In Zambia like many other countries is concerned about sustainable use and management of its natural resources which also includes forests and general environment. Zambia, as a developing country is highly dependent on the exploitation of natural resources for the livelihood of its people. Since the early 1980, Zambia has witnessed rapid degradation of its biological resources due to over exploitation which has been caused by a decline in the general socio-economic situation of the country. The major biological resources that have been negatively affected are forests, wildlife, and fish.
Recently, however, due to the rapid increase in population in Zambia, has resulted in an increased pressure on land, causing a substantial degradation of the forests and vegetation cover and a general decline in soil fertility. The decline in soil fertility, in turn, has led to a decrease in food production. The rapid degradation of the forests woodland ecosystem is also of global concern and is one of the major causes of climate change. Many physical and biological systems are being affected by climate changes around the world, this situation has aggravated the problem of poverty in Zambia resulting in a vicious cycle of environmental degradation and financial destitution.
To respond to this Challenge RFDP Zambia is promoting Environment, Forests, Wildlife Management and Conservation, at the same time combating the effects of climate change and promoting climate resilience through the following interventions;
- RFDP has embarked on raising awareness of community members on the importance of forest ecosystems and biodiversity in communities, value of forests and the devastating effects of deforestation such as climate change, scarcity of water due to low rainfall, low food productivity etc
- RFDP has also supported building capacity in communities living in the game management areas in Natural Resource Management which includes wildlife conservation and development of new livelihood activities such as apiary establishment and bee keeping as a means of providing personal income and reducing poverty in areas such as Lundazi, Lumezi and Mambwe districts. This has Increased household incomes from the economic activities pursued such as selling of Non timber forest products such as honey and bee wa
- RFDP has supported communities with tree planting initiatives in Eastern Zambia as part of its campaign to contribute to the afforestation of rural communities, promoting tree planting and the use of the landscape approach for livelihoods and adaptation to climate change, biodiversity conservation and raising awareness.
- RFDP has supported the regeneration of degraded forests and afforestation of forest lands contributing to the increase of biodiversity, environmental restoration, and tree cover. RFDP Zambia is also promoting the construction and use of energy saving cook stoves as alternative sources of fuel wood that reduces pressure on already degraded forests areas.
- RFDP Zambia has embarked on Promoting local forest governance and community based participatory forest and wildlife management of local forests and wildlife and development of land use management plans through Community Management Forest Boards and Community Resources Boards
- Promoting Policy dialogue for the inclusion of community members in decision-making at all relevant levels in relation to the conservation and sustainable management of their customary forests through round table and dialogue meetings with community members and policy makers.
- Capacity Development of communities in Conservation farming as well as climate smart agricultural practices. RFDP also promotes the establishment of Climate Smart gardens in schools and training the teachers and students on their management. Additionally, the farmers are also trained on planting agro forestry trees within their gardens and fields.
- Provide Capacity Development of farmers on how to make compost manure and how to apply it to the fields, develop and put in place a monitoring and evaluation system for Climate Smart Agricultural technologies.
- RFDP Zambia will also be embarking on Combating Anti-poaching, human/wildlife conflict, and provision of anti-poaching equipment, food rations wildlife conservation education.