The quest to fight climate change through reduced deforestation and forest degradation cannot be a success without concerted efforts from both policy makers and other relevant stakeholders. More importantly, there is an urgent need for developing the capacity of relevant institutions mandated to protect biodiversity.
In Zambia, the USAID funded Community Forests Program (CFP) being implemented by BCP is already yielding positive results in strengthening the already existing relationship between BCP and government agencies such as the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA).
BCP continues to offer both financial and technical support to the Zambia Wildlife Authority through the CFP. “ZAWA is a very close partner of BCP in the implementation of the CFP. It is a critical partner particularly for law enforcement. We have village scouts that we support through the Community Resource Board (CRB) of Mpanshya and ZAWA is the coordinating institution of these scouts. Consequently, their participation in the CFP is critical to moving forward with our objectives of successfully implementing REDD+ in these areas,” explains BCP’s CFP Chief of Party, Paul Cowles.
The CFP recently donated six computers (3 laptops and 3 desktops) to the authority. “Capacity reinforcement remains a very important aspect of our work, especially for implementing partners. While ZAWA is very strong technically there is a need for more IT equipment in regional headquarters offices, like Chongwe. The Chongwe office is a very important support center for conservation in the entire Lower Zambezi ecosystem area in Zambia, including the Rufunsa area in which BCP works. We sincerely hope this gesture helps to reinforce their important work,” stated Mr.Cowles.
BCP is already looking for other ways of supporting ZAWA. “We are looking at supporting ZAWA through the rehabilitation of Mukamba Gate where ZAWA has offices and also rehabilitation of housing for ZAWA staff members. We are hoping these works will allow the area to become one of ZAWA’s major operational sites as an important entry point to Lower Zambezi National Park and close to Rufunsa Conservancy, ultimately leading to better protection of resources.”
This blog is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The content of this blog are the sole responsibility of BCP and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.