For better user experience, please use another browser.

Southern Africa Medium Grant

Enhancing governance of Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) for better conservation and social outcomes in Zambia (EGC) 

Terrestrial protected area Key biodiversity area
Local communities Private sector National or local PA agency
Protected Area Governance Effectiveness (PAGE) Capacity building Co-management
399,674.55 EUR Zambia, Southern Africa November 1, 2020 - April 30, 2023

Protected and conserved area(s) concerned

Mumbwa GMA, 4094; Namwala GMA, 4093; Mafunta GMA, 555626090; Chiawa GMA, 62095; Rufunsa GMA, 303859; Luano GMA, 4095.

The BIOPAMA AC Objectives addressed

  • Enhance the management and governance of priority protected areas by addressing existing limitations (strengthening on-site infrastructure/equipment for patrolling, poaching control, developing capacity of staff).
  • Support local communities’ initiatives aiming to enhance the livelihoods of local people whilst effectively contributing to protected areas management.

Priority need addressed

Game management areas (GMAs) are protected areas in communally owned lands that make up more than 70% of the total protected area in Zambia. Overall governance of GMAs has been in decline, reflected in an increased rate of habitat loss, land disputes and declining wildlife populations. This has serious consequences for conservation in Zambia. The project will address tackle key governance challenges at GMAs including issues related to benefit sharing, accountability, rights recognition, participation in decision-making, gender equality, transparency and information sharing, and law enforcement.

Project activities

  • Stakeholders of six game management areas (GMAs) in Zambia will plan and effectively implement priority actions to strengthen governance. This will include activities such as stakeholder action planning workshops, communication of assessment results and action plans, implementation of specific priority actions, peer-to-peer exchanges with other GMAs, regular monitoring of progress, and governance capacity building for community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) based on needs assessments.
  • Stakeholders of four game management areas (GMAs) in Zambia will complete governance assessments for deeper analysis of governance challenges and identifying site-specific actions.
  • Learning on strengthening community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) governance will be shared within Zambia and more widely across Africa, with substantial capacity building in governance assessment. Activities towards this will include establishing and facilitating a CBNRM governance strengthening learning group, the publication of a report on governance assessment for CBNRM, a policy briefing on why governance should be at the heart of conservation, a guidebook for strengthening CBNRM governance, and presentations of project learnings on improving governance in CBNRM at relevant national, regional and global events.

The change the project implementation will bring for the protected area(s)

The project will improve governance of the six target protected areas and is designed to have a wider impact on governance of protected areas within Zambia as well as across the eastern and southern Africa region that are using a CBNRM approach. Improved governance will lead to more effective and equitable management of the protected area and associated benefit flows to local communities which in turn will enhance local livelihoods and well-being and improve the health of the ecosystem and its wildlife populations. In some respects, the project may deliver more for well-being than typical alternative livelihood interventions since governance interventions contribute to non-material aspects of human well-being, e.g., dignity, voice, security, social capital, and generally cost less than alternative livelihood interventions.

Download the project infofiche.

Implementing organisations

International Institute for Environment and Development; Zambia Community-Based Natural Resource Management Forum

Photo credits: Phil Franks; Gilbert Mwale

Project Related News