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The preparation of a REDD+ Investment Plan (IP) is moving the country towards the implementation of its REDD+ Strategy

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Zambia’s forests cover about 65% of the country and are a crucial resource for people, livelihoods and the environment. If unchecked, deforestation and forest degradation will significantly hamper Zambia’s development trajectory and will result in growing carbon emissions. The country is cognizant of the link between livelihoods and the integrity of the ecosystems, including the diverse miombo woodlands.

The preparation of a REDD+ Investment Plan (IP) is moving the country towards the implementation of its REDD+ Strategy, which was adopted in early 2017. The IP is rooted in Zambia's policy environment and conceived to recognize and contribute to achieve the goal of the national REDD+ Strategy, “to contribute to national reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by improving forest and land management, and to ensure equitable sharing of both carbon and non-carbon benefits among stakeholders.”

Improved agricultural practices, forest conservation and management, sustainable management and utilization of forest resources and capacity development are hallmarks of the investment plan. Responding to the drivers of deforestation in the mining and energy sectors are important cross cutting elements.

The implementation of investments in these areas will assist efforts towards Zambia’s national development objectives as well as help to achieve its ambition contained in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the auspices of the Paris Agreement.

Strategically, the Investment Plan identifies Core Investment Priorities (CIPs) and will be finalized by November 2017. Each of these core investment priorities will be supported by cross-cutting priority areas that will focus on strengthening governance and technical capacities of local communities for forest management and conservation through participatory land use planning and mapping, support for community governance and institutions, and technical assistance and training. The Government has adopted a landscape approach to integrally and holistically address the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation at the watershed level. The approach aims to address the drivers of deforestation while supporting actions aimed at improving the livelihoods of local communities.

The REDD+ Investment Plan is led by the Interim Climate Change Secretariat (ICCS) at the Ministry of National Planning Development and the Forestry Department at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and has benefitted from inputs from Government departments, ministries and programmes and civil society organizations. The investment plan is unique in the sense that it draws from the expertise, time and inputs from a range of stakeholders as well as institutions and international partners, including financial and technical support from the Forest Investment Programme (FIP), The World Bank, the African Development Bank and The Nature Conservancy as well as UN-REDD agencies that have been engaged in REDD+ in Zambia since 2010, notably, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment).