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Zambia Tackles Illegal Logging with Comprehensive Approach 

Dr. Douty Chibamba, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, emphasized the need for a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to address the complex issue of illegal logging during the Zambia Illegal Logging Law Enforcement Workshop.

Dr. Chibamba acknowledged that illegal logging poses a significant challenge for law enforcement and requires collective efforts to combat the illegal activities. 

Speaking at the workshop, he highlighted Zambia’s rich forestry heritage and the importance of sustainable forestry management in balancing economic benefits with the conservation of natural resources.

“By adhering to responsible logging practices, we aim to balance the economic benefits of the forestry industry with the imperative to conserve our natural resources,” stated Dr. Chibamba. 

He emphasized that the forestry industry plays a crucial role in the livelihoods of Zambian communities, and empowering local communities through sustainable practices fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility for the country’s natural resources.

The Permanent Secretary emphasized the interconnected nature of forests, transcending departmental boundaries and necessitating a united front of diverse expertise. 

Dr. Chibamba stressed the importance of sharing resources and best practices, considering it not just an ideal but a necessity.

“We must learn from each other, bridge informational gaps, and leverage collective knowledge to maximize our impact,” he urged, recognizing the importance of collaboration in addressing illegal logging.

Dr. Chibamba highlighted that the workshop reflects the recognition that protecting forests and combating illegal activities within them demands collective efforts from government bodies, environmental agencies, law enforcement agencies, and international collaborators.

Dr. Beth Hahn, the U.S. Forest Service International Programme’s Southern Africa Programme Coordinator, acknowledged the critical importance of Zambia’s forests and natural resources for people, livelihoods, and biodiversity. 

She recognized the challenges faced by Zambia in combating illegal logging, including porous borders and the sophistication of transnational organized crime in the forestry sector.

“Forest crime law enforcement can be dangerous,” Dr. Hahn noted, emphasizing the need for a concerted effort to address illegal logging and trafficking. 

The U.S. government stands ready to support Zambia in its endeavors to protect its forests and combat illegal activities threatening the country’s natural resources.

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