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Gef medium Sized Project Grant Proposal sustainable land management in the zambian miombo woodland ecosystem


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GEF Medium Sized Project Grant Proposal

sustainable LAND management in the zambian miombo woodland ecosystem


Project Summary


Project Identifiers

1. Project name:
Sustainable Land Management in the Zambian Miombo Woodland Ecosystem


2. GEF Implementing Agency:
World Bank

3. Country or countries in which the project is being implemented:
Zambia


4. Country eligibility:
- UN Convention to Combat Desertification

(signed in 1994 and ratified in 1996).

- UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

(signed in 1992 and ratified in 1993)

- Convention on Biodiversity

(signed in 1992 and ratified in 1993)

- Algiers Convention on Conservation of Nature and

Natural Resources in Africa (ratified in 1972)



5. GEF focal area(s):
Climate change and biodiversity with linkages to land degradation


6. Operational program/Short-term measure:
OP 12 : Integrated Ecosystem Management

7. Project linkage to national priorities, action plans, and programs:
The project is consistent with:

  • the National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) of December 1994; the NEAP specifically mentions the need for promotion of sustainable land management through low-cost environmentally friendly production technologies including soil conservation, agroforestry, crop-rotation and green manuring (in the ‘Action Plan for the Agricultural Sector’);

  • the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan of November 1999, in particular with Goal No. 4 that aims at the development and implementation of local management systems that promote the sustainable use of biological resources. In addition, the project will contribute to the assessment of biodiversity in ecosystems outside the protected areas (Goal No. 3); and

  • the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries’ new policy on participative extension, including Farmers’ Field Schools (FFS). The policy is supported and partly funded by an FAO project that provides training in Integrated Production and Pest Management.

The project is also consistent with, and complementary to, a number of activities supported by the country’s main on-going environmental protection and rural development projects. These include:



  • the GEF supported Community-based Natural Resources Management and Biodiversity Conservation in the Lukanga Swamps Watershed Area project (currently in the GEF pipeline), which is meant to (i) promote conservation of natural habitats; (ii) prevent deforestation and promote sustainable management of forests; and (iii) prevent and control land degradation.

  • the regional GEF-supported medium sized project ‘Africa Community Outreach Programme for Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Resources’, which promotes sustainable community based natural resource management through a public education and awareness program using local and traditional means of communication.

  • development strategies relating to the reduction of soil degradation and the promotion of sustainable livelihood opportunities embodied in the Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (ASIP), implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. ASIP is supported by a group of donor agencies including the WB (IDA), UNDP and SIDA. The World Bank is currently channelling most of its support to the Zambian agricultural sector through ASIP.

  • Promotion of community soil conservation and agro-forestry practices under the SIDA supported Soil Conservation and Agro-forestry Extension (SCAFE) project.

  • promotion of community-based natural resources management activities through the Environment Support Project (ESP), implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and financed by the WB (IDA), UNDP, and the Nordic Development Fund;

  • research, training, and extension activities in conservation farming supported under the Conservation Farming Programme; and

  • support for smallholder access to agricultural inputs under the IFAD-funded, Smallholder Enterprise and Marketing Programme (SHEMP).




8. GEF national operational focal point and date of country endorsement:
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR), Kwacha House, Box 3401, Lusaka.
Submitted: Acknowledged: Endorsed:


Project Objectives and Activities

9. Project rationale and objectives:
Rationale

The Miombo woodlands are one of Africa’s largest still relatively intact woodland savannah ecosystems. They cover about 40% of Zambia, as well as parts of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The woodlands are considered to be of outstanding international importance for the conservation of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to the region. They provide the main habitat for, amongst others, common reedbuck, puku, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, sable antelope, roan antelope, defassa waterbuck, sitatunga, oribi and eland. The Miombo woodlands contain 10 out of Zambia’s 19 national parks. These 10 parks are vital for the protection of a large range of endangered species including the African Elephant, African Sharp-nosed Crocodile, Cheetah and Wattled Crane. The woodlands are also important as a carbon sink; carbon storage in intact Miombo woodlands is estimated to be 20 tonnes/ha.


