Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme has called on the World Bank to approve the implementation of the Transforming Landscapes for Resilient Development (TRALARD) to be implemented in Luapula, Muchinga and Northern Provinces of Zambia.

According to a statement issued by ministry spokesperson Chibaula Silwamba, Sunday, the development objective of TRALARD Project is to increase the ecosystem resilience and land productivity within vulnerable landscapes in the Northern Region of Zambia and, in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, to provide immediate and effective response to the eligible crisis or emergency.

Chiteme made the call for approval and expansion of climate change and environmental projects in Zambia when he met World Bank Senior Director (Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice) Karin Erika Kemper, Director Environment Global Practice Benoit Bosquet, Country Coordinator for southern African region Emmanuel Noubissié and Practice Manager Environment and Natural resource management Africa Olojoba on Thursday at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC USA.

Chiteme said the Zambian government was highly expectant that the TRALARD projects would uplift lives of people in the catchment areas.

“I want to assure you that Members of Parliament, community leaders and the Government have worked tirelessly to bring this project on board and it currently stands as one of the most eagerly anticipated projects in the country building on the success of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR),” said Chiteme.

The Minister urged the World Bank to also expand its support to the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscaping Project (ZIFLP) currently being implemented in Eastern Province to be extended to North Western and Copperbelt provinces.

Ministry of National Development Planning Permanent Secretary (Development Planning) Chola Chabala and Zambia Integrated Forest Landscaping Project (ZIFLP) National Coordinator Dr Tasila Banda, who participated in the meeting emphasised, the importance to scale up the ZIFL Project.

Chabala said expanding the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscaping Project will safeguard the source of the Zambezi River in North Western Province and Kafue River in Copperbelt Province as well as address other environmental challenges in the two provinces.

The World Bank directors assured the Bank’s commitment to work with the Zambian Government to address its climate and environmental issues.

“I am happy Minister that you are committed to addressing challenges of climate change. You are a leader and champion of climate change issues,” Bosquet told Chiteme.

The World Bank directors agreed with Chiteme’s proposal to scale up the ZIFL Project and implementation of the Transforming Landscapes for Resilient Development.