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Bibliothèque Does Customary Land Tenure System Encourage Local Forestry Management in Zambia?

Does Customary Land Tenure System Encourage Local Forestry Management in Zambia?

Does Customary Land Tenure System Encourage Local Forestry Management in Zambia?
A Focus on Wood Fuel
Customary land and forestry management

Resource information

Date of publication
Avril 2015
Resource Language
License of the resource

Zambia is one of the most forested countries in Africa, with about 50 million out of the 75 million hectares total land area under some form of forest cover. However, the country also has one of the highest rates of deforestation and degradation in the world, estimated at 250,000-300,000 hectares of forest loss per annum. Reversing/slowing this high deforestation and degradation trend will require the country to design and implement programs and strategies that will effectively deal with both the proximate and underlying drivers of deforestation and degradation. A precondition to designing such programs and strategies is a clear identification and understanding of the main drivers of deforestation, both proximate and underlying. Implementing such programs and strategies is important to help the country contribute to climate change mitigation efforts, and benefit from international climate mitigation initiatives such as the UN-REDD programme1 inter alia.

While the evidence is compelling that charcoal and firewood (collectively referred to as wood fuel) is one of the major drivers of deforestation and degradation, there appears to be an under-appreciation of the role of customary land institutions in wood fuel production and/or marketing, and forest management in general. Customary land administration systems, in which forestry management systems are embedded, guide the daily management and consumption and/or use of land resources including forests. Further, land tenure directly determines who has the right to benefit from forests and who has duties to protect it. While it is important to identify and address the population drivers of wood fuel production and/or marketing, what is even more important is understanding the institutional arrangements, which provide user rules, and rights, as well as enforcement and sanctions/penalties for rule-breakers. Thus, it is critical that local land and forest management institutions form an integral part of analyses concerning local forest management.

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

Brian P. Mulenga,
Chewe Nkonde,
Hambulo Ngoma

Geographical focus