Improved Information Sharing in the 6 Project Sites of the EGC BIOPAMA Project

The Biopama Project in Zambia Aims at Enhancing Governance of CBNRM for a better conservation outcome and Social Outcome through addressing priorities for improved management and governance bio diversity of natural resources including and assessing the governance supportive tools being the Site in Level for Assessment Governance and Equity (SAGE)and the Governance Assessment for Protected Areas (GAPA)tools. These tools provide a site level approach through an inclusion of all key stakeholders especially the communities the EGC Biopama Project has targeted 6 GMAs namely Namwala,Mufunta and Mumbwa on the Great Kafue Landscapes and the following Game Management Areas on the Lower Zambezi Landscapes Chiawa, Rufunsa and Lower Luano GMAs.

As the Project comes to an end since its implementation in November 2020 to   July 2023, one important Activity is to tell a story of a notable change in the Governance that has been observed by the different key stakeholders these are the communities, key partners and different government departments.

Through the continuous interactions and engagements through support for Prioritised Actions the most key Activities implemented in the 67 Village Action Groups of the 12 Community Resources Boards include the ;

  1. Community Level Capacity Building
  2. Information sharing through different methods
  3. Support the Exchange Visits and exchange of best lessons among Communities
  4. Law Enforcement Trainings and development of Training Manuals
  5. Stakeholders Dialogue Meetings in Law Enforcement
  6. Stakeholders Engagement Meetings in Human Wildlife Conflict in Host spot GMAs
  7. Stakeholders engagement Dialogues in Collaboration and Coordinated Planning
  8. The Establishment of the CBNRM Learning Group driven by the communities and key partners.

These Key Actions were implemented to address some of the key governance challenges identified by the SAGE and the GAPA tools implemented in the two landscapes and among them is the Lack of Transparency, Accountability in Information Sharing at different levels this was identified at community and also District level .The challenge of information sharing was common across all the 6 Project sites and this was improved by continuous engagements at local /community level by engaging all key stakeholders and partners.

The 12 CRBs share a story of improved information sharing this has been presented as notable change by the communities, partners and government departments especially the Protected Area Authorities these are the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Forestry department, Ministry of Green Economy and Environment.

The SAGE Process facilitated the site level interactions of these key stakeholders with specific roles and responsibilities in conservation and it was discussed in the GAPA and SAGE Processes that information sharing at community and among all the key Stakeholders was poor, the communities and traditional leadership did not participate and make decisions in very important GMA management issues. Lower Luano GMA,Rufunsa ,Chiawa have continued to hold collaborative stakeholders meetings and the CRBs also participate during the DDCC meetings this also has enabled Radio Programs by the Protected Area Authorities and the District Commissioners to share Information on Law Enforcment,Human Willdife Conflicts,Gender and other relevant lessons. The CRB Committee though the Village Action Groups have also continued to hold sensitization meetings on conservation, leadership and governance in the Communities. This has improved the collaboration of the communities and Protected Area Authorities especially when enforcing the Law to ensure that the communities also are part of safe guarding the nature and environment.

Through the Monitoring and Evaluation interviews the respondents eluded that stakeholders collaboration and information sharing has improved in the GMAs and this has positive impacts on the communities as their sense of ownership has improved on the Resources and they understand the Resources Rights and the importance of themselves being the Right Holders and Stewards of the Diverse Resources.


Local communities who reside in Game Management Area (GMA) regularly interact with wild animals as they share or compete over access to the limited space. Most often communities, have settled on the animal corridors or rely on use of water resources from the rivers, in the process of this human – wildlife interaction, conflict arises. These range from limited access to land, restriction on animal movements, loss of crops, lives and property.  These conflicts have in many instances created a hostile environment between communities, state departments responsible for wildlife and also with the wildlife itself.   Chiawa Game Management Area is located right up the heart of the elephant corridor and meanders along the Zambezi river, which makes it prone to more human wildlife conflicts.

