Friday, June 15, 2012

Wignaraja cautions Zambia on exploitation of environment

Wignaraja cautions Zambia on exploitation of environment
By Kabanda Chulu
Fri 15 June 2012, 13:23 CAT

UN country representative Kanni Wignaraja yesterday warned that Zambia and the rest of the world are set on a path of self-destruction unless societies and institutions change the way the environment is exploited.

And a youth climate change ambassador Josephine Pumulo has challenged the government to stop the tendency of bringing on board all stakeholders in preparations for forums like the Rio+20 conference but fail to embrace them when it comes to implementation of the outcomes of the meeting.

During a briefing to present Zambia's key message to the Rio+20 United Nations conference on sustainable development scheduled for next week, Wignaraja said the world today had a 'once in a generation' opportunity to do things differently.

"We have to rise to the occasion and seize a moment to do things differently. If we don't change how economies produce, how societies are organised and how institutions respond, then we are headed towards a path of self-destruction," said Wignaraja.

"There is no other option for Zambia, Africa and the world but to take sustainable wise choices so that as we grow, there is greater balance between managing our economy and the environment hence there will be no excuses for the leadership in Rio, whether from private or public to deliver what can change the world for better."

Presenting the country's position at the forum, environmental protection and natural resources minister Wylbur Simuusa said Zambia had high expectations that the Rio+20 would reinvigorate international community towards integrating social, economic and environmental strands of development to ensure that current development patterns do not jeopardise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

"Two main themes of the conference are transitioning to a green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty reduction and building consensus on appropriate framework for fostering sustainable development," he said.

"It is the poverty reduction portion of the green economy that is of particular relevance to our country and Zambia's strongest call to the conference is to rally international support towards poverty eradication by giving real meaning to this important development goal."

And Pumulo said without the involvement of young people, Zambia would not attain the desired future of having a cleaner, healthier and green environment.
"We have noticed that during preparations, all stakeholders are invited but when the meetings take place, nothing happens and people are not informed anymore," she said.

But Simuusa assured that the government had developed a plan of action dubbed 'Beyond Rio' that would undertake the implementations of resolutions of the forum.

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