The traditional farming system in the woodlands is the slash-and-burn ‘chitemene’ farming system. Under this system, farmers typically clear vegetation from between 2 and 3 ha of land and burn it on a 0.3 to 0.4 ha plot. The resulting ashes raise the pH of the acidic soils and are a valuable source of plant nutrients. This allows farmers to cultivate their respective plots for a period of up to 5 years, after which the fields need to be left fallow for 20 to 25 years in order to return to the original fertility levels.
Historically, the Miombo woodlands have sustained a very low population density, 3 to 4 persons per km2, and the chitemene system was considered to be a sustainable form of land management. However, the rapid population growth in Zambia (some 3% per year) has resulted in an increased pressure on land and a shortening of fallow periods. Due to the reduced fallow time, the system appears to be no longer sustainable as evidenced by growing degradation of forest cover and reduced soil fertility. The global consequences of the progressive degradation of the Miombo woodlands include loss of biodiversity associated with deforestation and increased encroachment on the national parks and the release of significant quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

There are a number of land management technologies, which have also been successfully applied in Zambia, that are capable of addressing the issue of slash-and-burn agriculture in the woodlands by promoting a shift from the former to a sustainable land management system. Such a sustainable land management system includes the application of conservation farming (CF) techniques at the farm level, and integrated ecosystem management (IEM) at the ecosystem level. Examples of CF techniques are crop rotations, no- or minimum tillage, and the use of cover crops, whereas potential IEM measures include community fire control and agroforestry. In Zambia, the experience with Farmer Field Schools (FFS), which are very suitable to support farmers and local communities in taking up CF and IEM, as well as with various sustainable land management techniques, provides a special opportunity to promote a fundamental shift from slash-and-burn agriculture to sustainable land management of the Miombo woodland ecosystem.



Objectives

The goals of the proposed project are: (i) a reduction of carbon emissions from unsustainable slash-and-burn agricultural practices in the Miombo woodlands; (ii) the conservation of globally significant biodiversity; and (iii) improvement of the food security of the local population. In order to achieve these goals, the project will promote a shift in land management from the currently practised chitemene system to a sustainable land management system, based upon integrated ecosystem management (IEM) and conservation farming (CF) principles.


The specific objectives of the project are to: (i) identify and assess the applicability of potential IEM and CF techniques; (ii) build local and national capacity in sustainable land management; (iii) facilitate a shift from chitemene to sustainable land management practices in selected pilot areas within the Miombo woodlands; and (iv) extend the experiences gained with sustainable land management to other areas with a comparable agro-ecological environment, both in Zambia and in neighbouring countries.
Indicators (impact indicators)

(a) Total area under conservation farming and integrated ecosystem management

(b) Total area of Miombo woodland released from slash-and-burn activities

(c) Tonnes of carbon stored



10. Project outcomes and indicators:
The proposed pilot project area consists of Mkushi and Serenje districts, where small-holder farming has traditionally involved slash-and-burn agricultural practices. The districts are now experiencing a rapid degradation of forest cover and soil fertility due to unsustainable land management practices. Four protected areas in the districts are severely threatened by encroachment. The project activities in the two districts will be facilitated by the experience of district and field level government officers with participatory extension approaches, particularly FFS, and conservation farming, as well as by the local availability of lime deposits.
The project has five components: (i) supporting studies; (ii) capacity building; (iii) promotion of sustainable land management in Mkushi and Serenje districts; (iv) scaling-up of the sustainable land management approach to other areas in Zambia; and (v) project management, monitoring and evaluation, and information dissemination. The project will be implemented over a four year period and will have the following outcomes (presented by component):





(i) Supporting studies. This component includes two studies and a targeted research programme, that will increase the awareness and understanding of the potential contribution of CF and IEM to sustainable land management. The first study will assess the suitability of the various CF techniques for application in the Miombo woodland area. Potential techniques include zero- and minimum tillage, crop rotation, and spot application of lime and fertilisers. The second study will identify potentially feasible community-based IEM techniques (such as community fire control, agroforestry and community management of biodiversity resources) and provide a preliminary assessment of their applicability in the Miombo woodland system. A targeted research programme will be conducted in order to assess the longer term aspects of conservation farming and integrated ecosystem management. The outcomes of the supporting studies will be integrated into the FFS programme to be tested by farmers and local communities.
(ii) Capacity building. The project will train about 50 local extension staff in the concepts and application of CF and IEM, and the facilitation of FFS. In addition, through national and local workshops, the project will increase the awareness of policy makers and national and local government staff of the need for an integrated ecosystem management approach to agriculture, as well as increase their capacities to include ecological principles in agricultural planning and extension activities. Through these activities, it is expected that the project would contribute to the mainstreaming of IEM concepts in policy and decision-making processes.
(iii) Promotion of sustainable land management in Mkushi and Serenje districts. Using FFSs as a form of participatory extension, the project will train and support local communities in Mkushi and Serenje districts in order to enable them to shift from chitemene to sustainable land management. In the FFSs, farmers and communities would experiment themselves with potentially suitable CF and IEM techniques, and be supported with the implementation of these techniques that match best with their needs and local environment. It is anticipated that, as a result of the project, some 6,000 farmers would adopt CF and IEM. Based on the average per capita slash-and-burn area in the woodlands of the two participating districts, the proposed approach, if successful, would result in the elimination of slash-and-burn practices in an aggregate area of 170,000 ha. On the area that is released from slash-and-burn agriculture, the project will support community-based integrated ecosystem management. The details of the community ecosystem management system will be determined by the communities themselves, but the techniques to be adopted could include fire control and agroforestry. The total carbon sequestration as a result of the project is estimated at 958,000 tonnes (see Appendix 4). With total anticipated project costs of US$ 1,350,000, the project would be highly cost-effective in sequestrating carbon,