Through the implementation of the enhancing CBNRM governance project, one of the key issues identified in human wildlife conflicts and weak systems to respond and manage this interaction for the betterment of species conservation and local livelihoods.  In order to contribute towards resolving or mitigating the effects of human wildlife conflicts, a series of dialogue meetings took place to engage the local communities and stakeholders in Chiawa with a purpose of deescalating the conflicts.

Through the EGC Biopama Project, the GMA has been supported through Prioritised actions of Community level Capacity Building in the VAGS and CRBs which has directly Information sharing with in the Landscape on Human Wildlife Conflicts. This has continued through the Human Wildlife Conflict Stakeholders Dialogues Meetings as a follow up action to the identified governance gaps and challenges during the Assessment Phases of the Project using the Governance Assessment for Protected Area (GAPA) Tool in the GMA.

An interesting Two stage Stakeholders Human Wildlife Conflict  dialogues engaged different key stakeholders these are Private sector, Protected Area Authorities these are the key government Departments,Traditional leadership,Councillors,Community to discuss several issues among them the  impact of Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) on human populations in Chiawa Game Management Area (GMA)in the Lower Zambezi Landscape. This impact is   immense and has been seen through the raiding of agricultural crops in the villages and communities and in extreme cases death or loss of lives due to the attacks. The Loss of crops, the damaging of granaries, loss of livestock which are domestic animals. When crop losses, property and human life losses get higher this in turn the humans may retaliate through negative attitudes towards conservation and begin to engage themselves in poaching and involvement in the illegal wildlife trade.

In the recent years the human populations have been growing and most of the people depend on agriculture, fishing as the main source of income and when their crops are damage or people are attacked by crocodiles and hippos this threatens the Conservation works in the landscape. The Different Protected areas and partners such as Zambezi Wildlife Trust, Conservation Lower Zambezi, Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Forestry Department, Fisheries Department, the Traditional Authorities have on-going sensitizations and community engagements as key mitigation measures and also introducing community driven projects that are an adaptation measure and also improves the well -being of the community.  These initiatives are implemented to also address the friction between protected area authorities such as key line departments and the local communities living in the regions that border these protected areas and the animals in these areas.

Species of Subject and type of HWC caused are;

Types of Human Wildlife Conflicts What Animal Specie cause HWC
Crop raiding
Elephants & Crocodiles
Loss of human lives of injuries
Hippos & Lions
Threat to human life
Hyenas & Baboons
Destroying of granaries
Monkeys & Buffalos
Loss of livestock
Bush Pigs


A review of the GMP or development of the land use plan for the GMA  is required in the Chiawa GMA this will indicate which  areas through a community-led process by identifying core areas for agriculture and development, as well as outlining zones for conservation management. The plan will be freely and easily accessible to community members, relevant government departments and other stakeholders. This will also address and reduce of the Human Wildlife Deaths and Losses of Human Beings.

There is need for communities to have continued positive attitude to conservation and also a checklist for Partners in maintaining the current buy-in that the local communities have towards conservation is cardinal with a key aspect of recognition of economically and ecologically aspects being importance.

There is need to improve the land use management systems in the area. An integrated Land use planning process should be encouraged and locally driven rules or guidelines should be developed on how to deal and handle these matters. This project has a laid a good foundation for consultation and stakeholder participation.


Protected Areas or Conserved Area governance and the related issue of equity have received relatively little attention until recently. In addressing this gap BIOPAMA is at the forefront of a growing global effort to give more emphasis to governance and equity. This responds both to increasing awareness of the relevance of equity to conservation at site level and the inclusion of equity in global conservation and sustainable development targets.

The Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) Learning Group through the EGC BIOPAMA project is aimed at sharing knowledge, lessons, opportunities and challenges. The Capacity building is easily achieved through members learning from each other’s knowledge and experience (through a peer-to-peer learning) and provide experts to provide training on specific topics. While the primary target group for capacity building is the group members themselves from the 12 Community Resources Boards of the 6 GMAs of the Project sites namely Namwala,Mumbwa,Mufunta,Chiawa,Lower Luano and Rufunsa, the learning group also involves other experts in the CBNRM arena, who through vast experience contribute to improving governance in natural resources management. The CBNRM Learning Group was established in May 2021 during the Inaugural Learning Group Meeting in Lusaka Zambia which had Community Representatives, Government Departments and Community Based Organisations (CBOs)

