Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finland pledges 9m euros to Zambia's environmental conservation progra

Finland pledges 9m euros to Zambia's environmental conservation progra
By Noel Sichalwe
Saturday September 27, 2008 [04:00]

FINNISH Ambassador to Zambia Sinikka Antila has pledged about nine million Euros towards programmes aimed at conserving Zambia’s environment. Speaking at a strategic environmental awareness workshop, Ambassador Antila said she was glad that the Zambian government had nominated her country to be a lead partner in environmental programmes.

She said the role of Finland was to facilitate support to various sectors and institutions dealing with environmental programmes.

Ambassador Antila said her government’s support would be funded through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources’ mainstream programme.

She challenged other donors to support environmental programmes, saying the natural environment was the most valuable economic asset that Zambia had and which could be utilised properly.

Ambassador Antila said urgent action was needed in planning and implementation of the strategic plan in order to preserve the environment.

“My government will continue to support Zambia in mainstreaming the environmental programmes,” said Ambassador Antila.

And tourism and enviroment permanent secretary Mukuka Zimba said the government was happy with the support given by Finland towards the preservation of Zambia’s environment.

Finance permanent secretary James Mulungushi said lack of awareness on environmental degradation had caused a lot of global concerns on environmental issues.

Mulungushi said it was now an imperative requirement that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) became effective, emphasising the need to consider environmental programmes in the production process.

He said there were currently over 100 EIA projects being undertaken in Zambia, as the Vision 2030 had spelt out the need for environmental conservation.

Mulungushi also said the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP), which is a vehicle to attain the 2030 Vision, has a budget of up to K277 billion for environmental programmes of which K37 billion would be provided by the government and the donors would provide K231 billion.
Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) acting director Victoria Mupwaya said the institution was facing a lot of challenges because people perceive environmental protection as a threat to the agriculture sector.



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