Endowed with a wealth of natural resources and 40% of the water resources of Southern Africa, and with its real GDP growing by 7.6% in 2010, Zambia has set its sights on becoming a prosperous, middle-income country by 2030.
In this quest for prosperity, land is the common denominator: virtually all economic sectors in expansion - agriculture, mining, energy, tourism, manufacturing, construction and trade, are dependent on the availability and quality of land, soil, water, minerals and other natural resources. These in turn, offer employment opportunities and sources of livelihoods for rural and urban communities.
The Government is well aware that the judicious management of its natural capital is the key to sustainable development. The Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) for the period 2011-2015, which calls for effective management of the environment and natural resources in key sectors to be achieved through an integrated investment framework (IIF) and financing strategy (IFS), is testimony to the Government of Zambia’s vision and efforts in this direction.
The Global Mechanism (GM) takes pride in having provided steady support to the Government in the development of strategic and innovative solutions for the mobilization of resources for SLM since 2005. This includes a capacity building workshop on finance for sustainable land management (SLM) in March 2010, support in mainstreaming the issues of SLM into the SNDP, and the development of five thematic studies, undertaken as part of IFS development. The workshop to validate the findings of these studies (Lusaka, 31 January - 2 February 2012) marks the most recent milestone in this process.
The studies, which address issues ranging from the economic valuation of land, to stocktaking of financial flows and investments, to the identification of the most effective incentives and market based mechanisms to promote SLM, served as the basis for the identification of key areas of intervention. Priority actions to advance SLM in those sectors holding the highest potential for safeguarding the country’s natural resource base have also been pinpointed. These include an array of policy, institutional and operational measures to be undertaken in five key economic sectors: agriculture and fisheries; natural resources and mining; finance; infrastructure; and energy.
One point that clearly emerges in Zambia is the need to establish an investment climate that is conducive to SLM both by generating transformational changes in key land use sectors and by attracting responsible investments in new activities, including foreign direct investments into land for mining, food and energy production. This will require the setting up of appropriate incentives and regulatory frameworks.
The recently established Ministry of Land, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection -the new UNCCD focal point Ministry - along with the Zambian Development Authority (ZDA), will be key players with whom the GM will be working closely in the months ahead to equip the country with the tools and methodologies needed for land-related decision making and for developing criteria to ensure quality, sustainable investments.
Civil society will also have a crucial role to play in areas at risk of degradation by empowering communities to contribute to SLM and other forms of natural resource husbandry compatible with Zambia’s development goals, for instance through compensations for ecosystems services, certification schemes, and other income generating solutions.
This mosaic of partners will be the bedrock of the integrated investment framework (IIF).
For more information, please contact The Zambia Team:
Ms Elsie Attafuah, e.attafuah (at) global-mechanism.org
Ms Susan Bingi, s.bingi (at) global-mechanism.org
Ms Siv Øystese, s.oystese (at) global-mechanism.org
Mr Simone Quatrini, s.quatrini (at) global-mechanism.org