The Learning Group aims to increase the contribution of the GMAs to the well-being of their communities – fully including poorer men, women, and youth – while also improving wildlife conservation. Well-being refers to their livelihoods and quality of life in the broadest sense not just financial benefits although these are important. Where conservation and livelihood objectives are competing (i.e. there are trade-offs), the learning group will enable its members to better and more fairly manage these trade-offs. The Learning Group is supported by BIOPAMA to achieve these key objectives;

  • Building the capacity of members to improve practices at site level including;
  • Assessing the quality of governance of a GMA and identify and plan actions for better and fairer governance;
  • Effectively implementing actions for better and fairer governance, monitoring and learning from the progress of these actions and duplicating the efforts in other areas and The CBNRM Learning Group Continues to undertake these activities .

What has the Learning Group Achieved;

  1. Formed a Learning Group Platform for sharing lessons and communication with members from Communities, CBOs, and Government departments.
  2. Shared Lessons through the Early Harvesting of SAGE Results from specific Project sites.
  3. Continues to Engage key Partnerships and stakeholders in improving governance and conservation.
  4. Contributed to inputs into the National CBNRM policy and review of wildlife act, and support for sustainable Forest conservation.

Building the CBNRM Learning Group Beyond the Project:

The Zambia CBNRM Forum will continue to facilitate the existence of the learning group so it can contribute to the enhancement of good governance in the following ways ;

  1. Through the CBNRM Learning Group, the Project will continue to Build partnerships to expand the with (TNC, FZS, WWF, and AP).
  2. Continue to improve governance in different Landscapes by Applying governance tools
  3. Build national consensus on CBNRM management systems.
  4. Continue to contribute to the National CBNRM policy and ensure that community voices are represented.
  5. The CBNRM Learning Group-Coordination and Planning for an International Event.

Lessons Learnt From the 3 CBNRM Learning Group Meetings ;

  • Communities are the Resource Right holders and sharing best lessons with each other and Partners has been an eye-opening experience especially on emerging governance issues and trends.
  • The CBNRM Model is very important in Natural Resources and Conservation as it promotes sustainability, transparency and inclusion.
  • Gender Integration and Equity are important drivers to increase the participation of marginalized groups especially women and youths.
  • Partnership and Collaboration is key to understanding; the activities that have been identified as the various governance challenges in the different Landscapes.
  • These meetings can also virtually be conducted.


Zambia Community-Based Natural Resources Management Forum (Zambia CBNRM Forum) in partnership with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Forestry Department have been leading the implementation of a five-year project (July 2018 – June 2023) in Kalomo district across three (3) chiefdoms (Chikanta, Siachitema and Sipatunyana. The project is titled Collaborating to Operationalize Landscape Approaches for Nature, Development and Sustainability (COLANDS) is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Germany.

COLANDS is responding to isolated approach of solving problems related to both biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development with a goal to pilot and test integrated landscape approach –ILA- principles which will ensure the securing of 100, 000ha land under integrated approach management, through multi-stakeholder consultation and building capacity of the communities.

During the sharing of Project Results at Community and District Levels which had different key stakeholders that are core partners in ensuring the Project is implemented to meet the target goals in the Kalomo Landscape. Some of the key Topics shared on are Mapping and Land Cover Use Change, Soil Survey, Community Participatory Mapping, Animal Grazing and Resources Rights, Roles and Responsibilities.

The Project among its key activities which was a continued community engagement and capacity level meetings, strengthening of traditional leaders in governance and leadership, formulation of management profile, distribution of various publicity materials and stakeholders strengthening and collaboration and partnership engagements.

The Communities from the Villages of Kaingu,Mudenda,Siabalumbi and Mantanyani are keen and interested to participate and drive the conservation goals to ensure that some of the great lessons shared on key drivers of biodiversity loss and also key activities that ensure biodiversity conservation are shared  across all communities. Through the Headmen the communities formulated Action plans which include the Tree planting, Community sensitization meetings and engagements in Carbon Trading as a key Alternative Source of Revenues for the communities. The Integrated Landscape Approach continues  to represent the interest of communities and advance key conservation efforts collaboratively.

