MARGARET CHISANGA, Nairobi
THE successful implementation of the first Zambia landscape project has inspired Government to further seek support of the World Bank to implement two other projects expected in Eastern, Luapula, Muchinga and Northern provinces.
In an interview at the Global Landscapes Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, World Bank senior environmental specialist Iretomiwa Olatunji said an estimated 214, 955 people will directly benefit from the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Project (ZIFLP).
“The project, which is intended to ensure that at least 30 percent of the beneficiaries will be women, will have benefits which include providing access to goods, services and training in improvement of forest management and community participation in such management,” he said.
The ZIFLP project will be implemented in Eastern Province while the Transforming Landscapes for Resilience and Development (TRALARD) will be implemented in Luapula, Muchinga and Northern provinces.
The earlier landscape project, Zambia COMACO Landscape Management, benefitted about 18,000 farmers in Eastern Province in promoting the adoption of sustainable climate-smart agriculture to enhance smallholder farmers’ crop yields, income and welfare.
Mr Olatunji said the key beneficiaries will be farmers in rural communities in Chipata, Lundazi, Mambwe, Patauke, Katete, Sinda, Nyimba and Vubwi.
He said the projects are meant to improve agricultural productivity and resilience, resulting from adoption of climate smart agriculture practices.
“They are also meant to improve livelihoods by creating opportunities for jobs and sustainable use of agro-forestry practices,” he said.
Other benefits of the project will be to help improve capacities to better improve management of landscapes and land rights for multiple benefits.
“At the same time, we expect that this will help secure the ecosystem services and enhance resilience from intact biodiversity,” he said.
The combination of the two projects will help protect, converse and restore the landscape in the northern region of the country.
And Ministry of National Development and Planning environmental and social inclusion manager on the pilot programme for climate resilience, Carol Zulu, said Government has recorded immense improvement in protection and reforestation efforts in the participating communities.
“Eastern Province has been a hotspot of deforestation and we have been dealing with issues of land degradation and poor farming systems,” she said.
Mrs Zulu said as a result of this, communities have been complaining of a reduction in wildlife population due to land encroachments.
“The project will thus strengthen the existing structures already on ground such as the community resource boards and support communities with alternative agricultural practice implementation,” she said.
MARGARET CHISANGA, Nairobi