Friday, October 25, 2013

Seyuba lauds Finnish support to Forestry Dept
By Vincent Chilikima in Solwezi
Thu 03 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT

NORTH Western Province permanent secretary Augustine Seyuba has applauded Finland's cooperation and support in the management of forests and other natural resources. Seyuba said this when a project appraisal team paid a courtesy call on him.

He disclosed that Finland was providing 4.5 million Euros to the decentralised forest and other natural resources management programme in North Western and Muchinga provinces.

And project appraisal team leader senior consultant Henk Remme said the introduction phase of the programme would operate in Mwinilunga and Kasempa districts of North Western Province, and Nakonde and Chinsali districts of Muchinga Province, adding that the project was scheduled to start in 2014 and would initially run for three years to establish a solid platform and enabling conditions for full-scale programme implementation to last 12 years.

Meanwhile, Seyuba said the province was excited because the project was aimed at stopping deforestation, forest degradation, loss of biodiversity and reduction of carbon emissions, describing such conditions as negatively contributing to global warming and climate change.

He said the protection of land and water resources was very important for sustaining the agricultural sector, adding that the decentralised nature of the programme would assist in strengthening local rights by creating awareness among traditional leaders and their communities on their rights and responsibilities to ensure sustainable utilisation of natural resources.

Seyuba added that the project was necessary because it would reduce poverty and inequality through increasing rural incomes, enhancing food security and generating new employment opportunities for the rural poor.

He explained that the planned interventions should strengthen local government and support devolvement of many key natural resource management functions to the local levels to empower rural communities in the sustainable management of forests and other natural resources.

"The primary beneficiaries should be individuals and groups in local forests and other natural resources-dependent communities, including households and other vulnerable groups living in extreme poverty as well as community-based organisations in targeted districts," he said.

Seyuba also said the programme's success could be enhanced by integrating its implementation through establishing a team of key stakeholders from various institutions, among them the royal establishments, ministries of agriculture, local government, community development, the media and NGOs.

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