Tree Planting Exercise and Legal Support for Environmental Growth

The Forestry Advocacy for Communities Communication Transparency Accountability and Research- F(A+C+T+A+R) extends its commendation to the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) for their proactive approach in addressing climate change and promoting environmental sustainability. The recent tree planting exercise at LAZ House underscores the commitment of legal professionals to leverage the law for societal growth, acknowledging that environmental challenges like climate change are pivotal to our nation’s development.

Promoting Foresters’ Employment and Entrepreneurship through Legislation

Forestry is a critical sector in Zambia’s green economy agenda. It is heartening to see the law profession taking steps to support environmental sustainability. However, addressing climate change also necessitates promoting foresters’ employment and entrepreneurship through effective legislation. Currently , it has been revealed that foresters listed as working in forest concession areas are actually not on site and not employed. The Government has been informed and the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment shown commitment that it shall take affirmative action to correct the situation. This initiative aims to create 2,850 jobs for local community members in forest concession areas and 207 professional forester positions. These efforts are timely and essential for tackling unemployment among trained professionals, who often face recruitment processes marred by what is perceived as nepotism and lack of transparency.

Ensuring Accountability in Foresters’ Employment

The reality in our forestry sector reveals a gap between legislation and implementation. While forestry laws support the employment of foresters, many positions remain vacant, creating a false impression of job creation. We advocate for the government, particularly the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment and the Forestry Department, to enforce the employment of professional foresters in concession areas. This measure will not only ensure sustainability but also enhance tax revenue for the government.

The Role of Trees in Hydroelectric Power Generation

The conversation between F(A+C+T+A+R) and the Director of Forestry highlighted the crucial role of trees in the hydrological cycle, essential for hydroelectric power generation. Trees contribute to water retention and precipitation, directly impacting water levels in dams like Kariba. The current drought, exacerbated by deforestation, underscores the need for sustainable land and forest management to prevent power shortages.

Addressing the Charcoal Conundrum

Charcoal production poses a significant threat to our forests. While some argue for sustainable charcoal production, the practical challenges often make it untenable. A shift towards renewable energy sources is crucial to mitigate environmental degradation and ensure a sustainable future.

Prioritizing Service Delivery Enthusiasts Over Salary Mongers

The address by the secretary to the cabinet is comforting. In a press briefing at Mulungushi International Conference Center, Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa emphasized the critical role of the public service in promoting national unity and efficient governance. He highlighted initiatives such as recruiting based on competence to reflect the nation’s diversity, enforcing fair human resource policies, and managing resources prudently by mandating government vehicles be parked by 18:00 hours. In response to the national drought disaster, he urged efficient distribution of relief food and personal contributions to national food security. Kangwa also addressed combating corruption, improving communication, supporting sustainability through alternative energy sources, and fostering national unity and lawfulness among public service workers. These measures aim to enhance efficiency, accountability, and inclusivity within the public service to foster a more prosperous Zambia.

F(A+C+T+A+R) echoes the sentiment that public service positions should be filled by qualified individuals dedicated to service delivery rather than personal gain. Nepotism and connections have led to a workforce ill-equipped to handle their roles effectively. This culture undermines the potential for optimal public service and economic development. We call for bold steps to stabilize the civil service, promoting meritocracy and patriotism over self-interest.

In conclusion, F(A+C+T+A+R) supports LAZ’s initiatives and urges a collaborative approach towards environmental sustainability and job creation in the forestry sector. Addressing climate change and promoting a green economy require concerted efforts across all sectors, including legal, governmental, and environmental advocacy groups. By prioritizing sustainability, transparency, and accountability, we can ensure a robust and resilient future for Zambia.

About the Author

Chaliafya Katungula is a Forestry Advocate for Communities Communication Transparency Accountability and Research -F(A+C+T+A+R)