KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
THE Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says Government needs support in boosting awareness and implementation of charcoal regulations to develop a sustainable charcoal production value.
This will help Government to collect the much-needed revenue from charcoal illegal traders.
FAO said there is need to find ways of effectively monitoring, managing and supporting sustainable production and trade in wood fuel, especially for charcoal as it is critical for countries in Africa.
This is contained in a FAO’s report on ‘Greening Zambia’s charcoal business for improved livelihoods and forest management through strong producer groups’.
The report states that there are a number of activities that can be implemented to ensure the charcoal industry’s future is positive and contributes to economic development.
“If charcoal value-chain players become organised and able to obtain recognition by Government and the community, it could provide an opportunity for capacity building in sustainably produced charcoal while contributing to economic development.
“Governments must also be supported in boosting awareness and implementation of these charcoal regulations,” the report reads.
It says inter-sectoral and multi-stakeholder dialogue across the entire charcoal value chain should be encouraged to discuss coordinated options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change.
Currently, Government with the support of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) is exploring ways to help recognise and organise actors in the charcoal value chains, contributing to more sustainable management.
As a priority, the FFF programme can support government efforts in scaling up the formation of charcoal producer groups across Zambia through the implementation of new charcoal regulations.
The organisation says support can also be given to strengthen internal governance, legalisation, operational efficiency and evaluation of district charcoal associations so they can proactively engage in policy-making and improved collaboration among producers and with Government and markets.