Timber export suspension elates CEJ

 Timber export suspension elates CEJ

By Staff Writer

Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) has welcomed the New Dawn Government’s decision to suspend the issuance of Timber Export Permits.

CEJ Head of Research and Studies Freeman Mubanga said the move will help control the extraction of the depleting natural resource.

Mr Mubanga said that the development will foster appropriate timber trading mechanisms that will increase revenue.

He said it is high time that Zambia takes forest accountability seriously to conserve and utilize timber sustainably.

Mr Mubanga said that the disparity between timber exports and revenue is huge.

He said Zambia has been exporting metric tonnes of timber of which the resulting revenues are highly questionable.

The CEJ Head of Research and Studies urges Government to take forest stock audits as a matter of national interest, going forward.

He highlights that data available on forest utilization has been incomplete with figures missing for years.

Mr Mubanga also said that there is no clear distinction between indigenous timber and plantation timber.

He said comparing figures for actual production with harvesting licenses has further revealed large gaps.

Mr Mubanga said that FAO has estimated a production figure of 500,000 m3/ year, which is much higher than locally available figures .

He said that Government’s decision is timely because of the current rate at which Zambia is losing out on its natural resources particularly the vulnerable forest resources.

Mr Mubanga said halting timber exports will promote accountability of the timber available both in the country and that being exported.

Alice Nachilembe

https://tiozambia.com

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.