even jail sentences? How do we improve the ZEMA Act to ensure that pollution from mining is reduced? I am sure you have heard about stories in Mkushi and Serenje where miners of manganese are polluting our streams. How do we prevent that? How do we strengthen the law to speak to promoting inclusive growth for sustainable development? Very very important. I am sure you have seen the Zambia Environmental and Management Authority (ZEMA) that is part of the of the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment,” Eng. Nzovu said.
The Ministry of Green Economy and Environment is one of the selected stands President Hakainde Hichilema visited on Saturday before officially opening the Trade Fair.
President Hichilema was briefed on how the Ministry is contributing to this year’s theme through the utilisation of natural resources in a sustainable manner.
Earlier, Chief Bundabunda of the Soli people of Rufunsa District visited the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment stand and interacted with Minister Nzovu.
The Zambia International Trade Fair is running until July 5, 2022, under the theme:” Promoting Value Addition for Sustainable Growth.