World Vision Zambia Unveils FMNR Plan

… Government of Zambia Commends World Vision for Launching FMNR Business Plan

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (23-05-2024) – World Vision Zambia, in collaboration with its partners, has launched the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) business plan, aligning with the Zambian government’s goals for sustainable land management and climate change mitigation.

Faith Ngoza Kabaso representing the National Director, at World Vision Zambia, stated during the launch that the FMNR business plan represents a significant step forward in environmental conservation and community development.

“The FMNR business plan not only aims to restore degraded lands but also to create a resilient and prosperous future for Zambia’s rural communities,” Ngoza explained.

He added that bridging the gap between scientific knowledge and practical application will help World Vision and its partners equip communities with the tools needed to implement FMNR effectively.

The initiative addresses the urgent issue of deforestation and land degradation in Zambia, where many communities depend on forests and their products for survival.

“FMNR is a sustainable land restoration technique that leverages the natural regenerative capabilities of trees and shrubs,” Ngoza said.

He emphasized that selectively pruning and managing existing vegetation will revitalize soil health, boost biodiversity, and enhance crop yields.

Economically, FMNR offers multiple benefits. Improved soil fertility leads to better crop productivity, providing farmers with increased income.

Additionally, Ngoza said the sale of tree products, such as firewood and fruits, offers alternative revenue streams.

Socially, Ngoza said the FMNR empowers communities by involving them directly in land restoration, fostering a sense of ownership and stewardship over their natural resources.

She said the World Vision is committed to restoring 1 billion hectares of degraded land globally, with Zambia set to play a significant role.

The national FMNR scaling business plan outlines World Vision Zambia’s goal to restore 600,000 hectares of degraded land over the next decade, contributing to the national target of 2 million hectares.

This initiative will mobilize people, partners, and resources, addressing systemic barriers and promoting widespread adoption of FMNR.

According to Ngoza, collaboration is at the heart of the FMNR initiative and World Vision is working with government ministries, NGOs, local communities, traditional leaders, faith leaders, and research institutions to integrate FMNR into various programs.

“These partnerships are essential for sharing best practices, pooling resources, and scaling up successful projects,” he said.

The launch of the FMNR business plan follows the unveiling of the Zambian government’s Green Growth Strategy, which highlights the nation’s commitment to climate change mitigation and sustainable environmental management.

The presence of government officials and various stakeholders at the event underscores the collective effort and keen interest in FMNR’s potential to transform Zambia’s landscapes and communities.

The Government of Zambia has commended World Vision Zambia for the launch of the FMNR business plan, a significant stride in the nation’s fight against climate change.

The ten-year initiative, supported by World Vision Australia, aims to regenerate approximately 2 million hectares of degraded land across the country, addressing the critical issue of deforestation and land degradation.

Dr. Douty Chibamba, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment (MGEE), underscored the importance of this initiative.

“Zambia has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, estimated at around 172,000 hectares annually,” Dr. Chibamba noted.

“This project envisions regenerating about 2 million hectares of degraded land, with 52% of participants being women and girls, and 48% being men and boys,” he added.

He explained that the FMNR business plan seeks to transform the landscape and livelihoods of rural communities who heavily rely on forests and non-forest resources, which contribute significantly to rural household incomes.

“About one-sixth of our rural population depends heavily on these resources,” Dr. Chibamba highlighted.

Dr. Chibamba observed that deforestation in Zambia, driven by fuel production, agricultural expansion, and mining activities, has led to increased greenhouse gas emissions and severe environmental impacts.

The FMNR initiative aims to reverse these trends, contributing to the nation’s efforts to combat climate change.

“Climate change impacts are already slowing down our country’s development. Concerted efforts are needed to reduce such negative impacts,” Dr. Chibamba emphasized.

He noted that the FMNR project aligns with the government’s policy reforms aimed at enhancing environmental protection and management.

He said promoting climate-smart farming methodologies, will help the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, continues to educate farmers on sustainable practices.

“These efforts are yielding positive results,” Dr. Chibamba remarked.

The government expressed gratitude to World Vision for their role in this critical initiative.
“We sincerely thank World Vision for complementing our efforts in addressing land and forest degradation through this robust business plan,” Dr. Chibamba stated.

“The collaborative nature of the project, involving various partners, is expected to maximize the impact, bringing together diverse expertise and resources,” he said.

He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to supporting initiatives that promote sustainable development and mitigate climate change effects.

“Together we stand, divided we fall. Let’s continue with this unity,” Dr. Chibamba concluded, highlighting the importance of collective action in the fight against climate change.

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