By Environmental Reporter
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism last Saturday held a Preparetory Workshop with Forestry Commission in the Capital ahead of the nationwide consultations on Forest Amendment Bill to commence from 27th-31st this month.
The engagement was meant to bring together ideas and clarifications on the pertinent issues revolving around the realignment cause. This saw participants having a rundown of the current ACT looking into the background and unpacking of the Forest Amendment Bill.
Speaking to SpotLight Online News Africa after the event, Stephen Zingwena Dept General Manager Forestry Conservation and Extension reiterated that Forest Commission engaged the Parliamentarians so that they have an insight on Forest Amendment Bill on pertinent elements which requires realignment. The current ACT is considered oudated hence the need for realignment.
“Today we had the opportunity to meet the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism to give them an insight into Forestry Amendment Bill in preparations to their public hearings starting from 27th to 31st this month. The session has been helpful in helping the parliamentarians to appreciate the background of the amendment itself.”
“The pertinent issues raised include the real need for the Forestry Commission Act to be amended and we discovered that there are some elements in the current ACT which are no longer pertinent to the current era especially in aspects relating to fire management,deforestation among other aspects and it is our hope that this amendment and the consultations will go a long way in addressing those issues.”
Hon Consillia Chinanzvavana Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Tourism said the engagement enlightened legislators on crucial elements on the amendment bill ranging from veld fires, illegal settlers and areas that seeks realignment. The legislators are now ready to conduct their outreach consultatives.
“The preliminarily workshop went well today as the parliamentarians are now ready to go out for their outreach on the Forestry Amendment Bill and they now have the insight on the issues what it tries to address ranging from veld fires, illegal settlers and just the protection not our forestry in general.” Members are now ready to go for their outreach now to speak to communities and the same time getting their ideas.”