LUSAKA, June 13 (Xinhua) — The Zambian government said on Wednesday that a World Bank supported project aimed at improving management of forests will go a long way in reducing high poverty levels in rural areas where it was being implemented.
Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme said the implementation of the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Project will contribute to reduction of high poverty levels in the eastern part of the country through sustainable utilization and management of natural resources.
The project is a five-year initiative being implemented by the Zambian government with the support from the World Bank at a total cost of 2.8 million U.S. dollars.
According to the Zambian minister, the underlying aim of the project was to improve landscape management, and increase environmental and economic benefits for targeted rural communities.
A study conducted on practices in the affected areas showed that rural development was challenged by unsustainable human agricultural, forestry and wildlife activities, resulting in degradation of the resources and steadily causing food insecurity, he added.
The project, he said, will improve the capacity of rural communities to promptly and effectively respond to an eligible crisis or emergency.
“This will be done through among many other things, promotion and adoption of sustainable landscape management practices wildlife management, agribusiness, and climate-smart agriculture and forestry management,” he said, according to a statement released by the ministry.
He further said the project will ultimately contribute to reducing carbon emissions and facilitate an emission reduction purchase project under which communities will be selling carbon credits at a negotiated amount.