Lands and Natural Resources Minister Jean Kapata says Government is in the process of coming up with legislation that will facilitate the harvesting and auctioning of Mukula timber on an open market to foreign entities.
Ms Kapata says that government is of the view that doing so will go a long way in reducing the illegal harvesting and selling of the Mukula tree.
She says her Ministry is committed to ensuring that proceeds from the Mukula tree benefit all Zambians and not a few individuals who have been harvesting it illegally.
The Minister says government wants countries like China and other interested buyers to purchase Mukula timber directly from government.
Ms. Kapata disclosed this when she paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Her Excellency, Ms. Susan Sikaneta and addressed diplomatic staff at the Zambian Embassy.
The Minister is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to attend a High –Level Ministerial meeting for Least Developed Countries on Climate, at the United Nations Commission for Africa (UNECA).
She says the meeting has been convened as part of preparations towards the forthcoming Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 24)to be held in Poland.
She says at National level, Government had put up programmes such as the planting of trees to mitigate the effects of climate change.
‘’Zambia has not been spared from effects of climate change, look at the droughts that we experience year in , year out, all these are indications that more needs to be done to mitigate the problem of climate change, ‘’she said
The Minister says government was hopeful that a million trees will be planted if the programme introduced in schools and higher learning institutions can be followed to the latter.
And Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Her Excellency Susan Sikaneta commended the government for introducing the programme of planting trees
She said the trees would add to having a clean, green and healthy environment in addition to adding beauty and being a source of income.