28 April 2015 – Lusaka, Zambia -- The Government of the Republic of Zambia officially held today a high-level dialogue on its draft national strategy to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Speaking on behalf of Her Honor, the Vice President of Zambia, Mrs. Inonge Wina, M.P., the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Mrs. Christabel Ngimbu, M.P. highlighted the importance of the strategy as a demonstration of Zambia’s efforts and resolve to address deforestation and forest degradation in a holistic and integrated manner. 

 

Zambia event 28-04-15 rt sm

 

In highlighting the importance of today’s event, she said, “Forest resources are a critical component for the achievement of the country’s Vision 2030. In line with this, REDD+ offers an opportunity for Zambia to bring transformational and systemic change in the way it manages and protects its forests due to the inter-linkages with other sectors such as agriculture, energy, tourism and trade".

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Janet Rogan, commended the progress of UN-REDD Programme supported REDD+ readiness initiatives in Zambia under the guidance and leadership of the government and emphasized that, “Now more than ever, the need to join hands to address global developmental challenges such as deforestation and forest degradation has become imperative.

Statements of support for the implementation of the REDD+ strategy were offered by the Minister of Local Government, Hon. John Phiri, M.P.; Deputy Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Hon. John Kafuna, M.P;, and the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Arts, Hon. Patrick Ngoma, M.P. Members of the diplomatic corps present at the high-level dialogue recognized the efforts Zambia has made in the development of the strategy and called for support to its implementation. The Ambassador of Finland to Zambia, Mr. Timo Olkkonen, stated the importance of finding Zambian solutions to Zambian problems. He re-iterated the interest of his government in engaging in the implementation of the strategy.

The draft REDD+ strategy provides the overall vision, measures and actions to address deforestation and forest degradation in Zambia. It demonstrates the country’s global and national commitments to promote REDD+. Its vision is to realize a prosperous climate change resilient economy by 2030, anchored upon sustainable management and utilization of Zambia’s natural resources towards improved livelihoods.

Its goal is to contribute to national reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by improving forest and land management, and to ensure equitable sharing of both carbon and non-carbon benefits among stakeholders. The strategy is guided by seven core principles: effectiveness, efficiency, fairness, transparency, accountability, inclusiveness and sustainability. 

Implementation of Zambia’s national REDD+ strategy will focus on tackling different drivers of deforestation in both the forestry and other identified key sectors such as agriculture, energy, mining and land-use. The strategy will be implemented through a landscape approach at the watershed level and through national-level policy reforms. It will take into account all land uses in a holistic way (including water and wildlife) and will work to lessen the competition for natural resources among different sectors. The approach ensures that the best possible balance is achieved among a range of different development objectives, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, environmental and biodiversity conservation, enhanced economic productivity, and improved livelihoods. It also offers opportunities for Zambia to be supported in the implementation of its policies and measures as outlined in the draft national REDD+ strategy and consistent with national development priorities.

Through transformational and innovative programmes such as REDD+, the United Nations is clearly demonstrating strong efforts and commitment to support Zambia to deliver development goals as “One UN”.  The cross-sectoral implementation of the national REDD+ strategy would enable Zambia to pursue green development pathways that respond to poverty reduction, wealth creation, climate resilience, and overall achievement of sustainable development goals.

Zambia is located in Southern Africa and endowed with vast areas of land, water, forest, plants and animal resources. The country covers an area of 752,614 km2 with an estimated 50 million hectares of forests. Notwithstanding the great potential Zambia holds in the area of sustainable forest management and the overall contribution of this to national, regional and global development priorities, the nation’s forests are under increased pressure. Between 250,000 and 300,000 hectares of forest are lost every year.

The high-level national REDD+ strategy dialogue held today was an invaluable opportunity to galvanize political and strategic support around a common vision and to ensure endorsement of the strategy through national consensus building on addressing the drivers of deforestation.

 

For additional information, please contact:

Mr. Ignatius Makumba, Acting Director of Forestry, Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (MLNREP)

Email:

Or

Elsie Attafuah, UN-REDD Programme Senior Regional Technical Advisor for Africa

Email: