31 March 2017; Lusaka, ZAMBIA - In preparation for implementing projects in Zambia, the Global Support Initiative to Indigenous Peoples and Community-Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCA-GSI), organized a national workshop to involve various experts in indigenous knowledge on local governance and nature conservation and identify the different types of ICCAs in the country and opportunities to enhance their overall recognition and effectiveness.
The Zambia Community-Based Natural Resource Management Forum (ZCBNRMF), launched in 2005 by the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources with the support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), will be implementing the ICCA-GSI projects. ZCBNRMF is an umbrella of community-based organizations (CBOs) and institutions with common interests including the government and private sector. In particular, five NGOs will be involved in the ICCA-GSI projects including, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Zambia Land Alliance, Alliance for Nutrition and Reconstruction (ANR).
Workshop Participation and Activities:
The ICCA-GSI partners, the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) and ICCA Consortium co-organized the 1-day workshop with ZCBNRMF. Participants included the representatives of the Royal Establishments, government officials from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources as well as the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, House of Chiefs, NGOs, academia, research institutions and national archives, the Lusaka Museum, National Heritage Conservation Commission and local communities.
The participatory workshop opened with a keynote presentation from the ICCA Consortium covering several insightful aspects of ICCA such as (i.) the importance of understanding socio-ecological history and (ii.) customary governance, management and conservation. Thereafter, several plenary sessions were held to raise awareness on global and country-specific threats to ICCAs and build capacities on identifying opportunities and practical action points. Additionally, group exercises delving into four (4) emblematic ICCAs across Zambia were held to provide a hands-on experience on mapping and identifying site-specific threats and opportunities.
The workshop discussion points inlcuded the following: (i.) common threats to ICCAs including the Global Agro-Industrial Market System that is rapidly replacing the indigenous Natural Resource Governance and Management Systems (NRGM); (ii.) responses to the theats at the global, national and local levels; (iii.) history of Zambia and its diverse peoples and its present status on access rules, use rules and customary institutions for the sound governance and management of nature; (iv.) identification of Zambia’s ICCAs; and (v.) threats to Zambia’s ICCAs and Identification of opportunities with a special focus on (a) Western and Northwestern provinces, (b) Copper Belt, central and southern provinces; (c) Lusaka, Eastern and Muchinga Provinces; and (d) Northern and Luapula Provinces.
Outcome: As a result of the increased awareness and understanding among the multi-level participants from this interactive workshop, they have agreed upon on strategies and action points go forward. These include (i.) forming a National ICCA Working Group; (ii.) exploring ways to represent ICCAs in Regional Integrated Plans that feed into the National Development Plans; (iii.) integrating ICCA discussions at the district level through District Development Coordination Committees (DDCC); (iv.) using provisions of by-laws in the new urban and regional planning act to facilitate recognition of council- or municipal-wide territories as opposed to mini territories within larger territories (e.g. grave sites); and (v.) holding awareness-raising sessions for policymakers (e.g. parliamentarians). With the identification and preliminary assessment of country-wide location of ICCAs, ZCBNRM will take all discussion points and lessons learned forward as it prepares to implement four emblematic ICCA projects.