Newly appointed Tourism Permanent Secretary Evans Muhanga has pledged Government’s commitment to ensure that deliberations and resolutions by various stakeholders at the just-ended 2021 National Community-Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) are looked at achieve a win-win situation.
Speaking at the close of the Fifth Anniversary of event organized by the CBNRM Forum and Zambia Community Resources Board Association, the PS said Government appreciates the role of traditional leadership in galvanizing communities to safeguard wildlife across the country.
He said the challenges of living side-by-side with wildlife are well known and hence communities’ demand for their share of the benefits that come from the wildlife like hunting fees cannot be over-emphasised.
The controlling officers said meetings like the congress give an opportunity to different parties to iron out any misunderstanding and hence the need to have such from time to time.
The New Dawn Government has committed in ensuring that there is a cordial working relationship between communities, private sector, NGOS and Government.
Government has made a step to reposition the natural resource sector through the development of a policy in CBNRM that will harmonise the management of resources in our country.
The policy only await ratification and awaits the enactment.
The ministry of tourism believes that the CBNRM policy will address our numerous threats to natural resources such as encrochment in our game management areas (GMAs).
Government has since pledged endeavour to work on all possible areas in order to create an enabling environment for all the players in the management of natural resources.
The Wildlife Act is also being reviewed in quest to incorporate some of the prevailing issues in the sector.
As the legal framework being refinined resolutions that come from stakeholders’ forums such as this one, will be used to inform the working guidelines in the management of natural resources through CBNRM.
Natural resources management is constantly evolving to suit the changing faces of the contemporary world.
This calls for appropriate responses and assessments to the situation and improvisation in coping with the challenges.
Communities on the other hand have raised some concerns and demands among themis that they have not been paid their share of the concession fees since 2015.
Speaking at the event chairperson the Zambia CBNRM Forum, also Regional Chairperson Chairpersonfor SADC- Community Leaders Network of Southern Africa (CLN-SA) Dr Rodgers Lubilo said prior to changing the wildlife act in 2015, communities and their Royal highnesses, used to receive 15 and 5 % of the concession fees respectively With Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) then collecting 80%.
He saidefforts to address this problem has not yielded any positive results, and the reason has been cited that there is no legal basis for doing so because of the defective SI No, 89 of 2004 which does not mention the sharing of concession fees.
Dr. Lubilo also raised the issue of non-finalization of the SIon sharing of the community revenues: this process has been going on since 2016 and nothing has not come forth.
He Appealedtothe Governmentto put this regulation in place.