Government says it does not support the further degazation of National forests in the country.
Responding to a request by Serenje District Commissioner Andrew Mpyakula at a stakeholders meetings held in Serenje on Tuesday on the need to degazate forest 21 for the sole purpose of the town expansion, Lands and Natural Resources Minister Elijah Muchima said government is very cautious of taking that route.
Mr. Muchima said government wants to protect the environment in view of the devastating effects of climate change as currently being witnesses in Zambia and the world as a whole.
He says it is the duty of every Zambian to ensure that the environment is protected from further destruction.
The lands Minister said such a move to degazette a forest will on be based on serious compelling reasons based on public interest.
He reminded the stakeholders that in most cases when forests are degazetted, they only benefit those in government while the real owners who are the local people are left out.
MR. Muchima cited Forest 27 in Lusaka which he said was only shared among Patriotic Front PF ministers and their associates.
The lands Minister has since proposed that government comes up with a deliberate policy to compel every child born to plant a tree so as to protect the environment.
He has since bemoaned the rate at which forests are being depleted by human nature such as charcoal burning.
The Serenje Town Council in its appeal to the minister for the degazation of forest 21 said the population in serenje has grown there by increasing the demand for land human habitation and town expansion.
Mr. Muchima in Serenje and Chitambo Districts of Central province on familiazation tours in relations to his ministry