Finnish govt pledge to support Zambia’s forestry
Solwezi, March 27, 2014, ZANIS – The Finnish government says it is keen to see Zambia realise sustainable management of her forest resources.
Finnish ambassador to Zambia Pertti Anttinen says his government through the embassy the was embarking on a new forest programme aimed at decentralising forestry management in North Western and Northern provinces.
He said this would assist the Zambian government to put in measures that ensure that the extraction of forest resources for timber and other products start to better ordinary people’s livelihoods.
“The forestry management programme will involve stakeholders in finding ways and models on how to sustainably manage the natural resource. It is about doing something that will bring more economic value to the local people,” Mr Anttinen said.
He said it does not make sense for companies to extract timber products and make huge profits without local communities who conserve forests benefiting in a meaningful way.
The Finnish Envoy said this when he paid a courtesy call on North Western province permanent secretary at the start of a three day tour of the province.
Mr Anttinen told Mr Malupenga that the Finnish government is embarking on a new forest programme aimed at decentralising forestry management in North Western and Northern provinces.
The programme that will be financed in three phases for 12 years has an initial funding of €4million (K34.349 billion).
And Mr Malupenga said the problem of deforestation in the country is quite big.
He said although the North Western province was better off in terms of forest cover, which explains why the area continues to receive better rainfall pattern, there is need to put in place strategies that will stop deforestation.
The Permanent Secretary noted that this is why there is more need to collaborate with mining companies to replenish trees that are cut down on large scale to pave way for mining activities.
The Finnish ambassador has been visiting North Western province since Monday this week in company of Finland ministry of foreign affairs officials and a team of 17 journalists from various media houses from that country.
The visit to North Western province is part of the eight-day annual communication development academy that the Finland foreign office organises for its journalists.
And Finland ministry of foreign affairs director for development communication Seija Kinni, said the Finnish parliament commits million of Euros for cooperation partnership too various countries including Zambia.
Ms Kinni said this money comes from taxpayers of Finland and is intended to support solutions to development challenges in cooperating partner countries like Zambia.