Forestry Act unsettles Chief Luembe

Chief Luembe and Axon Lungu
Chief Luembe and Axon Lungu

SENIOR Chief Luembe of the Nsenga people of Nyimba District has called for the amendment of the Forestry Act which he says is outdated and ineffective.
The traditional leader said the Forestry Act of 1999 did not help his subjects conserve the forest which was slowly diminishing due to indiscriminate cutting down of trees.
Chief Luembe, whose sentiments were supported by Senior Chief Ndake, complained that traditional leaders had no authority to punish the perpetrators of the degradation of forests, hence the need to have a policy that would guide residents to secure certain forests for future generations.
“Ng’ambwa forest in Nyimba District has for a long time suffered degradation which may soon lead to the forest being wiped out if this issue is not seriously managed,” he said.
This has prompted the Centre for International Forest Research (CIFOR) to partner with the Forestry Department, under the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental protection in addressing the issue.
CIFOR advances human well-being, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research to help shape policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries like the Nyimba Forest Project.
CIFOR’s project leader, Davison Gumbo said the media had a role of raising awareness on the negative impact of deforestation and to equip the local population with information on the right use of forestry resources.
The project, once completed, would help Government identify feasible strategies to reduce the rate of deforestation that leads to unsustainable forest use as well as to refine forest monitoring initiatives that include local communities.
Senior Chief Luembe also said his subjects were being attacked by wild animals during their search for firewood, timber, wild fruits, grass, herbs and medicine.

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