LUSAKA, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Zambia plans to increase the number of provinces for its tree planting exercise as part of accelerated efforts to combat negative effects of climate change.
Zambia is currently undertaking a tree planting exercise in four of the country's 10 provinces.
But Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata said her ministry will increase the number of provinces where the tree planting exercise was being undertaken from four to seven, adding that the project was being undertaken by Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO), a state-run firm.
The government was targeting 4 million pupils from both primary and secondary schools to participate in the tree planting exercise as well as some households in the targeted provinces, she said.
The government plans to plant 1 million trees per year, she added.
The government, she said, intends to mobilize seedlings for distribution in schools and households while traditional leaders have also been targeted to sensitize their subjects on the need to promote tree planting.
"Instead of cutting trees for charcoal, we want to encourage Zambians to go into beekeeping as the export market is lucrative," she said in a release.
The tree planting exercise comes in the wake of calls by experts on governments around the world to take measures to halt and reverse the devastating impact of climate change occasioned by activities of mankind.
According to figures, Zambia loses about 276,000 hectares of trees due to deforestation.