Zambia has approximately 50 million hectares of forest, with an estimated deforestation rate of 250,000 to 300,000 hectares per year. In recognition of the role REDD+ can play in reducing emissions and facilitating sustainable socio-economic development, the Zambian government is presently assessing the opportunities potentially delivered through REDD+. Zambia is currently one of nine developing countries in the world that will be piloting the UN-REDD Programme, which aims to prepare countries for future REDD+ implementation.
The first phase in the UN-REDD Programme is the UN-REDD Quick Start initiative. Zambia's National Programme (NP) describes the activities of this initiative. The Zambia UN-REDD Programme will develop a National REDD+ strategy and thereby assist in attracting financing for National REDD+ implementation.
The large scale and cross-cutting nature of interventions required to implement REDD+ will necessitate high level government support and large scale cross-sectoral reforms. Preparation for REDD+ will require a specific set of interventions including inter alia:
- developing capacity from community to government level;
- strengthening of institutional, policy and legislative frameworks;
- strengthening the implementation of policy and enforcement of legislation;
- widespread sharing of knowledge on REDD+; and
- developing incentives for the adoption of alternative livelihoods and energy sources.
Ultimately, the success of National REDD+ will also require large scale stakeholder engagement across all levels, but specifically at the community level in order to ensure that communities receive tangible benefits from REDD+.
The National Programme is the first step toward the above-described preparation. Its goal is to prepare Zambian stakeholders and institutions for effective future nationwide implementation of REDD+, and it has the following objectives:
- build institutional and stakeholder capacity to implement REDD+;
- develop an enabling policy environment for REDD+;
- develop REDD+ benefit-sharing models;
develop Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems for REDD+