MINISTER of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu says government will procure drones to monitor illegal activities in forests in order to mitigate illegal harvest and trade of timber.
Speaking during his Southern Province tour, Nzovu said government, through the Forestry Department, was also in the process of procuring machinery which would detect the age of the logs and their origin.
The Minister said government was losing a lot of revenue in the illegal trade of timber.
This is according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, Sunday.
“Ministry of Green Economy and Environment Hon Collins Nzovu has disclosed that government, through the Forestry Department, is in the process of procuring machinery that will detect the age of the logs and their origin. Hon Nzovu also said government will also procure drones to monitor illegal activities in forests in order to mitigate illegal harvest and trade of timber. On his continued tour of Southern Province, the Minister said that government was losing a lot of revenue in the illegal trade of the commodity. He however encouraged timber processing companies in Kazungula District to trade only with licensed individuals and entities,” read the statement.
“Hon Nzovu stressed that perpetrators of the illegal trade of timber would face the full wrath of the law as the cutting down of trees doesn’t only result in the loss of revenue but also poses a danger on the climate. The Minister noted, with concern, that so much illegality under the previous regime was being perpetrated with impunity and perpetrators were never prosecuted. Hon Nzovu said such will not be condoned under the New Dawn Administration. He stressed the need for the country to start adding value to the timber and export finished products.”
In Livingstone and Kazungula, the Minister visited sheds where impounded Mukula is kept.
He also visited some timber processing industries which manufacture world class furniture and assured them of government’s support.
During the same tour, he also visited Choma where he interacted with various tree growers, as well as, the Choma Museum.