High-Level Dialogue Renews Commitment to REDD+ in Zambia
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The Government of Zambia, in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), held a high-level dialogue to review its national REDD+ strategy.

The dialogue reaffirmed the political commitment to the REDD+ process in Zambia and the associated target to achieve a climate change resilient economy by 2030.

zambia_unredd_undp28 April 2015: The Government of Zambia, in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), held a high-level dialogue to review its national REDD+ strategy. The dialogue reaffirmed the political commitment to the REDD+ process in Zambia and the associated target to achieve a climate change resilient economy by 2030.

Participants to the meeting, including the Vice-President of Zambia, ministers, members of parliament and ambassadors, endorsed the priorities set out in the REDD+ strategy. These include: focusing on the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation across sectors; adopting a landscape approach; and implementing national policy reform. The dialogue also considered key issues such as equitable benefit sharing, improved livelihoods, and enhanced economic productivity.

A paper examining the benefits of forests in Zambia and the role of forests in the green economy supported discussions during the dialogue. The paper, titled ‘Benefits of Forest Ecosystems in Zambia and the Role of REDD+ in a Green Economy Transformation,’ sets the value of forests within the national economy at $US 1.3 billion with previously non-assessed regulatory, supporting and cultural services alone contributing $US 515 million per year.

The rapid assessment of forest values in Zambia also reveals that the country has the fifth highest deforestation rate in the world – largely as a result of charcoal production, forest encroachment and illegal logging. Addressing this loss can, according to the paper, preserve remaining forests, which are worth between $US25 and $US700 per hectare per year, and support 1.4 million jobs and the livelihoods of 60% of the rural population.

However, the study notes that REDD+ costs could reach up to $US 94 per hectare per year limiting the viability of REDD+ activities to the North-Western area of the country, unless public benefits from forest conservation are better valued. The paper also suggests that cost-effective REDD+ could be achieved through the redirection of agricultural expansion and a greater focus on increasing agricultural productivity in existing areas. [UN-REDD Programme Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [Publication: Benefits of Forest Ecosystems in Zambia and the Role of REDD+ in a Green Economy Transformation]

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