The project area, covering the Greater Kafue National Park ecosystem comprises Kafue National Park, West Lunga National Park, 13 Game Management Areas (GMAs and several open forest areas. The project which covers a total area of 78,185km² and supports over 225,000 people is threatened by wildlife poaching, deforestation and forest degradation, unsustainable land uses, extensive fire and loss of a large, intact ecosystem that provides multiple benefits including forest protection, water and HEP, and biodiversity. The underlying causes of these threats is weak management effectiveness, financial unsustainability, open access exploitation of land and resources, exacerbated by centralized and uncoordinated resource management policies, poverty, land degradation and climate change.
The project was developed to address these threats through a number of interventions targeted at both the National Parks and the Game Mangement Areas, through a multi-focal approach addressing issues affecting biodiversity, land degaradation and climate change.
Specifically the project interventions were targeted at increasing management effectiveness and financial sustainability of the Greater Kafue and West Lunga Protected Areas System, strengthening land use governance and planning and supporting communities to manage land and forest resources more sustainably.
The project has been promoting various CBNRM practices for the sustainable management of forest and wildlife resources in the target areas, which includes facilitating development of Integrated Land-Use Plans and Community-Based Fire Management Plans at VAG level; facilitating development of Community Forest Management (CFM) Training Manual and testing that will calminate in the establishment of CFMGs; as well as piloting Community REDD+ initiatives and facilitating learning on establishment of Community Conservances. Through the application of these various CBNRM practices, the project has encountered various challenges and opportunities which provide useful lessons that can contribute to the development of CBNRM in the country, both in terms of policy and practice. It is therefore, for this reason that the project intends to contribute to government’s efforts of developing a National CBNRM policy. This is also part of the project’s exit strategy to sustain its contribution to promoting CBNRM.