International Day of Forests: What Zambia is doing to combat deforestation

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

Cutting down trees for chacoal and other uses leaves a big impact to the environment, climate change, and carbon emissions.

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Sr. Juliana reflects on the importance of forests in Zambia and what we can do to protect them through education and awareness.

The International Day of Forests is a global event to create awareness of the types of forests in the world. This day was established and first observed on 21st March 2013 with the revolution of the United Nations general assembly that took place on November 28, 2012. Each year has its own specific theme and events to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees.

Each year, the United Nations chooses a theme for the International Day of Forests. The 2017 theme was "Forests and Energy." In 2018, the theme is "Forests and Sustainable Cities."

Raising awareness of the importance of forests should be an ongoing campaign--  not only on the International Day of Forests. About 13 million hectares (over 32 million acres) are destroyed annually around the globe. Due to the mass destruction of the environment by human actions, countries are encouraged to organize activities involving forests and tree planting. The UN secretariat forum and the Food and Agricultural Organization facilitate the implementation with country governments.

Zambia is a land-locked country in the Southern African neighboring the Democratic Republic of Congo to the North, Tanzania to the North East, Malawi to the East, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia to the South and Angola to the West. With its capital city Lusaka in the south central part of Zambia. Despite the efforts of the government, forests of Zambia are being destroyed at alarming rates. The major cause? Poverty. Many people depend on the same forests for their livelihood and survival.

Reducing Deforestation in Zambia

In order to reduce deforestation, strict measures have been put in place. We hope to create awareness at an early stage by educating young students in schools. Children are the leaders and parents of tomorrow’s society. Illegal cutting of trees and grass should be addressed for it has left our forests’ bare. Cut one tree, plant eight more. Illegal burning of charcoal and grass should also be discouraged at all costs. The Zambia Environmental Management Authority has been advocating to all well and meaningful citizens.

You can learn more about the International Day of Forests on the United Nations website.

Article Submitted by:

Sr. Juliana Chibaula Zulu

Programs Coordinator – Zambia  

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