Jean Kapata, Zambian Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in a positive move has announced a total ban on export of all forms of timber logs in a bid to promote timber processing and manufacturing within the country.
In a radical move, she says that the government wants value addition to the raw materials that are being exported. The government claims that the move will help Zambia create jobs with the local communities and also help attract much needed foreign investment into the country.
Unfortunately Zambia till now, Ms Kapata has observed was previously losing out on the full value of timber by exporting raw logs to the Far East and says that there is an increased concern regarding the cases of rampant illegal poaching of endangered animal species such as Rhinos, Elephants etc which is a priority concern of the government.
The Minister also disclosed that Germany has given SADC Countries 20 million Euros to protect endangered species by training specialized anti-poaching scouts. Ms. Kapata was speaking on the sidelines of the Southern Africa Development Community -SADC conference for Ministers of Environment Natural Resources, fisheries Aquaculture and Tourism in South Africa.