Updates from the field in Zambia (2)

Zambia for Agroforestry, Biodiversity and Climate (Z4ABC)

The Zambia for Agroforestry, Biodiversity and Climate (Z4ABC) project is working towards transforming agroforestry, forestry and wildlife-based value-chains to become more sustainable, climate-resilient and productive while at the same time improving local livelihoods, food security, and biodiversity. The project is funded by the European Commission's DeSIRA initiative, with co-funding from Finnish partners and the Centre for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) through CIFOR-ICRAF's Zambia office. From Finland, the Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), and Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) are supporting the implementation of project activities.

Bamboo is coming back in the Vizimumba Ward. The Zambia for Agroforestry, Biodiversity, and Climate (Z4ABC) project identified Vizimumba as having high potential for the development of a sustainable bamboo value chain. More than a simple afforestation project, the work represents a holistic approach to community development, climate resilience, and sustainable livelihoods.

The production capacity of bamboo forests in the area has declined due to improper harvesting, forest fires, lack of protection, and the clearing of land for agricultural purposes. And despite the resource’s growing popularity, a knowledge gap on sustainable practices remains. As reduced rainfall makes agriculture increasingly difficult, a growing number of locals are turning to the bamboo trade in the hopes of a more stable livelihood activity and income source.

As part of its holistic approach, the project is working - among other activities- with the upscaling of the value chain and the establishment of a fully equipped bamboo restoration nursery.