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Accounting for natural resources vital for national development – Govt

Government of Zambia says it is vital to account for natural resources in calculation of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the wider national development.
Ministry of National Development Planning, Permanent Secretary in charge of Development Planning and Administration Chola Chabala presented a paper on Zambia’s Climate Change Policy and Accounting of Natural Resources at the on-going Natural Capital Policy Forum jointly organised by the World Bank Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the Government of the Netherlands and the Natural Capital Coalition, in Paris, France.
The Forum is focusing on government decision-makers’ needs and experiences. It is aimed at discussing how natural capital approaches/accounting can improve decision-making on climate change and biodiversity and how governments can work together to achieve this with business.
By bringing together the experience and communities of each organization, it is hoped that delegates would explore and better understand how natural capital accounting and complementary approaches can improve the decision-making at both the private and national level.
Mr. Chabala said Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) is focused on the part of total wealth that comes from land, water, mineral, energy, soil, forests and timber, and ecosystem assets.
The Permanent Secretary informed the global gathering that the Zambian Government has been engaging with Members of Parliament, especially through the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources as well as the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism, concerning the importance of NCAs. He said Zambia currently has draft Water, Forestry and Land Accounts.
Mr. Chabala further said the objective of Zambia’s National Policy on Climate Change was to provide a framework for coordinating climate change programmes in order to ensure climate resilience and low carbon development pathways for sustainable development towards the attainment of Zambia’s Vision 2030.
In a related development, the Minister of National Development Planning Hon. Alexander Chiteme, MP, is expected in Paris to deliver a keynote address at the World Bank Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) eighth Annual Partnership Meeting. The Minister is expected to give perspectives on Natural Capital Accounting and decision-making.

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