Home Science Environmental news Zambians urged not to cut down trees when harvesting edible caterpillars

Zambians urged not to cut down trees when harvesting edible caterpillars


A traditional leader in Zambia has called for sustainable harvesting of Mopane worms (edible caterpillars) in an environmentally sustainable manner without indiscriminately cutting down trees as a way of mitigating climate change.

In Zambia and other southern African countries, Mopane worms are the vernacular designation for edible caterpillars of the African emperor moths, Gonimbrasia belina and Gynanisa maja. Both species, particularly Gonimbrasia belina, are widely harvested in southern Africa.

Headman Vilembuluka of Senior Chief Sikufele’s Chiefdom in Zambia’s North-Western Province said trees play an important role in mitigating climate change which has so far affected countries negatively around the globe.

“If trees are being cut each year when harvesting caterpillars, we will be left with a bare land across most rural districts, which will result in accumulation of dangerous pollutants that are normally filtered by trees,” he said.

The traditional leader was speaking in Manyinga District on Thursday during an interview on a local community radio station.

He has since urged Zambians who go to harvest caterpillars to avoid the practice of cutting down trees in the process of harvesting the African emperor moths.

The leader also said forest security and other law enforcers should work together with traditional leaders in their respective villages to ensure that the practice of cutting down trees during the harvesting of caterpillars is discontinued.

He appealed to his fellow traditional leaders to sensitize their subjects to help preserve nature and mitigate climate change which has had a negative impact on many African countries and the world as a whole. Enditem

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