The ZCBNRM Forum (COLANDS) Project shares Lessons during the Simalaha Bi-Annual Conference 2023 ​

The Zambia Community Based Natural Resources Management Forum participated and being the key co-organisers for the Inaugural Conservancy Model in Zambia. This event attracted more than  5 countries in the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Trans-frontier Conservation Area (Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Angola) was held on 17-21 July 2023 in the Simalaha Conservancy, Zambia. The conference theme was: “Transfrontier conservation: Embracing the community conservancy model for inclusive biodiversity conservation and improved local livelihoods”. The event engaged various organisations and partners across the country with a goal of sharing conservation lessons.

The event attracted about 380 participants from indigenous groups of the 5 states from governments, communities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector from the five countries attended the conference. They came to share their knowledge and experiences relating to sustainable development, biodiversity conservation, and good governance practices. The Event was graced with the Presence of the Permanent Secretary for Western Province and the District Commissioner for Mwandi District the host place.

One of the key activities was the Presentations by the different Countries and this enabled the Zambia CBNRMF present on the COLANDS Project among its key Projects and share a few lessons on the Integrated Landscape Approach (ILA), the Governance Project in different Landscapes and the Forest Landscape Restoration Projects.

(Photo by Mr Jafe Muzuri ).

For Zambia’s the event was a milestone in conservation as it’s the first and only communal conservancy which is the Simalaha and among some of the development and nurturing of the model were attributed to the collaborative efforts through the Transboundary Network and Engagements.

Key Note Takeaways

  • This has been demonstrated in the Sharing of lessons at community ,district and National level in which the Stakeholder Engagement require close collaboration among various stakeholders to function properly. These include community members, government institutions, NGOs, private sector, indigenous organisations, and scientists. These stakeholders need platforms that encourage open dialogue, participation, and involvement in decision-making processes.
  • Water shed Protection/Landscape Rehabilitation and restoration: Some areas within conservancies will require habitat restoration and/or wildlife reintroductions to become productive and attract investment from the private sector. Conservancies should therefore look to implement projects that restore degraded ecosystems, reforest deforested regions and reintroduce native wildlife where needed.
  • Diversify the Alternative Livelihoods : As communities presented that one of the key drivers to destructive activities that exploit the biodiversity is lack of alternative livelihoods to support their households which builds up in community level has been one of the challenges across all the countries hence the development of and utilization of natural resources sustainably to ensure that local level activities included are agriculture, harvesting of Non Timber Forest Products, fishing, domestication of animals  and other environmentally friendly economic sectors to provide business opportunities and equitable benefit sharing at all levels.

Why is governance critical in effective Community-based natural resources management (CBNRM) programs in Zambia?

Dr. Rodgers Lubilo- Board Chairperson


This policy brief is targeted at the Zambian government, local communities, stakeholders,
and civil society organizations that are involved in community-based conservation initiatives in
the country. It is aimed at providing the linkage between governance and community-based
natural resources management (CBNRM). The brief unpacks the concept of CBNRM, how it
works, and the purpose it intends to achieve. It brings out how CBNRM functions in practice
and shows the power relationship, and more especially how governance shapes its performance.

What is CBNRM? And why is it relevant

Community-Based Natural Resources Management is the process of devolving management
responsibilities of natural resources into the control of the Indigenous Peoples and Local
communities who reside and interact with the wildlife resources. CBNRM is premised on the
belief that the people who live with wildlife and other natural resources will better manage them
if they can derive some form of benefits. Specifically, this approach brings about some of the
following elements;
▪ It creates institutions at the community level to manage natural resources;
▪ It promotes co-management, partnership, and collective resource ownership;
▪ It creates processes for incentivizing local communities to access, and benefit from
sustainable utilization of these resources;
▪ It promotes the democratization of community governance through an open and
accountable system;
▪ It contributes to capacity development, raises awareness of rights, and strengthens the
political constituency of the communities.
▪ It set in motion processes of community-led biodiversity conservation, and rural
development and increases opportunities for local livelihoods.
At most CBNRM is centered on the recognition of local communities’ rights, owning the
resources, assuming management responsibilities, and being able to distribute benefits, achieving
the dual role of conservation and empowering local communities with opportunities to improve
their lives. CBNRM provides an economic framework for making natural (wild) resources
valuable to the people who produce them. It is a global project that has received international
recognition and requires commitment by various actors including government, civil society, and
local communities alike.
Overtime decades, the implementation of CBNRM has been overshadowed by poor
governance, limiting its ability to deliver on the promised hope.