the costs per tonne C sequestrated will amount to only US$ 1.4/tonne. The impact on the conservation of biodiversity is also expected to be significant. The project area includes one national park, the buffer zone of another national park, and two game management areas. As the amount of land required for agriculture will be significantly reduced, a substantial decrease in the encroachment in the participating districts’ protected areas is expected. In addition, farmers’ food security is expected to increase as a result of the project. Most farmers are food deficient in the months of January-March (prior to the harvest), and with the proposed sustainable land management approach farmers could overcome these food shortages.


(iv) Scaling up of the sustainable land management approach. Based on the results stemming from the FFS cum IEM and CF approach developed under the project, this component would promote the application of sustainable land management in other parts of the Miombo woodlands in Zambia.
(v) Project management, monitoring and evaluation, and information dissemination. Based upon the results of the monitoring programme to be undertaken during the project, the project will support an information dissemination campaign in order to raise the awareness, both in Zambia and in neighbouring countries, on the options for sustainable management of the Miombo woodland ecosystem.




Indicators (output indicators)

(a) Number of extension staff trained in sustainable land management and FFS extension

(b) Number of Farmer Field Schools conducted

(c) Number of farmers that have been trained in sustainable land management

(d) Number of farmers that have adopted CF

(e) Number of communities that have adopted IEM

(f) Availability of a suitable participatory extension approach for promoting sustainable land management in the Miombo woodlands


11. Project activities to achieve outcomes (including the total costs in US$ of each activity, as well as the contribution requested from the GEF):

Component/activity

Component A. Supporting studies

A1: Assessment of sustainable farming techniques

A2: Assessment of potential community-based ecosystem management

techniques

A3: Targeted research
Component B. Capacity building

B1: Start-up workshop

B2: Training of trainers

B3: Curriculum development workshops


Component C. Promotion of sustainable land management in Mkushi and Serenje districts

C1: Workshops on integrated ecosystem management at the district level

C2: Implementation of FFS

C3: Enabling farmers to obtain the required inputs

C4: Support to communities in implementing integrated ecosystem management
Component D. Scaling up of the sustainable land management approach

D1: Sustainable land management workshop

D2: Promotion of sustainable land management in other parts of the Miombo woodlands
Component E. Project management, monitoring and evaluation, and information dissemination

E1. Project management

E2. Monitoring and evaluation

E3. Information dissemination


Total


Total costs

89,000

4,000


20,000
65,000
161,000

6,000


145,000

10,000
355,000


5,000

231,000


79,000

40,000
360,000

10,000

350,000


385,000
285,000

70,000


30,000
1,350,000

GEF contribution
49,000

4,000


20,000
25,000
116,000

6,000


100,000

10,000
302,000


5,000

178,000


79,000

40,000
10,000

10,000

0

270,000


170,000

70,000


30,000
747,000


12. Estimated budget (in US$):
GEF: 747,000

Co-financing (ASIP): 350,000

Government: 253,000

TOTAL: 1,350,000




Information on institution submitting project brief

13. Information on project proposer:
The Land Husbandry Section of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF) has as its main mandate the promotion of agricultural productivity and good land husbandry. The section has some 10 permanent professional staff and implements programmes through MAFF’s decentralised District Offices together with other partners. It is led by the Chief Agricultural Specialist (Land Husbandry). The section is responsible for managing the high priority nation-wide Conservation Farming Programme (Zambia’s participation in the Soil Fertility Initiative).


