Wednesday, May 29, 2024

International Day of Forests: Zambia to restore 2 million deforested, degraded land

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By Moses Nyirenda

As WWF Zambia, it is a great honour for us to be part of the official launch of Zambia’s Africa Landscape Restoration programme (AFR100) commitment during this momentous commemoration of the International Day of Forests under the theme “forests and health”.

It gives me great joy and motivation that together, we have yet again scored in the forestry sector towards preparation and implementation of an event of this magnitude that benefits the government and the people of Zambia as a whole.

Government’s acceptance to express interest to be part of the Africa forest landscape restoration programme (AFR100), marked the joining of efforts and commitments by 32 other African countries to restore 100 million hectares of degraded forests. Zambia has committed to restore two million hectares of deforested and degraded land in Zambia. This indeed is commendable.

Our actions here today clearly demonstrate the government’s willingness and commitment to address key environmental and forestry conservation challenges affecting our country and world today.

It is a known fact that forests in Zambia and many other countries play a significant role in supporting life on earth, the green economy, and a wide diversity of environmental and social services. We are here as WWF Zambia to offer our technical and financial support to the forest restoration and conservation agenda for Zambia.

As WWF Zambia in collaboration with our partners and the WWF international network pledge to raise funds and support the government of Zambia through the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment by restoring 500,000 hectares (which is 25 percent of Zambia’s AFR100 commitment) of deforested and degraded areas in selected areas of Western, Eastern, Mafinga, Southern, and North Western provinces by 2030.

WWF Zambia, through our forest landscape restoration (FLR) project, is working in close collaboration with our local partners such as the corporate social responsibility network, and other civil society organizations represented here.

WWF will in 2023 support government to implement the restoration opportunity assessment methodology (ROAM) and development of the national forest landscape restoration (FLR) strategy that will guide where and what model of forest restoration should be undertake to meet the 2030 target.

Our conservation team stands ready to developing long term projects and programme with the Forestry Department that can re-engineer the focus on sustainable forest management (SFM) to promote the green economy agenda of this country.

WWF Zambia is working with eight other African countries, in particular: Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and lastly Zimbabwe in order to support their respective governments in restoring a collective total of 13.5 million hectares by 2030.
As we commemorate this year’s International Day of Forests, the WWF offices in these countries will also be supporting this noble cause in collaboration with their respective governments.

I wish to extend my sincere appreciation and once more commend the willingness and availability of partner institutions and stakeholders for teaming up with WWF in supporting the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment to successfully hold this event.

To the Forestry Department, we say congratulations for setting the pace and bringing us together as one.

Indeed, WWF international values this year’s International Day of Forests theme: “forests and health” because the health of the world is related to the provisioning of services from our forests, hence the importance of ensuring that forests are well managed now and into the future.

The author is Chief Conservation Officer, WWF Zambia

1 COMMENT

  1. As a volunteer living in Estern Province 33 years ago and visiting my friends regularly every few years I am just deeply shocked about the wood clearing in the area. I think all the responsible politicans were asleep and I fear that now its too late. Its just sad to see the area around Chipata for example. What about urban planning there? I wish all the people responsible politics.

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