Zambia launches programme for sustainable use of natural resources

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Lusaka, Nov. 5, 2020 (Xinhua/Naija247news) Zambia on Thursday launched three technical reports aimed at promoting sustainable development by ensuring that natural resources were mainstreamed in development planning.

The programme, a World Bank-led Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) was formed to enhance sustainable utilisation of natural resources for development, planning and national economic accounts.

Minister of National Development Planning, Alexander Chiteme, said during the launch that the three aspects of the programme were for forestry, lands and water.

Chiteme said “the programme shows that Zambia is on course in the actualisation of enhanced sustainable development by ensuring that natural resources are mainstreamed in development and national economic accounts.

“Countries measure economic growth through Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, it is clear that GDP is not a sufficient indicator of sustainability.

“GDP does not value the cost of environmental degradation or recognise how natural resources are being depleted in pursuing economic development.’’

According to Chiteme, incorporating the full value of ecosystem services into wealth of a country through natural capital accounting and the benefits people derive from them was important.

He added that natural capital accounting would enable Zambia to measure and value the links between economy and the environment, analyse sustainability of use of natural resources and use the data in national and local planning.

World Bank Group Country Manager Sahr Kpundeh acknowledged the importance that the Zambian Government attached to natural capital accounting in contributing to national development.

He said the World Bank was committed to supporting the government toward harnessing the untapped potential of natural capital.

Zambia joined the WAVES partnership in 2017 and embarked on developing six accounts, namely forestry, land, water, tourism, energy and minerals and had so far developed three accounts.

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