CBNRM governance structures

CBNRM has created local-level governance structures, for implementing its activities,
these include structures: – Village Action Groups (VAGS), Community Resources Boards (CRBs),
Community Forest Groups (CFMGs), Village Fisheries Management Committees (VFMCs), and
several other community-based organizations that have been established as a response to
implementing community-led conservation. These institutions set in motion the governance
framework for people’s participation and enhance prospects for accessing benefits. Various pieces
of legislation and policies from wildlife, forestry, and fisheries among others recognize the rights
of the local communities to participate in the management process of these resources.

What is governance and its importance?

Governance is a mechanism in which CBNRM structures, organize themselves, to participate
and deliver on the expectations; specifically,
▪ Governance is about taking decisions and ensuring the conditions for their effective
▪ It is the process of developing and exercising authority and responsibility over time.
▪ It is about who takes decisions, and how, including in relation to learning processes and
evolving institutions in society.
▪ Is the process of interactions among structures, processes, and traditions that determine
how power and responsibilities are exercised?
▪ It is about the formal rules (policies, procedures) and the informal rules (norms, values,
customs, traditions)
▪ It is about who holds power, authority, and responsibility and who is, or should be, held
It is obvious that good governance in CBNRM will assist in improving the delivery of the promise
of the approach;
▪ It will ensure that the decision-making process is participatory, transparent, and
democratic and that these decisions are initiated by the local communities themselves;
▪ It ensures that the system and the leadership are accountable to the community
structures, government, and other partners.
▪ It strives towards giving communities more power over other actors and players in the
community-led conservation
▪ It creates incentives for the communities to continue to play stewardship roles in resource
So, governance is central to the success of CBNRM because it helps define the management
system, allocate rights, roles, and responsibilities, and brings out systems of making decisions and
allocation of resources to beneficiaries. When good governance is lacking or weakened, we often
see CBNRM crumbling, it gets resented and results in dismal performance. Zambia’s CBNRM
continues to face governance challenges especially, due to the lack of a National Policy to guide
the government and other stakeholders on how to be able to account for their actions

What is being done to improve governance

As noted already, the major threats to the effective performance of CBNRM are
governance, as it should provide a clear framework of who owns what, who has the power to
decide, who should be benefiting, etc. In order to address these governance lapses or omissions,
various interventions are taking place in the industry. On its part, Zambia CBNRM Forum,
through a global partnership with International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
with funding from European Union, through International Conservation Union (IUCN) is funding
a Biodiversity Protected Area Management (BIOPAMA) programme. Through, this support the
Forum has been implementing a project entitled ‘Enhancing Governance in Community-based
Natural Resources Management to achieve social and conservation outcomes in Mumbwa,
Namwala, and Mufunta Game Management Areas (GMAs) of Kafue Landscape, and Chiawa,
Rufunsa and Luano GMAs in the Lower Zambezi/Luangwa landscape. Using various governance
assessment tools such as the Site Level Assessment for Governance and Equity (SAGE) and
Governance Assessment of Protected Areas (GAPA) to identify key governance challenges and
also suggested actions to address the gaps. The project has assisted in improving stakeholder
collaboration, information sharing, capacity training for community and stakeholders, and
improving the application of fairer law enforcement through capacity training to the community
scouts and other law enforcement offices in the targeted GMAs. It empowered the community
governance structures with minimum skills to effectively preside over the affairs of community
conservation. A national CBNRM Learning Group (CLG) has been set up to work as a thinking
and advisory body on better-managed CBNRM in the country. It is also thrilling to note that the
government has approved a National CBNRM policy, and we believe this will enhance the
performance of CBNRM governance in the country. This process should be followed by enacting
relevant laws to help enforce the policy implementation.


