The Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka hosted a crucial event on July 21, 2023, where the Acting Head of Cooperation, Matthias Reusing, delivered the opening remarks during the Validation Workshop for the EU-Zambia Forest Partnership Roadmap.
In attendance were distinguished guests, including the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment (MoGEE), Douty Chibamba, directors of relevant departments from other sector ministries, representatives of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA). Also present were representatives of the EU Member States, cooperating partners, civil society organizations (CSOs), and research institutions.
The roadmap, a result of intensive consultations, signifies the longstanding relations between Zambia and Team Europe, highlighting their joint commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing global challenges, including climate change and biodiversity loss. During the COP26 in Glasgow, Heads of State, including President Hakainde Hichilema, signed the “Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use,” calling for a halt to deforestation by 2030.
Reusing emphasized the severity of deforestation, with the planet losing 10 million hectares of forest annually, and Zambia alone losing 172,000 hectares. This poses profound implications for the ecosystem, including acting as a carbon sink, preserving biodiversity, and providing a stable microclimate, affecting the livelihoods of millions and triggering food insecurity.
The EU’s commitment to managing 40 million hectares of forest sustainably by 2027, creating 1 million jobs in sustainable forest value chains, and facilitating trade in wood products further exemplifies their dedication to environmental preservation.
Aligning with Zambia’s 8th National Development Plan (8NDP), the roadmap supports good governance in the forest sector, transformative economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social and human development in forest communities.
The workshop’s participants look forward to successfully implementing the roadmap, a significant step towards safeguarding Zambia’s forests and preserving the environment for future generations. The collaboration not only aligns with Zambia’s national objectives but also contributes to global efforts for a healthier planet.