Copperbelt Province Minister Elisha Matambo has cautioned citizens against illegal charcoal production, illegal harvesting of timber and willful encroachment in the protected forest reserves as Zambia fights global warming.
When launching the 2022/2023 provincial tree planting season by the Forestry Department and Cooperating partners in Ndola on Tuesday, Mr. Matambo said cutting down of trees has contributed to global warming.
He urged more citizens to actively participate in tree planting as a way of fighting global warming.
Mr. Matambo said Zambia is targeting to plant trees covering two million hectares of land by the year 2030 hence the need for stakeholders to get involved in the exercise.
“The importance of planting billions of trees across the planet can never be underestimated. Planting trees is one of the best and cheapest ways of taking 25 percent of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. In turn, this will help tackle the global warming crisis, hence resulting in climate change mitigation. The need for urgent action is clear, as rapid climate change is progressing at a fast pace. Tree planting would have almost immediate results since trees remove more carbon dioxide when they are young. As we all know, forests are essential for life. Forests also provide a habitat for a huge selection of plants and animals. Forests protect our peaceful special places. They inspire wonder and provide special places to relax and importantly they supply the oxygen we need to survive. The importance of the forests to the welfare of our society can never be overemphasised. Before we can even mention any job and wealth creation, our very existence depends on this very important god given resource. Forests provide us with the oxygen we breathe every day and sink greenhouse gases and other gases, which are responsible for the global climate change,” Mr. Matambo said.
The Copperbelt Minister Highlighted the fundamental role forests play in regulating rainfall and stream flow is vital for agricultural production and power generation.
“Let me take this opportunity to urge all of us to take keen interest in protecting the forest resources for our betterment and the betterment of our children. Through the able leadership of his excellence Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, president of the republic of Zambia, has put in place adequate legislation that encourages the participation of all stakeholders in the management of the forest resources and forest restoration programmes. This includes the forest policy of 2014 and the forests act number four (4) of 2015.I urge the people of Copperbelt province to avoid acts that sabotage our forest resources. Such acts include illegal charcoal production, illegal harvesting of timber and willful encroachment in the protected forest reserves,” he said.
“These vices are not only counterproductive, but go against the rules that we have put for ourselves to be able to co-exist with nature and operate within the confines of the law. We should not only know how to cut trees but much more on how to replenish them. Trees take a very long time to grow and reach maturity, but take only a few minutes to cut. Let us therefore be very conscious of our actions and the effects that our actions will have on our children. Apart from the obvious tangible benefits, forests guarantee Zambia’s essential water supply. The fundamental role forests play in regulating rainfall and stream flow is vital for agricultural production and power generation.”
He said Zambia has committed to plant 2 million hectares of land with trees by 2030.
“Forests also play important roles in climate change, which include the following: increased tree cover helps to lower the air temperature and reduce the heat intensity of the greenhouse gas effects by maintaining low levels of carbon dioxide; forests produce wood fuels as an alternative to fossil fuels; and Forests have the potential to absorb about one-tenth of global carbon emissions projected for the first half of this century into their biomass, soils and products and store them in perpetuity. So, in order to address climate change’s negative effects, the government of the republic of Zambia signed the UN climate change conference as a contribution to the external dimension of the EU green deal and has committed to plant 2 million hectares of land with trees by 2030,” Mr. Matambo said.