COMMUNITY MEMBERS SUPPORT THE FORESTRY DEPARTMENT WITH ENFORCEMENT OF FOREST LAWS AS HONORARY FOREST OFFICERS
Appointing Honorary Forest Officers (HFOs) is part of the Government strategy to empower local communities and their traditional leaders in order to ensure adequate protection and management of forests. HFOs are members of the public nominated by their community, reviewed by the Forestry Department, cleared by the Zambia Police Service and then appointed by the Minister of Green Economy and Environment. Only through the commitment of concerned individuals and communities across the Province can the rates of forest loss and forest degradation be tackled and reversed.
STRENGTHENING CAPACITY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT
During the first quarter of 2023, the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Project supported the Forestry Department in Eastern Province to train over 336 community HFOs through a 5 day Introduction to Forest Law Enforcement Course. Training was delivered by 2 teams of forest officers over 10 courses across the Province. In addition, opportunity was taken for the inclusion of technical officers from the Department to provide a refresher on the current forestry legislation, bring practical experiences from law enforcement operations, but importantly to help build coordination and teamwork between the HFOs and local officers. A Manual for HFO Trainers and facilitators was developed to support the transfer and sharing of knowledge of the requirements, processes and practices of Forest Law Enforcement in Zambia by Honorary Forest Officers (HFO).
The manual covers a 5-day training programme which incorporates a range of non-formal adult learning approaches primarily involving communication and facilitation methods combined with practical exercises to reinforce learning. Each session includes session plans, notes for facilitators and where appropriate, handouts for participants. The manual is based on the assumption that the user has basic knowledge and skills of facilitation and adult education, skills in communication and training facilitation, knowledge of forestry and gender awareness.
At the end of the training, participants will be able to:
– Understand the role of an Honorary Forest Officer;
– Understand the Laws and legal framework for Forest Law Enforcement in Zambia;
– Deal with different situations, operations and procedures in order to enforce the Forest Laws and Regulations effectively;
The trainer will be equipped with the information to transfer skills and knowledge to community level honorary forest officers.