Lusaka – Zambia risk turning into a desert in the next 15 years if the current levels of deforestation are not curtailed, the Daily Nation reported on Thursday.
Zambia has been ranked among the top 10 countries in the world that are heavily contributing to the production of greenhouse gas emissions as a result of deforestation, according to the Global Climate Change Initiative and the
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
With almost 80 per cent of Zambia’s rural population largely depending on wood fuel, the country was deforesting about 300,000 hectares of land annually.
Zambia had about 50 million hectares of forests out of which 300,000 hectares were getting deforested annually and if the trend continues, the country would have no forest in the next 15 years, said USAID and Global Climate Change Initiative economic growth team leader Anna Toness.
“Zambia is contributing heavily to causing global warming. One of the biggest causes of greenhouse gas emission in the world is deforestation and land degradation and climate change cannot be tackled without addressing deforestation and land degradation,” she said.
According to her, there has been a huge demand from the growing urban population for charcoal which has been exacerbating deforestation in the country. (Xinhua/NAN)