CBNRM in itself is a governance mechanism for empowering the Indigenous Peoples and
Local Communities (IP&LCs) in their stewardship to look after the natural resources, manage
them wisely, and then be able to make their own decisions on the utilization of these resources.
Often, weak and prohibitive legislations and policies, have denied the IP & LCs the necessary legal
framework to fully take control of the process. The improvement in the performance of CBNRM
is largely linked to governance because all processes, of resource ownership, benefit distributions,
decision-making, and the sustainability of the structures all fall within the governance framework.
It gratifying that Zambia is making progress in addressing the governance gaps and the Forum and
the broader CBNRM Association will continue to engage with government and stakeholders in
pursuing an agenda to ensure that CBNRM is beneficial to all.
For any inquiries please write to Dr Rodgers Lubilo @ and Ms. Cecilia
Banda @


Previously Posted on 5/08/2021 

Rufunsa Game Management Area (GMA) is one of the six project operation areas, Rufunsa GMA like others has recorded positive impacts from the governance assessments including the Site-In Level and action planning. The SAGE process was a new experience for the GMA actors, which brought their interaction to another level. The process was an excellent opportunity of mutual respect, sharing common and uncommon challenges and brainstorming on the next actions. This resulted into an action plan that has ownership and actors are enthusiastic to implement particularly in the areas of governance in conservation, benefit-sharing, human wildlife conflict and gender integration into GMAs operations.

Rufunsa SAGE assessment participants listening to the presentation of the review of the SAGE Process before the Action Planning. 

During the SAGE assessment the group spent a lot of time on outlining the various challenges the GMA has had for a long time, reason being there is little integration and coordination towards conservation by different stakeholders  and having shared  experiences for most actors particularly community members was that it is possible to sit down with all actors to discuss the challenges facing the GMA and to find local feasible solutions to the challenges.


(Photo by Madam Cecilia Banda Project Officer).

The GMA has also seen several/frequent stakeholder meetings so that all actors contribute while respecting views and concerns of all actors, lastly the are so enthusiastic about the governance knowledge and they look forward to receiving support in terms of trainings in lobby and advocacy, fairer law enforcement applications and better benefit sharing mechanisms.

Among the significant lessons learnt were the importance of stakeholder involvement and collaboration in natural resources conservation; for example, with regards to law enforcement the scouts have to be part of awareness creating teams to enhance fair law application, and the holding of open public meetings to before and after revenue sharing to encourage accountability.




The GMA has also seen several/frequent stakeholder meetings so that all actors contribute while respecting views and concerns of all actors, lastly the are so enthusiastic about the governance knowledge and they look forward to receiving support in terms of trainings in lobby and advocacy, fairer law enforcement applications and better benefit sharing mechanisms.

Among the significant lessons learnt were the importance of stakeholder involvement and collaboration in natural resources conservation; for example, with regards to law enforcement the scouts have to be part of awareness creating teams to enhance fair law application, and the holding of open public meetings to before and after revenue sharing to encourage accountability.



The EGC BIOPAMA Project is an initiative of the ACP group of States financed by the European Union jointly implemented by International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JCR). The BIOPAMA project in Zambia aimed at Enhancing Governance of CBNRM for a Better Conservation and Social Outcome

In Zambia the Project addresses priorities for improved management and governance of biodiversity and natural resources including the providing and assessing supportive tools. The project had the Pre-SAGE Assessment, SAGE Assessment and Action Plan done for all the Project Sites where the SAGE and GAPA governance methodology tools were utilized.

