The North-Western Province has, for the last decade, ranked highest on the list of regions with the most tree cover in Zambia.
In recent years, however, this sprawling woodland has also lost a significant amount of this coverage to deforestation.
FQM Trident announced that for this year’s annual Tree Planting Season, the mine has grown 60,000 trees to be planted around its operation, which is an increment of 10,000 trees from the number it planted during last year’s season.
FQM Trident’s General Manager Junior Keyser made this statement at the official launch of the 2022/2023 National Tree Planting Season in Kalumbila on December 15, 2022.
The launch was hosted at Trident’s South-east Waste Rock Dump, one of the sites earmarked for the mine’s rehabilitation efforts. This event was graced by the Minister of Green Economy and Environment Hon. Engineer Collins Nzovu as Guest of Honour, North-Western Province Minister Robert Lihefu, Senior Chiefs and Traditional Leaders and British High Commissioner Nicholas Woolley also attended.
“This environment here is one of the most important catchment areas, which is responsible for maintaining the river flows in this country, which maintains our hydropower generation,” said Mr Nzovu. “These forests need to be conserved. Without trees, there will be food insecurity. Without trees, there will be water insecurity. Without trees, there will be energy insecurity.”
Highlighting some of the ongoing sustainability projects at the mine, Mr Keyser emphasised the importance of responsible mining and environmental excellence to FQM.
“Our mine restoration strategies of converting waste dumps like this one into a forest by introducing indigenous trees are not only done to meet our compliance obligations. We are aware that there is a genuine long-lasting positive impact and legacy that the investments we make today will yield dividends of stable landforms in the near future,” he shared.
British High Commissioner to Zambia Nicholas Woolley also commended FQM for showing leadership in their approach to environmental protection in Zambia’s mining industry, saying: “It’s great to see a mining organisation giving back to nature in this way and its commitment, as well, to the progressive restoration of the natural environment, and I hope this is an example that many others here in Zambia will follow.”
“Our pledge as the UK is to support Zambia to unlock investment and access finance to further implementation. I want to emphasise the priority that the UK puts on supporting Zambia to maintain and nurture its natural environment, while also supporting the economic growth Zambia needs to lift people out of poverty and meet the tremendous potential that exists here,” he concluded.