By Abdallah el-Kurebe
Zambian government has commended the European Union for its commitment to help conserve biodiversity as well as doubling external funds for biodiversity, saying that the future of conserving biodiversity is bright.
The country’s Permanent Secretary at the ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ms Daphne Chabu stated this while speaking during the bilateral side-event organised by European Union (EU) and African Wildlife Foundation, at the ongoing 15th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) taking place in Montreal, Canada.
“It is gratifying to note that the EU is doubling funding for supporting biodiversity conservation to a tune of 7 billion euros to partner countries for the period 2021 to 2027. This gives a lot of hope for my country that the future for biodiversity conservation and restoration is very bright. This will go a long way in addressing targets in the global biodiversity framework,” she said.
According to Chabu, after reviewing the scope of Nature Africa initiative, Zambia noted that “the initiative is important in assisting least developed countries to implement the targets espoused in the global biodiversity framework, especially those dealing with ecosystem restoration, protected areas, wild life, spatial planning and ecosystem assessments.”
She further observed that the initiative could specifically assist Zambia to address the national gaps on ecosystem assessments that include wetlands and land scape restoration, while emphasizing “the urgent need to assist countries in capacity building to fully implement the framework; as that would entail aligning the global biodiversity framework to the national development plans.”
Speaking at the meeting, the Vice President, Global Leadership of African Wildlife Foundation, Frederick Kwame Kumah observed that infrastructure development was competing with ecosystem services, hence the need to focus on conserving nature.
His presentation centred on the success stories of the Africa wildlife conservation based on a mutual partnership arrangement and the need to focus conserving of nature.
“We need to focus on that so that our children’s, children and others have a future otherwise they will not see the beauty beyond nature and the need to preserve it,” he said.
According to him, over 80 percent of land was in the hands of indigenous people and “therefore, the journey begins now to focus on saving landscapes and saving the biodiversity.”
While opining that Africa has to develop but not at the expense of nature and that the continent had a collective responsibility to conserve biodiversity, Kumah called for the involvement of all stakeholders.
In a related development, Ms Chabu held a bilateral meeting with Conservation International on Zambia’s position on resource mobilization for effective implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) where she stated Zambia’s position on target three of the GBF on protected areas (30 x30) and possible future collaborations in addressing biodiversity loss.
The Conservation International at the meeting expressed willingness to support the country in the restoration of the biodiversity loss.
The COP meeting is held every two years.
In this year’s conference, matters being discussed include biosafety, health and biodiversity, invasive alien species, agriculture and biodiversity and wildlife.