WhatsApp Image 2023-03-14 at 17.33.03sa

Mufunta GMA , located on the Greater Kafue Landscapes  had its Assessment with the SAGE tool and one great lessons learnt through the key prioritized actions are that , the community level Interactions with the grass root structures of Village Action Groups(vags)Community Forest Management Groups(cfmg) Community Resources Boards(crbs)  has been educative and knowledgeable, it has given a clearer picture of the key governance gaps in relation to law Enforcement, full and effective participation of all relevant actors in decision making, equitable benefit sharing, effective collaboration and coordination of relevant actors, sectors and levels, Transparency and accountability in information sharing ,Access to Justice and effective dispute solution processes among other principles of good governance.

In Mufunta GMA which has 9 Village Action Groups  a total of 140 have people( male….. female….) benefited from the capacity building trainings that enabled discussions on governance related subjects as understanding the concept of Community Based Natural Resources Management that relates to the foundation and buildup of CRBs, CFMGs, Fisheries Groups and this also allowed the groups to understand their mandate and roles to which the mandate to improve the governance of their GMA is drawn.

During the Site -Level Assessment for Governance and Equity Assessments (SAGE) in the Mufunta GMA  until the formulation of an Action Plan, the communities shared some of the governance issues  or challenges and  now it was interesting  to go back to the communities one year later after the Assessments and interact with the communities to understand how the Law enforcement, the noticeable Improvements in information sharing at VAG/CRB levels and GMA level has been encouraging. The ordinary communities members and the leadership at these community structures are able to understand their roles in these governance issues as they are more informed on their resource’s rights and have understood and shared the information to other community members as ambassadors on the importance of permits or licenses to exercise specific resources rights such as the rights to hunt, fish and collect timber. The Traditional leadership through headmen has also been part of the governance trainings and this has contributed towards great results for the GMA.


The GMA has furthermore been supported through a  Key Stakeholder Law Enforcement Dialogue Meeting of which and during the Discussion the Law Enforcers and Protected Area Authorities and the Judiciary presented on various issues on how to improve further improve the law enforcement in the GMA. The law enforcers shared how the numbers of poachers and some have reformed to ensure they work together in either neighborhood watch groups or join crb or vags, another important thing to note is the how communities especially the women have motivated each other to participate and take up leadership roles at vags .During the interaction the communities mentioned how SAGE has transformed their minds and attitude towards positive achievements of conservation objectives as a team and  to ensure that the Protected Area continues to uphold Equity in Good Governance. The fair and effective Law Enforcement training  has helped the community scouts improve their operations as they carry on with their mandated responsibilities in the GMA .


  The integrated landscape approach as used under the COLANDS project is concerned with different drivers of the landscape of Kalomo ranging from deforestation, agriculture, water, wildlife to economic activities. The main drivers include deforestation, land encroachment, siltation and many more drivers such as expansion for agriculture land. This is leading to the opening up of forests for new agriculture lands, land alienation or intensity of agriculture activities (land exhaustion), charcoal production, land expansion for settlements and infrastructure development


The targeted groups and individuals that have been identified for the COLANDS project included chiefs, village headmen, school head teachers, community cooperatives, civil society Organizations, government, non-governmental organizations and private entities like (SEEDCO). The groups comprise different people with different social status at village, community and district levels whose interests are vast. The identified groups cover or are closely related to the CBNRM approach and landscape approach of the COLANDS projects. These range from Land rights, governance, policy and integration of various policies that have landscape approach components to community benefits. The identified stakeholders go as far as ensuring socio-economic costs are improved and the technical aspects of the project dynamics are well understood by the beneficiaries. These identified stakeholders are of positive influence to the COLANDS project especially the policy makers, government institutions (Ward development committee) and the traditional leaders (Royal establishments). Whilst the non-governmental organizations and private entities are being viewed as very important especially in influencing change to the government and articulating technical issues. Despite all these characteristics these stakeholders from the non-governmental sector are less influential on the COLANDS project due to their limits in their mandates.

