LUSAKA, Wednesday, 19th June, 2024 – Minister of Green Economy and Environment Hon. Mike Mposha has called for close collaboration between Zambia and Italy in sustainable forest management, recycle of waste, capacity building of officers, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Hon. Mposha was speaking when Italian Ambassador to Zambia and Malawi His Excellency Enrio de Agostini paid a courtesy call on him at the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment.

The Minister appealed to Italy for support towards protection of forests.

“The Ministry’s potential areas for collaboration [with Italy] include sustainable forest management using technology for inventories and data collection; Forest enterprise development with value addition to forest products and plantation establishment,” Hon. Mposha said. “Other areas of collaboration are forest research and extension through research plantations and capacity building; Circular economy projects, including recycling and waste-to-energy; and Climate change mitigation and adaptation, promoting low-carbon development and carbon markets.”

The Minister and Ambassador agreed on the need to quicken the signing of the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Zambia and Italy on Climate Change.

And Ambassador Agostini expressed optimism that Zambia’s economy will significantly grow in the next decade in light of the opening up of the Lobito Corridor.

He, therefore, said there is need to ensure that the development of the Lobito Corridor project does not negatively affect the environment.

“Italy, as president of G7, we have just announced an investment of US$320 million for the development of Lobito Corridor [project],” Ambassador Agostini said. “We have to make sure that this investment is not just in infrastructure development but also in the mitigation of the effects of building of such infrastructure. We have to make sure that movement of so many people in the next few years does not have negative impact for the environment and it is accompanied by replanting of forests so that the environment does not suffer.”

The Ambassador expressed Italy’s willingness to collaborate with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment in forest protection, building capacity of forest guards and in waste management and recycling.

The Italian envoy said a high-level delegation from Italy will be in Zambia next month and urged the Ministry to share with the delegation the priority areas of collaboration.

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