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COUNTRIES that have committed resources towards the fight against climate change should honour their pledges, Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Dennis Wanchinga has said.

The minister noted that the impact of climate change was getting worse.

He was speaking in Greater Noida, India, during the High Level Segment of the Fourteenth Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14).

Dr Wanchinga assured Zambia was ready to accelerate activities under the UN Convention, but that the available resources could not support upscaling.

This is contained in a statement released by First Secretary Press and Tourism at the Zambian Mission in India, Bangwe Naviley.

Dr Wanchinga said with additional resources, Zambia would continue pursuing Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) targets as part of the national development agenda.

Zambia, he said, would continue to address all negative environmental trends and safeguard important natural heritage.

Dr Wanchinga said the total degraded land in Zambia was now estimated at 55, 103.7 square kilometres.

“Communities in degraded areas have since incurred huge financial and other losses because of land degradation impacts,” he said.

Dr Wanchinga said the country’s forest cover was now estimated at 49.9 million hectares which was 66 percent of 738, 643.5 square kilometres total land cover of Zambia.

“The situation of drought has not only become a common phenomenon, but has also continued to increase in frequencies and intensities,” he said.   Dr Wanchinga said this had been worsened with the increase in temperature and occurrences of flash floods in areas that were supposed to provide relief to drought prone areas.

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