Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Elijah Muchima, says natural resources and biodiversity contribute significantly to the gross domestic product of Zambia and offers livelihoods to many communities.
Mr Muchima said Zambia’s four to nine percent of surface land is covered by wetlands, which are critical in maintaining and supporting a wide range of biodiversity.
Mr Muchima said this at a press briefing on Zambia’s position on the 15th session of the Conference on parties (COP15) to the convention on biological diversity in Montreal, Canada yesterday.
The Minister said it was important that the parties to the convention are gathering in Montreal, Canada to talk about the issue of the post 2020 global biodiversity framework aimed at halting and reversing the biodiversity loss and achieving nature positive world by 2030.
He said according to an assessment report for 2019, over 75 percent of the global land surface and 85 percent of wetlands have been lost, adding that over one million animal and plant species risk facing extinction in the next decade.
Mr Muchima noted that unless interventions are put in place, the globe risks losing animals and plants.
He said Zambia has 480 forest reserves, 20 national parks and 36 game management areas.
He explained that the exploitation of natural resources in Zambia is evidenced through deforestation and land degradation as well as land encroachment of protected areas and unsustainable fishing methods among others.
Mr Muchima added that Zambia supports the maintainance of 30 percent of protection of land by 2030.
He said 40 percent of land is protected in the country.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources further said Zambia supports the establishment of a global biodiversity fund to least developed countries and the capacity building mechanism as well as access to technology and scientific approaches.
The issue of biodiversity is of paramount importance to any country in the world, noting that for Zambia to attend such kinds of meetings is a step in the right direction as natural resources will be preserved for posterity.