Friday, May 24, 2024

Response To Charcoal Production Permits Ban By The Ministry Of Green Economy And Environment

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charcoal production
Traders from Chongwe transporting charcoal to the market in Lusaka on their bicycles

The news on the directive to ban charcoal production announced by the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment through the Honorable Minister has been received with mixed feelings by members of the public, As the Forestry Institute of Zambia, we would like to address the recent decision by the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment to ban the issuance of permits for charcoal production in certain districts of Central Province. First and foremost, we express our full support for the government’s initiative to address the pressing issue of deforestation, particularly in the identified districts of Mumbwa, Itezhi Tezhi, and Shibuyunji.

The unprecedented levels of deforestation pose a significant threat not only to our environment but also to the livelihoods of countless Zambians who depend on the forests for their sustenance and economic well-being. The decision to ban the issuance of charcoal production permits underscores the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for decisive action. Forest degradation and deforestation are indeed critical concerns, especially in light of the recent declaration of a national disaster by our esteemed Republican President. It is imperative that we act swiftly and decisively to preserve our natural heritage for current and future generations. Furthermore, we firmly believe that the ban on charcoal production permits should not be limited to the three mentioned districts but should be extended to all parts of Zambia. The trade in charcoal, while lucrative, exacts a heavy toll on our environment and contributes significantly to deforestation. Therefore, a comprehensive and nationwide ban on charcoal production is necessary to curb this destructive practice and promote sustainable alternatives. One such alternative that warrants exploration and promotion is the adoption of charcoal briquettes to replace raw charcoal. Charcoal briquettes offer a more environmentally friendly and sustainable solution, utilizing waste from both forest products and agricultural sources.

Initiatives such as the ongoing project in Katete including same initiatives in other districts demonstrate the feasibility and potential impact of transitioning to charcoal briquettes as a cleaner and more sustainable energy source It is crucial to emphasize that while we support this emphatic and courageous move by the government, measures must be put in place to protect the livelihoods of those in the charcoal value chain and promote alternative energy sources for charcoal users.

We call upon the government to place emphasis on the measures that will be put in place to ensure that those currently affected by this ban can easily adopt new and more sustainable energy sources. These measure may include incentivizing business houses and persons engaged in importation and trade of alternative energy technologies by removing any taxes or duty associated with such completely as well as exploring the enhancement of possible means of utilizing the Constituency Development Funds to finance the access to alternative energy sources by members of the public. In implementing these interventions, it is anticipated that compliance with environmental standards and guidelines will increase, leading to a reduction in deforestation rates and the restoration of degraded ecosystems.

Programmes focusing on sustainable land and forest management, community-based natural resources management, water catchment protection, and natural resource valuation will be key to achieving these objectives. As we embark on this journey towards sustainable development, it is essential to engage all stakeholders, including local communities, government agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector. Collaboration and collective action will be vital in overcoming the complex challenges posed by deforestation and environmental degradation. We encourage citizens to embrace this development and not to have any fear regarding this ban. As earlier alluded to, this action well established in the 8th National Development Plan on page 64 to be precise and is not targeted at specific region but will roll out to the rest of the country in due course. We encourage Zambians to embrace a mindset shift and begin to invest in alternative energy sources such as solar for their domestic lighting, entertainment and cooking at household level. The Forestry Institute of Zambia stands ready to support and collaborate with the government and all relevant stakeholders in implementing the ban on charcoal production permits and promoting sustainable alternatives. Together, we can work towards a future where our forests are preserved, our environment is protected, and our people thrive in harmony with nature.

Yours In Service,
Eng. Chaliafya Katungula
Secretary General
FORESTRY INSTITUTE OF ZAMBIA

8 COMMENTS

  1. ………..

    Very shallow boot licking……..

    Like from a grade 12……….

    “…..Initiatives such as the ongoing project in Katete including same initiatives in other districts demonstrate the feasibility and potential impact of transitioning to charcoal briquettes ……”

    What incentive ????

    What are the bouquets made of ????

    You were better off showcasing how many trees , if any , your organisation has planted……….

  2. Eng. Chaliafya Katungula……….
    Secretary General @

    FORESTRY INSTITUTE OF ZAMBIA

    For sure you were better off taking this opportunity to showcase what your institute is doing about deforestation or reforeststion……..

    Instead of that waffling bootlicking up there…….

    You probably dont do anything………that’s why you have not highlighted anything………

    Just drawing salaries for nothing but lip service……….

  3. Afrikaconnector running the End charcoal to stop deforestation campaign salutes the call to ban tree based charcoal production by aligning alternative to charcoal production training to CDF so that each constituency can produce its own alternative to charcoal. We further request government to decentralize alternative to charcoal training and invite all current tree based charcoal producers to enroll at no cost. Load shedding is an opportunity to create reseller and distributors program for the unemployed to produce climate friendly charcoal, connect with us [email protected]

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  4. Amongst the biggest destroyers of the environment are mining, agriculture and construction. Agriculture stumps out all trees while charcoal burners go for grown trees. So it’s not wholly true that charcoal is the main culprit in forest depletion. I drive an SUV whose carbon tax is K605 per annum whose purpose and how it’s spent no one knows. Most of our experts just copy and paste.

    • Malasha production is the main cause of deforestation………..

      A good indicator of this is to look at the hills and mountains near towns and settlements……..

      Like the hills on the approaches to kafue from lusaka…….

      The Once lush tree covered hills are now barren and bear……because of malasha

      No agriculture takes place on those hills……..

  5. There’s a shrub like tree which was showcased on TV in Eastern Province which is suitable for providing nitrogen fixation in the soil as well as firewood
    Why can’t this plant be promoted and distributed throughout the country for those and other purposes? We’re told that it also grows very fast
    I submit
    Senior Citizen

  6. Without providing alternative sources of heat people will simply burn wood. This logic of banning first and then expecting solutions to miraculously appear afterwards is childish. Plans must be more developed than waking up in the morning and banning something bad

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