By Cifford Lambe in Rome, Italy
Zambia and other African countries have been selected by the The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to implement the the Forestry and Farm Facility, Phase ll (2018-2022).
The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) provides support to forest and farm producer organizations (smallholders, rural women’s groups, local communities and indigenous peoples’ institutions) to increase their technical and business capacities to play their precious role for fighting against climate change and improving food security.
FFF engages with governments to develop cross-sectoral mechanisms and policy processes which make use of rural people’s input. FFF is a partnership between FAO, IIED and IUCN, and AgriCord. Actual Donors include Finland, Germany, Sweden, and the United States.
Officiating at the The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 24th Committee on Forest (COFO) meeting that was held in Rome, Italy on 20thJuly 2018, Food and Agriculture Organisation Deputy Director General-Climate and Natural Resource Dr. Daniel Gustafson said he acknowledged that strengthening of tenure rights presents an opportunity to enhance gender equitable access to forests and trees, as well as encouraging a long-term, sustainable approach to forest management.
He said in his opening remarks that land, resources and investments in and around forests can propel women, youth and other rural entrepreneurs to be agents of change in the transformation to a sustainable world.
And speaking on the sidelines of the COFO meeting, Zambia Director of Forestry Dr. Ignatius Makumba who was accompanied to the meeting by Zambia’s Ambassador to Italy His Excellency Dr. Joseph Katema, and First Secretary Agriculture Dr. Kayoya Masuhwa, said Zambia recognised local community groupings particularly those that live in and around forests as potential partners for managing the forests and other natural resources.
He highlighted the importance of forest and farm producer organizations on sustainable forest management.
Dr. Makumba said that the Zambian Government had provided an enabling environment by developing forestry policy and enacting legislation that recognises the role of the local communities in participating in sustainable forest management
The Director of Forestry appreciated the selection of Zambia in the Second Phase of the Forest Farm Facility Programme and hoped that the activities of the First Phase would be upscaled in order to ensure that more Farm and Forest Producer Organizations are established and complement government efforts in improving people’s livelihoods.