22 February 2013

Zambia: Economic Growth Has Affected Environment - Simuusa

ZAMBIA'S economic growth in the sectors of mining, agriculture, tourism and construction resulted in negative environmental and social impacts, Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Wylbur Simuusa has said.

Mr Simuusa said the social impacts include urbanisation, increased natural resource exploitation, pollution, changing consumer patterns and subsequent pressure on the environment.

The minister was speaking in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday when he addressed the 27th Session of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council Global Ministerial Environment Forum at the UN headquarters for Africa.

The delegates were drawn from Africa, Europe, Asia, the United States, and Middle East.

He said Zambia was putting in place mechanisms to promote sound environmental and natural resources management.

Mr Simuusa, who was accompanied to the meeting by Zambia's Permanent Representative to UNEP Mary Zambezi and Lands Permanent Secretary Daisy Ng'ámbi said the Zambian Government was also strengthening the legislative framework to enable this to happen.

In a quest to address issues of clean environment and climate change, Zambia is working with various stakeholders to promote programmes that would help local communities to shift their economic dependence from natural resource exploitation to more sustainable livelihood practices.

"The quest to achieve sound environmental and natural resources management is marred by a number of challenges. These include insufficient funding in the wake of different competing needs that the Government has to finance, insufficient expertise and human resources to effectively translate Government policy into workable programmes," he said.

The minister said Zambia's forests provide carbon sinks through sequestration, a process helping the poor communities to participate in reducing climate change impacts.

Mr Simuusa said Zambia would continue to look to its development partners and the wider international community for the support essential to achieving sustainable development.

Zambia also reiterated that countries did not need so much new sources of financing but access to technology, if the transition to a green economy was to be realised.

Mr Simuusa said the implementation of Rio outcomes would require a systematic approach to ensure that they were workable.

Copyright © 2013 The Times of Zambia. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.