Government has advised Zambians to adopt positive attitude towards the preservation of forests in the country.
Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Professor Nkandu Luo says the level of deforestation in most parts of the country is alarming.
Professor Luo said that time has come for Zambians to utilize forests for wealth creation and sustainable development.
She observed that forests play a critical role in the extraction of raw materials for most finished products being used in the country.
Prof Luo was speaking in Kasama yesterday when she launched the tree planting exercise in Senior Chief Mwamba’s area.
The minister said it is unfortunate that many Zambians were engaging in destructive practices such as indiscriminate cutting down of trees at the expense of preserving the forests.
Prof Luo has since challenged traditional rulers to provide leadership in their chiefdoms in order for the tree planting exercise to become the way of life for their subjects.
And speaking at the same function, Senior Chief Mwamba bemoaned the rampant deforestation in Northern province and called for change of mindsets among the local people in preserving the forests.
The traditional ruler said there is urgent need for the country to plant as many trees as possible for future generations.
Senior Chief Mwamba further called on government to work closely with the traditional leadership in curbing deforestation in chiefdoms.
Meanwhile, Northern province Minister Gerry Chanda commended Senior Chief Mwamba and other traditional rulers in the province for taking keen interest in issues of environment protection in their chiefdoms.
President Michael Sata recently launched the countrywide tree planting exercise in Chongwe district.
About 25 million trees are expected to be planted this year.