The other attributes of the current levels and interface of interactions are generally low and are loosely defined which require changes in mind set, attitude, understanding of the CBNRM and landscape project approaches. Through stakeholder and social network analysis, the project can adequately address these challenges if it can capitalize on the strong interest and general liking for the project by the stakeholders. This calls for more dialogue to reach a consensus especially for the grass root Organisations in the chiefdoms on the COLANDS project.  Not really that the project will achieve this through a multi-stakeholder approach dialogue to minimize conflict and build trust but also ensure transparent, inclusive and accountable governance of the stakeholder engagement process. Several individuals, groups and tools like KII, surveys and focus group discussion will be used for strong partnerships, networks and platforms. The forum also needs to involve all the chiefdoms in its implementation for the success of the projects and the Ward development committee so as to address issues of governance, responsibility, cost benefit analysis, policy integration and legal issues especially on community land boundaries.


Activities Implemented as Follows

This report highlights the outcomes of the awareness meetings on community rights, responsibilities, relationships and returns under the integrated land assessment and natural resources management that were conducted in Mudenda, Kaingu, Manthanyani and Siabalumbi villages located in Chikanta, Siachitema and Sipatunyana chiefdoms respectively in Kalomo District.

The EGC BIOPAMA Project​

This Project is an initiative of the ACP (African Caribbean Countries) group of states financed by European Union jointly implemented by International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JCR). The EGC Biopama Project in Aims at Enhancing Governance of CBNRM for a better conservation and Social Outcome in Zambia. The Project address existing limitations through supporting communities’ initiatives aiming to enhance the livelihoods of local communities whilst effectively contributing to protected areas management. This is achieved through addressing priorities for improved management and governance in bio-diversity conservation of natural resources. The assessments governance supportive tools being utilized are the Site Level Assessment for Governance and Equity (SAGE) and the Governance Assessment for Protected Areas (GAPA) tools. These tools provide a site level approach through a holistic approach with all key stakeholders especially the communities at the grassroot structures. The EGC BIOPAMA Project has targeted 6 GMAs namely Namwala,Mufunta and Mumbwa on the Great Kafue Landscapes and the following Game Management Areas on the Lower Zambezi Landscapes Chiawa, Rufunsa and Lower Luano GMAs.

The total number of 12 Community Resource Boards (CRBs) namely (Kabulwe-bulwe,Mulendema,Chibuluma,Kahare,Shimbizhyi,Kaingu,Chilyabufu,Mburuma,Mpuka,Mphanshya,Shikabeta and Chiawa and a total of 66 Village Action Groups (VAGs) have been targeted as grass root structures at GMA level  and over 10 Community Forestry Management Groups(CFMGs) . The key stakeholders that have been part of the Project are the Protected Areas Authority who include the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Forestry Department, Fisheries Department, the District Administration and Local Government, Conservation Non-Governmental Organizations, Traditional Leaders and the Community at large.

As part of the Project implementation activities several workshops were held at community level to collectively identify the governance challenges in these Protected Areas (PAs) and prioritized actions for each GMA were developed of which some prioritized actions were similar across all the 6 GMAs and some prioritized actions were unique to specific sites. Since September 2022, the EGC BIOPAMA project has been supporting Prioritized Actions at VAG / CRB to improve the governance and equity of community based natural resource management in Zambia. Through the support of the International Institute for Environment and Development and the Zambia CBNRM Forum has supported more than 1300 members at VAG/CRB levels.

Key Actions the Project has supported include   capacity building of the GMA community structures in governance, understanding their roles and responsibilities, Resources Rights and Natural Resources management, leadership and gender inclusion. Zambia Community Based Natural Resources Management Forum Project Team has frequently been visiting communities to share information on equitable benefit sharing, fair and effective and law enforcement, ensuring all actors work in collaborative with regards to GMA management, conflict management and promote collaboration in GMA Activities.

Governance and equity in protected areas is critical as it reflects on who makes decisions that concern both nature and people in a protected area. The EGC BIOPAMA Project in Zambia aims to enhance governance and equity of Community Based Natural Resources Management BNRM for better conservation and social outcomes. The project has successfully identified the key governance and equity challenges in the 6 GMAs using Site Level Assessment for Governance and Equity (SAGE) and Governance Assessment for Protected Areas (GAPA).  The support for Action is a key stage in the SAGE and GAPA processes as it selects key actions the local actors can support to improve the situation. More information on SAGE and GAPA is available from IIED: