The Forestry Department with technical and financial assistance from the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Project (ZIFLP) is supporting the implementation of Community Forestry across Eastern Province. This is being accomplished by engaging communities and their traditional leaders, identifying areas of forest of importance to the community, developing participatory land and resource use plans, then forming Community Forest Management Groups (CFMGs).
With consent of their Chief, these are then recognised by the Director of Forestry to be responsible for protection and management including controlling access and use of their forest. The project has supported a phased approach following the 7 steps outlined in the National Guidelines for Community Forestry in Zambia.
Following formal recognition by the Director of Forestry, the community develop a simple forest management plan with forest rules that set out how to manage the forest in a way that balances protection, development and use. This along with the CFM Agreement entered into with the Director and witnessed by their Chief, sets out rights and obligations for the control, use and management of their forest. The project has supported strengthening the capacity of the CFMGs to control access, issue permits, collect revenue and develop enterprises based on sustainable management of their natural resources. Sustainability of this approach is strengthened through a process of joint monitoring, evaluation and shared learning. The Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Project (ZIFLP) is a Government initiative in the Ministry of Green Economy & Environment, supported by the World Bank and partners. Its aim is to improve livelihoods of rural communities in Eastern Province while supporting them to sustainably manage land, forests and wildlife. The projects provides support to the Forestry Department with expanding the community forest approach across the Province.