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Zambia has approximately 50 million hectares of forest, with an estimated deforestation rate of 250,000 to 300,000 hectares per year. In recognition of the role REDD+ can play in reducing emissions and facilitating sustainable socio-economic development, the Zambian government is presently assessing the opportunities potentially delivered through REDD+. Zambia is currently one of nine developing countries in the world that will be piloting the UN-REDD Programme, which aims to prepare countries for future REDD+ implementation. The first phase in the UN-REDD Programme is the UN-REDD Quick Start initiative. Zambia‟s National Programme (NP) describes the activities of this initiative. The Zambia UN-REDD Programme will develop a National REDD+ strategy and thereby assist in attracting financing for National REDD+ implementation.


The primary drivers of deforestation and forest degradation need to be addressed in order to ensure the success of National REDD+. Within Zambia, these drivers vary across regions and include inter alia:

  • charcoal and wood fuel use (for domestic, commercial and industrial uses);
  • timber production; and
  • unsustainable agricultural methods and other land use practices.

Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are a result of a complex set of underlying causes that are primarily caused by past and current development processes. These underlying causes cut across numerous sectors (e.g. energy, forestry, agriculture and water). In order to address them and thereby to facilitate REDD+, the entire mode of development within Zambia will need to be altered. Both the supply and demand for wood and non-wood forest products will, for example, need to be addressed simultaneously.

The large scale and cross-cutting nature of interventions required to implement REDD+ will necessitate high level government support and large scale cross-sectoral reforms. Preparation for REDD+ will require a specific set of interventions including inter alia:

  • developing capacity from community to government level;
  • strengthening of institutional, policy and legislative frameworks;
  • strengthening the implementation of policy and enforcement of legislation;
  • widespread sharing of knowledge on REDD+; and
  • developing incentives for the adoption of alternative livelihoods and energy sources.

Ultimately, the success of National REDD+ will also require large scale stakeholder engagement across all levels, but specifically at the community level in order to ensure that communities receive tangible benefits from REDD+.

The National Programme is the first step toward the above-described preparation. Its goal is to prepare Zambian stakeholders and institutions for effective future nationwide implementation of REDD+, and it has the following objectives:

i) build institutional and stakeholder capacity to implement REDD+;

ii) develop an enabling policy environment for REDD+;

iii) develop REDD+ benefit-sharing models; and

iv) develop Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems for REDD+.

From scoping to implementation

The main activities implemented under the UN-REDD Programme are:

  1. Forestry Policy Review
  2. Carbon Stock Assessment
  3. Consultative process in Developing the National Joint Programme Document.

March 2010:

Budget allocation approved during 4th meeting of the Policy Board.

February 2010

The draft National Joint Programme was finalized and a validation meeting held on 26th February 2010. The meeting participants recommended for the NJP and the stakeholder views  expressed in the minutes of the meeting to be submitted to the UN-REDD Secretariat and consequent review at the UN-REDD Policy Board in Nairobi 17-19 March 2010.

December 2009

  • 29 November - 4 December: Formulation mission and the validation of the draft National Joint Programme Document

With contributions from various stakeholders, the first draft of the National Joint Programme Development was produced in November. The mission was organized to seek further stakeholder inputs and validate the draft document. The mission comprised a UN-REDD Mission Team including UNDP, UNEP and FAO representatives and the international consultant. The mission aimed to

i) understand the significance of the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation;

ii) analyse possible modalities for channelling funds to reduce deforestation and forest degradation;

iii) analyse possibilities for the establishment of the national carbon accounting system;

iv) assess stakeholder acceptance and methods for stakeholder coordination;

v) acquire further information on current reforestation and afforestation activities; and

vi) conduct preliminary awareness raising and communications planning.

Within the four days the mission met various key stakeholders individually and in focus groups and participated on a wider stakeholder consultation meeting that further defined the institutional arrangement for the programme. Fruitful discussions were held with government officials, research community, civil society, traditional leadership and other stakeholders, leading to deeper understanding of the UN-REDD programme and the future national REDD mechanism. Issues and risks for REDD were also identified, including the need for a strong institutional arrangement and inter-sectoral cooperation to make REDD successful in Zambia

October 2009

Building on the input received during consultations, Zambia developed  a REDD readiness roadmap and draft zero of its National UN-REDD Programme. The roadmap has six outcomes:

Outcome 1: Capacity to manage REDD Readiness strengthened

Outcome 2: Broad based stakeholder support for REDD established

Outcome 3: National governance framework and institutional capacities strengthened

Outcome 4: REDD strategies identified, taking into account defining a transparent benefit sharing model, addressing the root causes of deforestation and forest degradation with appropriate activities that shift forest resource use patterns, and integrating the REDD strategy into long-term development strategies of the country.

