Decentralized Forestry and Other Natural Resources Programme (DFNRMP) in Zambia has been working to support the government and communities in implementing the new Forest Act since 2015. The programme is financed by the Finnish Government, and Indufor provides the technical assistance services for the implementation.
In the two years of operations, procedures and regulations for community forestry have been developed and piloted in six districts in North Western and Muchinga provinces.
One important milestone was achieved in early March when Director of Forestry under the Ministry of Lands and Environment formally recognized 13 Community Forest Management Groups under section 30 of the Forests Act, 2015. These 13 pioneering community forest groups will bring altogether 15 968 ha of forest under sustainable forest management. The number of communities interested in following the same path indicates great potential to have a real impact on forest management and people’s forest based livelihoods. The recognition of the groups paves the way for the actual community forest area establishment and recognition. All the preparatory work has been done; thus, the formalities for Community Forest establishment will take place after the Ministry of Justice has approved the Statutory Instrument for Community Forestry, expected to happen soon.
The DFNRMP contributes to the implementation of the national REDD+ Strategy which was formally launched in Zambia to celebrate the International Day of Forest on 21 March 2017.
DFNRMP Chief Technical Advisor, Mr Alastair Anton discussing community forestry with the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources Jane Kapata and the Finnish Ambassador to Zambia Timo Olkkonen.