Zambian Caucus Motivated to Lead on Conservation

February 26, 2018
Zambian Caucus Motivated to Lead on Conservation

In 2018, members of the Zambian Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (ZPCC) are poised to take action to address conservation challenges facing the inland African nation. To reorient the group and set priorities for the upcoming term, members gathered with leaders from government, the private sector, and civil society on February 26, 2018 in Lusaka for a day-long workshop.

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In 2018, members of the Zambian Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (ZPCC) are poised to take action to address conservation challenges facing the inland African nation.

To reorient the group and set priorities for the upcoming term, members gathered with leaders from government, the private sector, and civil society on February 26, 2018 in Lusaka for a day-long workshop facilitated by The ICCF Group. Continuing to work toward goals laid out in the ZPCC 2015 Strategic Plan, caucus leaders identified priority issues for the year ahead, including deforestation, mining, biodiversity conservation, prevention of the destruction of wetlands, and good management of wildlife and protected areas.

Poaching and illegal wildlife trade, deforestation, water pollution, overfishing, and irresponsible mining and agricultural practices all threaten Zambia’s environment and prospects for sustainable development. However, more than fifty dedicated Honorable Members of the National Assembly of Zambia came together at the workshop to address these issues. Honorable Ministers present included the Honorable Minister in the Office of the Vice President, Sylvia Chalikosa, the Honorable Provincial Minister of Luapula Province and ZPCC Secretary-General Nickson Chilangwa, and the Honorable Minister of Tourism and Arts Charles Banda.

Conservation groups and private-sector stakeholders, including African Parks, Grassroots Trust, WECSZ, Wildlife Crime Prevention, WWF, and Zambian Breweries, led discussions throughout the day to inform dialogue among Members of the National Assembly about the most pressing issues facing the country.

Speaking for the Zambian government, on behalf of Her Excellency Vice President Inonge Wina, Honorable Chalikosa delivered remarks emphasizing ways in which conservation has become an integral priority for Zambia to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Priority issues to address, she explained, include mitigating droughts, deforestation, and food insecurity. These priorities were echoed in remarks from the Honorable Minister of Tourism and Arts, whose Ministry includes the Department of National Parks and Wildlife which is involved in conservation on a daily basis. Zambia plans to address these issues, the Honorable Ministers told participants, by prioritizing conservation agriculture, smart energy, sound water management, and community forestry.

The ZPCC, Honorable Chalikosa said, is an ideal forum in parliament through which to push for such practices. Speaking for the ZPCC membership, Honorable ZPCC Secretary-General Nickson Chilangwa agreed with this assessment of the role the caucus can play, noting that forums like the ZPCC are a rare chance to bring together members of the ruling party and opposition parties. “That which binds us is greater than that which divides us,” he said. Going forward, he concluded, in following its Strategic Plan, the ZPCC must continue to increase awareness of conservation issues and set the stage for communication and action across party lines to achieve real results and counter environmental degradation.

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