Timber industry

A Zambian local think-tank expert said on Tuesday more transparency needed in the trading of Mukula, one of popular timber species, in order to reap maximum benefits from the country’s natural resource.

Although the government has banned the export of Mukula, there are reports that the trading in the timber was going on.

Business24

The Center for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) said the trade in Mukula timber was a multi-million industry that could help lift many Zambians out of poverty if managed properly.

Gloria Mange, a researcher of the think-tank, said the illegal trade appears to be flourishing in spite of bans on the harvest, transport and export of Mukula to the detriment of fragile forests and rural communities whose livelihoods depend on sustainable Mukula trade.

She said in a release that the government should review the current national ban so that the Mukula trade was conducted in a transparent manner and for the benefit of communities living near the forests.

Another report released recently by U.S. organization the Environmental Investigation Agency revealed how the trading was being done, with senior government officials implicated.

The government officials have since taken the American organization to court. Enditem

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