Outcome 5: Capacity for capturing REDD elements in the national monitoring, reporting and verification system strengthened

Outcome 6: Reference scenario of forest emissions established

Next steps:

  • Submission of the Forest Policy and Amended Forests Act to the Cabinet
  • Strengthen the Readiness management arrangements accross Ministries and Government, and through ongoing stakeholder engagement

September 2009

A mission comprising of the international consultant for National Joint Programme Development and FAO and UNDP regional representatives visited Zambia for 28-29 September.

On 29 September a stakeholder meeting of approximately 50 participants was organized in Lusaka, wih key participants from Civil Society, the Private sector, government institutions, Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, Forestry Department, UNDP, FAO and UNEP. Comments and suggestions for the REDD Readiness Roadmap were received from stakeholders, on issues such asthe Institutional arrangements for the implementation of the programme, sharing experiences from other countries and The Readiness Plan Road map. The mission report can be found here.

  • The Government has confirmed that Forestry Department of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources will be leading the Programme Development process.
  • Forest Policy  has been reviewed through a stakeholders consultative process in all provinces, supported by nine consultants. The Policy review takes into account the REDD Agenda;strengthening the participatory forest management; climate change; and a clear definition of the protected area systems and environment mainstreaming.
  • The Forest Act is also under review, pending support from a legal specialist.
  • The Forestry Departmenr further refined the Readiness Outline that had been developed by the UN-REDD Programme mission in May. This will form the outline for the programme development work plan and will be further developed together with stakeholders.
  • An International Consultant has been recruited to support the development of the National Programme. Arrangements are made for a national counterpart.
  • Integrated Land Use Assessment (ILUA) has been completed with support from FAO and Finland. A carbon stock assessment is ongoing on this basis. ILUA phase II is commencing and is expected to improve the accuracy of the assessment and allow establishing a credible emissions baseline

Ongoing activities

  • Awareness-raising for relevant government institutions, civil society, and community based organisations and other NGOs is an ongoing process.
  • Consultations for institutional and implementation arrangements with government institutions and other stakeholders:
  • The Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources has set up the Climate Change Facilitation Unit which shall lead the process of developing a National Strategy on climate change activities in Zambia. A Technical Team comprises relevant governmental institutions and a number of civil society organisations.
  • Establishing reliable carbon assessment methodologies

The UN system through FAO has engaged an international consultant to analyze the ILUA data on Carbon Assessment and develop an appropriate methodology for Carbon Assessment (in reference to the Integrated Land Use and Assessment (ILUA) report that has been prepared in Zambia).

May 2009

  • 4-8 May 2009: Scoping mission by the Global UN-REDD Programme Team

Headquarters personnel from FAO, UNEP and UNDP, visited Zambia to assist the country in preparing a National REDD programme and strategy. The team held consultations with the UN system in Zambia, Senior Government officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Forestry, the Climate Change Facilitation Unit, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services the Ministry of Water and Energy Development, the Ministry of Lands, the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the Ministry of Finance, the Zambia Wildlife Authority, and Civil Society organizations.

  • A guiding roadmap for REDD has been developed and contains useful information for the preparation of the national programme document


  • General limitations in human and physical capacities with regards to assessments of carbon, development of carbon projects, monitoring and evaluation of carbon increments as well as leakages, certification and reporting at national and local community levels.
  • Capacity development is required at the national, district and local levels for:
  1. Training in forest inventories and assessments including the use of remote sensing, GIS, satellite image analysis, mapping and database development and management
  2. Collection and assessment of social and development information.
  3. Support for physical infrastructure development including monitoring and management tools and carbon assessment.
  4. Improving technology to ensure monitoring, verification and reporting on climate change.
  5. Appropriate mechanisms for clear and transparent incentive sharing are thus far limited. They will however be necessary for the established financial management systems to allow for the flow of funds to stakeholders
National REDD+Program,
Version 1, May 2010, Pdf, 1.6MB



Extpub | by Dr. Radut