In Zambia's Copperbelt region, native Miombo woodlands have been disappearing for decades. WeForest is engaging with and training hundreds of small-scale farmers to restore these forests. In doing so, the farmers benefit from diversified livelihood sources, higher incomes and new skills! Besides, via the project's holistic approach, farmers receive help in obtaining land ownership. With the support of radioeins (rbb), WeForest is restoring those degraded landscapes.
Around 300,000 ha of forest is destroyed annually in Zambia. Charcoal production and agriculture are the main sources of income for local communities, yet both are unsustainable due to degrading forests and soils, causing extensive deforestation and environmental degradation nationwide. The Katanino Forest Reserve in the Copperbelt Province, made up of Miombo woodland, has already lost 42% of its forest. Unfortunately, current forest protection measures and reforestation efforts are minimal.
WeForest is reforesting this area through law enforcement, project activities and capacity building that are specifically designed to make sure that the local community members living in and around the forest are supporters of the protected area. This to ensure full local ownership and responsibility over the forest. WeForest works together with the Zambian Forestry Department, the local Katanino Trust and local customary leaders to make this approach holistic.
Without intervention, the deforestation trend is likely to increase in the coming years. The Katanino Forest Reserve presents an opportunity to implement a project which aims to (a) build local capacity to effectively transfer power and ownership of the forest to the communities, (b) restore the forest through assisted natural regeneration and c) drive the local economy through the development of alternative livelihoods and increase access of small-holder farmers to markets for product off-take.