Lusaka, Zambia: The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) donated GIS equipment to the Zambian Ministry of Lands, worth over ZMK (Zambia kwacha) 2 billion. In Addition, the FAO provided 11 desktop computers, 11 printers, 10 scanners, 10 map plotters, one projector and two laptops worth over USD 500,000 (over ZMK 2.6 billion).
The equipment will be distributed to the 10 provinces under the forestry department. Currently, Zambia is implementing a programme called UN-REED projects, whose main objective is to protect forests.
Receiving the donation in Lusaka, Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Wylbur Simuusa said the GIS equipments will enable the multi-sectoral teams at provincial level to generate information and maps for planning purposes.
“You cannot do anything tangible without planning. The drivers of deforestation can only be effectively addressed with appropriate information for planning,” Simuusa added.
According to the minister, trained forestry officers in all the provinces will use the equipment and ensure that the right information is documented on forestry countrywide.
Commenting on the UN-REED programme, Simuusa said the programme will help to enhance sustainable forest management by addressing the drivers of deforestation and putting in place effective forest management and monitoring systems.