Government has affirmed its commitment to diversify the economy in order to reduce poverty and protect the environment.
And African Development Bank (AFDB) Resident Representative Freddie Kwesiga has said the bank is committed to promoting Green Growth and had set aside $63 million (KR315 million) for bio fuels development and $350 million (KR1.7 billion) on clear energy development in Africa.
Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Deputy Minister Danny Chingimbu says Zambia has long been dependent on copper mining and it was time to develop other sectors like tourism, agriculture and also to foster infrastructure development.
ZANIS reports Mr Chingimbu was speaking at a four day workshop on Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) and Green Economy under the theme: “Green Growth in Africa: Concepts, Tools and Strategies for Building Greener Economies and a Sustainable Future.”
He said although the country had ripped economic benefits from mining it was still grappling with environmental liabilities among them large scale mineral extraction, land degradation, habitat destruction, water and air pollution and deforestation which is rated at about 250, 000 to 300, 000 hectares annually.
He said it was for this reason that efforts to diversify the economy adhered to environmental considerations saying benefits must not only be economical but also social and environmental.
The deputy minister said Zambia like many other African countries derived its economy from abundant natural resources and it was thus important to use environmental impact assessment in decision making on all developmental projects.
And African Development Bank (AfDB) Resident Representative Freddie Kwesiga has said the bank is committed to promoting Green Growth and had set aside $63 million (KR315 million) for bio fuels development and $350 million (KR1.7 billion) on clear energy development in Africa.
Dr Kwesiga said AfDB wanted Africa to transition to greener growth by increasing the capacities of African economies to reach their objectives stating that green growth offered the continent an opportunity to lead by example and set a benchmark for rest of the world in scoring sustainable development.
He said while many developed countries had already depleted forests, polluted rivers Africa still had a lot of natural resources to assist it innovate climate change initiatives and it was for this reason that six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world were African.
And speaking earlier at the same function Finland Ambassador Mertti Anttinen called on research and wider consultation in decision making.
Mr Anttinen said policy based on good information were more likely to be successful unlike those not well thought out or understood.
He said he was happy that Zambia had fully integrated Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in its legislation saying the tool was useful for implementing and enforcing environmental issues.
The Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Zambia and the Zambian Environmental management Agency (ZEMA) are hosting two back-to-back workshops in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and The Finnish Environmental Institute. The workshops present conceptual issues and policy tool kits on implementing growth policy measure and Strategic Environmental Assessments.