Extend ban on charcoal production permits to all parts of Zambia, Katungula tells govt


The Forestry Institute of Zambia (FIZ) has called on government to extend the ban on charcoal production permits to all parts of the country.

Government announced the ban on charcoal production permits for Mumbwa, Itezhi Tezhi, and Shibuyunji in Central Province recently.

Institute Secretary-General, Chaliafya Katungula, made the call to government in a statement issued in Lusaka on Thursday following the announcement on the ban.

Katungula said the trade in charcoal, while lucrative, exacts a heavy toll on the environment and contributes significantly to deforestation.

“Therefore, a comprehensive and nationwide ban on charcoal production is necessary to curb this destructive practice and promote sustainable alternatives,” he stated.

Katungula noted that one such alternative that warrants exploration and promotion was the adoption of charcoal briquettes to replace raw charcoal.

He stated that charcoal briquettes offered a more environmentally friendly and sustainable solution, utilizing waste from both forest products and agricultural sources.

“The unprecedented levels of deforestation pose a significant threat not only to our environment but also to the livelihoods of countless Zambians who depend on the forests for their sustenance and economic well-being,” Katungula said.

Read More: Charcoal merchants warned, as govt moves to protect forestry resources

He added that the decision to ban the issuance of charcoal production permits underscored the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for decisive action.

Katungula said forest degradation and deforestation are indeed critical concerns, especially in light of the recent declaration of a national disaster by the President.

“It is imperative that we act swiftly and decisively to preserve our natural heritage for current and future generations,” he stated.

Katungula said while the Institute supports the move by the government, measures should be put in place to protect the livelihoods of those in the charcoal value chain and promote alternative energy sources for charcoal users.

He called on the government to place emphasis on the measures that would be put in place to ensure that those currently affected by this ban can easily adopt new and more sustainable energy sources.

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