GOVERNMENT has no plans of de-gazetting any national parks in the country for the purpose of resettling people, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Arts Lawrence Evans says.
Mr Evans told Parliament on Tuesday that Government has not changed its position over national parks as wildlife sanctuaries and therefore there are no plans to settle people in game reserves.
Mr Evans said national parks are important in protecting the ecosystem, preservation of habitat for wildlife and other bio-diversity.
He was responding to Patriotic Front Member of Parliament for Lumezi Isaac Banda, who wanted to find out whether Government has any plans to de-gazette parts of Lukusuzi National Park in Mwanse Mphangwe and Chikomeni chiefdoms to create more land for the growing population.
“Government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, has no plans of de-gazette Lukusuzu National Park or any other national park for the purpose of settling people.
“De-gazetting of national parks can only be undertaken only if the objective why the park was created is no longer valued,” he said.
Mr Evans also said Government will not de-gazette Lukusuzi National Park in Eastern Province because it is one of the protected areas that form Malawi-Zambia Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (TFCA).
He said the two countries have agreed through the TFCA to protect North Luangwa National Park area, including Lukusuzi National Park for the purpose of enhancing conservation.
He said the park is key to the success of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA agreement and must be protected.
Zambia Daily Mail