“Delineation Of Boundaries And Dissemination Of Forest Extension Materials For Protectected Forest Reserves In Eastern Province”
Eastern Province has 65 gazetted forest reserves with a total land cover of 460,216 hectares. These are Local Forests and National Forests. Local Forests are 57 with 289,979 hectares whilst National Forests are 8 with 176,935 hectares as Shown in Figure 1. The gazetted forests in Eastern Province constitute 9 percent of the total provincial land cover. Encroachment in most of the forest reserves in the province is on the increase. The main illegal activities include; conversion of forestland into agricultural land, over exploitation of forest resources for timber and fuel wood, human settlement, and uncontrolled charcoal production. These problems are compounded with unclear forest boundaries with no forest beacons. This makes it difficult for community members to distinguish between protected forest areas and open areas. It is therefore important to have forest boundaries clearly defined and permanent forest beacons fixed to avoid encroachment and other illegal activities in protected forests.
Promote sustainable forest management in all the protected forest reserves by ensuring that forest boundaries are clearly defined, mapped and marked with forest beacons and provide extension services to communities living around forest reserves.
- To delineate forest boundaries in 17 selected protected forests reserves in 6 selected districts in Eastern Province in order to make them distinct.
- To enhance extension services and the production of information materials for communities living around protected forest areas.
- To produce maps for the 17 selected protected forest reserves.
These objectives are in line with the National Forestry Policy of 2014 which has set sustainable forest resources and ecosystem management and local community empowerment as some of the policy measures to be implemented. Therefore, this program will contribute towards operationalizing some of the policy measures outlined in the National Forestry Policy of 2014
APPROACH AND DURATION
The program is expected to run for a period of one year, beginning with a reconnaissance of the areas to be covered in the program, followed by the delineation and mapping exercise. These works will be done in 17 selected forest reserves out of a total of 65 forest protected areas in Eastern Province (see table 1). The 17 forest reserves were selected on the basis of their inherent ecological and economical value to the sustainable conservation and utilization of Zambia’s natural resources. The approach that will be taken to delineate and map forest boundaries, as well as produce and distribute forest extension materials is as follows:
- Identify forest boundaries and forest beacons for 36 selected protected forest reserves using statutory instruments for each of the forest reserves, Topographic Maps and ground truthing. This will also involve existing Institutions such the Survey Department and the use of local community members who may know the boundaries.
- Engage local community members on contract basis to provide labor for clearing of forest boundaries and construct forest beacons.
- Produce forest extension information materials including posters, fliers and brochures that will be distributed to local communities as part of forestry extension.
- Hold sensitization meetings with traditional leaders and members of the community on sustainable utilization and management of forest resources. This will also be done through radio programs using the local radio stations in the Province.
- Produce signage boards for the selected forest reserve in the Province.
- Produce maps for each of the 17 selected forest reserve.
- Improved delineation of the forest estate for improved management
- Increased community awareness and appreciation of the role of forests towards national sustainable development
- Reduced levels of encroachment due to clearly defined boundaries.
- Communities fully participating in sustainable forest management after sensitization.
- Regeneration in target forest reserves enhanced upon improving the protection status.
- Ministry of lands and natural resources Zambia