The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has officially launched the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre GDP-UNDP-HQ Project on Community Forestry Management in Zambia. The project, valued at $100,000, aims to address environmental challenges and enhance sustainable forest management in the North-Western and Southern Provinces.
Mrs. Peggy Chirwa, Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, delivered a compelling speech, emphasizing the crucial role of forests as the lifelines of the planet.
She highlighted the threats posed by deforestation, climate change, and unsustainable land use practices, acknowledging the daunting challenges facing Zambia’s invaluable ecosystems.
The project, awarded to Zambia through a competitive process initiated by the UNDP, will be implemented in two communities in Kasempa and Kazungula districts. The focus is on empowering and supporting community forestry, with the ultimate goal of reducing deforestation and forest degradation.
The UNDP Seoul Policy Centre GDP-UNDP-HQ Project will employ capacity-building programs, raise awareness about existing legal frameworks supporting community forestry, and empower communities with the knowledge and tools for sustainable forest management. The initiative also emphasizes gender mainstreaming, knowledge sharing, and enhancing forest governance and leadership.
James Wakiaga, Resident Representative of UNDP, emphasized the alarming trends in environmental degradation globally and commended Zambia for its commitment to addressing the challenges.
He highlighted the significance of collaborative efforts, urging all stakeholders, including government bodies, NGOs, the private sector, academia, and communities, to work together for sustainable community forestry.
The launch event was attended by government officials, representatives of cooperating partners, UN agencies, the private sector, civil society organizations, and members of the press. The project aligns with Zambia’s broader environmental goals and its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UNDP project comes at a crucial time as Zambia grapples with deforestation and forest degradation, contributing to the decline of vital ecosystem services. With a focus on community involvement and sustainable practices, the initiative seeks to create a legacy of thriving forests and empowered communities.
The Acting Permanent Secretary expressed gratitude to the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre and UNDP Zambia Country Office for their continuous support toward sustainable forest management. The project is set to contribute significantly to Zambia’s efforts in achieving its climate and development goals by 2030.