Govt. to strengthen laws on environmental protection

Government has reiterated its commitment to strengthen laws aimed at protecting the country’s environment and natural resources.

ZANIS reports that Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Collins Nzovu said this is why government is currently working on various legal and policy reforms on the environment aimed at combating the adverse effects of climate change.

Mr. Nzovu cited the revision of the Environmental Management Act, Forestry Act and the coming up of the climate change bill as some of the reforms that government is undertaking in order ensure that there is proper coordination, management and conservation of the environment.

He added that government has also included climate change intervention measures in the Eight National Development Plan (8NDP) which will by 2026 be used to measure how the new administration would have protected the environment in its first term of office.

Speaking during the launch of the African Climate week in Lusaka today, Mr. Nzovu stressed that good environmental policies are meant to enhance national economic development for the benefit of the country.

He further pledged to partner with various stakeholders such as the media to intensify information dissemination on the importance of environmental protection.

Mr. Nzovu explained that the media have a vital role to play in ensuring that communities are informed and educated on the benefits of protecting their environment from harmful activities that can cause climate change.  

And Mr. Nzovu said the ministry will soon take to cabinet, the issue on construction of residential properties in forestry 27 that has resulted in the contamination of the Chalimbana River, the source of water for Chongwe residents.

He noted that he is also engaging the Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources and local Government and Rural Development on how best to deal with the issue.

The Minister said the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) is also currently conducting a detailed study to come up with measures of addressing the problem.   

Meanwhile, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) Acting Chief Conservation Officer, Beauty Mbale has praised the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment for strides made in pushing for the green growth and climate action agenda for Zambia.

Ms. Mbale said the Ministry’s dedication to combat climate change has put Zambia on the map of leading Africa’s negotiations as the country moves towards the 27th Session on the Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP27).

She explained that Zambia has an opportunity to re-assess and re-design its systems and put itself on the strict path towards sustainability by embracing and recognizing coordinated effects in dealing with the climate change crisis.

She also assured her organization’s continued support to impact youths with skills in innovation and technology to provide solutions to effects of climate change.

And Just Climate Action Country Director, William Chilufya has called for strengthened collaboration between government and other stakeholders in addressing the increasing negative effects of climate change.

Mr. Chilufya also appealed for increased local funding through the Constituency Development Fund(CDF) to climate adaptation and mitigation programmes.