“Comrade secretary general of PF, you as our minister, I am saying tell our leader Michael Chilufya Sata that what you are doing, I appreciate greatly.
But it needs more than just action programmes, we need action. If you don’t act now, we are completely finished as a nation. So, listen to my leader here, all of you present,” he said.
“I am asking the ambassadors and high commissioners to inform their governments what he is going to say to us this afternoon because we need your support to fight this deadly war on the Zambian soil.”
And justice minister Wynter Kabimba, who represented President Sata, said trees should be harnessed well as they represented one of the most important components of the ecosystem.
Kabimba, who is also PF secretary general, said trees contributed to poverty alleviation by sustaining sound and productive ecosystems for agriculture and water development.
“Zambia’s emissions of greenhouse gases through man-induced deforestation are high, hence our government’s resolve to embark on a massive afforestation and re-afforestation programme. This is meant to contribute to the reduction of global warming caused by man-induced deforestation. It is Zambia’s contribution to this global agenda,” he said.
Kabimba said Zambia was experiencing some of the negative effects of climate change.
“The national tree-planting programme that our government has embarked on cannot succeed without sound forest management and protection practices.
To address this, the government will strengthen the Ministry of Lands, natural resources and environmental protection by restructuring the forestry department, so that it can effectively and efficiently spearhead the implementation of the programme,” he said.
Kabimba said more than 200,000 jobs would be created once the programme was fully operational.
Earlier, chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II, bemoaned the high rate of deforestation in her chiefdom.
She asked the government to engage the locals in the implementation of the programme.
And Chongwe member of parliament Sylvia Masebo said her constituency has had its share of deforestation arising from charcoal burning.