Copperbelt Province Minister, Elisha Matambo has urged the people in the province to avoid acts that sabotage the forest resources such as charcoal production, illegal harvesting of timber, and encroachment in protected forest reserves.
Mr Matambo said at the planting of one thousand fruit trees in Chipulukusu area in Ndola that the vices of deforestation is not only counterproductive, but also go against the rules that government has put in place for people to co-exist with nature.
“We should not only know how to cut trees but much more on how to replenish them,” He said.
Mr Matambo noted that planting trees is one of the best and cheapest ways of tackling global warming and mitigating the effects of climate change which is affecting every person in society.
He noted that there is need for urgent action, as rapid climate change is progressing at a faster rate and tree planting can have immediate results since trees remove more carbon dioxide when they are young.
The Minister said people’s existence depends on trees as they provide oxygen every day and sink greenhouse gases and other gases, which are responsible for global climate change.
“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,” Mr Matambo said.
He stated that trees take a long time to grow and reach maturity, but take only a few minutes to cut and that Zambians should be conscious of their actions and the effects that it has on their children.
Mr Matambo thanked the Development Aid from People to People in Zambia (DAPP) for complimenting government effort in the fight against climate change and appealed to other private organisations to come on board as the government alone cannot manage.
And DAPP Project Coordinator, Blessings Mpandawe said climate change poses a threat to national food insecurity as the increases in temperature and extreme weather causes floods, droughts, and increased rainfall variability.
Ms Mpandawe pointed out that effects of climate change hit the poor people more as they have less means to adapt or recover quickly from the shocks.
“The fight against climate change is important as no single government or entity can win this fight, we must all play our part,” Ms Mpandawe said.
She said the tree planting exercise is one of the many interventions which DAPP is doing to fight and to mitigate climate change,” she said.
Ms Mpandawe disclosed that involving youths to reduce the impact of carbon emission and restore the natural ecosystem is an effective way of tackling climate change effects.
She said her organization is waging a campaign to reduce the cutting down of the already existing trees and reduce practices which harm the environment.
“The use of charcoal can be minimized if we harness the natural gifts such as solar energy,” she said.
Ms Mpandawe called for alternative technologies such as use of fire wood saving stoves, biogas digesters, usage of conservative farming methods, and use of organic composites.