14. Information on proposed executing agency (if different from above):



15. Date of initial submission of project concept:



Information to be completed by Implementing Agency:

16. Project identification number:



17. Implementing Agency contact person:

Dr. Jacob Kampen and Mr. Tekola Dejene, World Bank, Washington, USA .




18. Project linkage to Implementing Agency program(s):
The MAFF is engaged in a major nation-wide Conservation Farming Programme, which is supported by IDA, Sida and UNDP. Both IDA and UNDP channel funds to the Programme through the multi-component Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (ASIP). ASIP has been extended until December 2001 and the ASIP successor project, that is proposed as the baseline activity for the proposed GEF Alternative, is currently being prepared. It is expected to become effective in mid 2002. In addition, FAO is currently assisting the Field Services Department of MAFF in expanding the use of FFSs as a highly effective means of participatory extension in 4 pilot districts (Kalomo, Kaoma, Mkushi, Monze).



Detailed Project Description

A. Project Description
Project Rationale and Objectives
Rationale. The Miombo woodlands are still a relatively intact woodland savannah ecosystem. They cover about 40% of Zambia, as well as parts of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Zambia, the Miombo woodlands occur in particular in Agro-ecological Region III (see Appendix 2). Miombo is of outstanding international importance for the conservation of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to the region. It provides the main habitat for common reedbuck (Redunca arundinu), puku (Kobus vardonii), Lichtenstein’s hartebeest (Sigmoceros lichtensteinii), sable antelope (Hippotragus niger), roan antelope (H. equinus), defassa waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa), sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekei), oribi (Ourebia ourebi), and eland (Taurotragus oryx). Zambia’s recognition of the significance of the Miombo woodlands is reflected in the number of national parks created to protect this ecosystem (10 out of Zambia’s 19 national parks). These 10 parks are vital for the protection of a large range of endangered species including the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana), African Sharp-nosed Crocodile (Crocodylus cataphractus), Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus). Miombo is also an important carbon sink; carbon storage in intact Miombo woodland is estimated at about 20 tonnes/ha.
In response to the highly acidic soils of the Miombo woodlands, the traditional farming system in the woodlands is the slash-and-burn ‘chitemene’ farming system. Under the chitemene system, farmers typically remove vegetation from areas ranging between 2 to 3 ha and burn it on plots of land averaging 0.3 to 0.4 ha in size. The resulting ashes increase the pH of the soil and are an additional source of nutrients in these nutrient-deficient soils. This system supports a period of cultivation of up to 5 years, after which the fields and surrounding woodlands need to be left fallow for 20 to 25 years in order to return to their original levels of fertility. To support one ha of chitemene plots, a farmer needs to have access to, on average, 28 ha of woodlands. Because population densities were traditionally very low (in the order of 3 to 4 persons per km2), the system used to be environmentally sustainable.
Recently, however, the rapid increase in population in Zambia (some 3% per year) has resulted in an increased pressure on land and a progressive shortening of fallow periods. Fallow periods are now as short as 5 to 7 years in the most densely populated areas of the Miombo woodlands. This has caused a substantial degradation of the vegetation cover and a general decline in soil fertility. The decline in soil fertility, in turn, has led to a decrease in food production, and the nutritional requirements of the local population are currently not being fulfilled. The rapid degradation of the Miombo woodland ecosystem is also of global concern. The ecosystem’s biodiversity is increasingly at risk due to deforestation and encroachment on protected areas, and as ever more woodland vegetative cover is burned, significant quantities of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere.
There are a number of land management technologies, which have also been successfully applied in Zambia, that are capable of addressing the issue of slash-and-burn agriculture in the woodlands by promoting a shift from the former to a sustainable land management system. Such a sustainable land management system includes the application of conservation farming (CF) techniques at the farm level, and integrated ecosystem management (IEM) at the ecosystem level. Examples of CF techniques are crop rotations, no- or minimum tillage, and the use of cover crops, whereas potential IEM measures include community fire control and agroforestry. In Zambia, the experience gained in the last 5 years with Farmer Field Schools (FFS), which are highly suitable to promote the take up of CF and IEM, as well as with various sustainable land management techniques, provides a special opportunity to promote a fundamental shift from slash-and-burn agriculture to sustainable land management of the Miombo woodland ecosystem.
Objectives. The main goals of the project are (i) a reduction of carbon emissions from unsustainable slash-and-burn agricultural practices in the Miombo woodlands; (ii) conservation of globally significant biodiversity; and (iii) improvement of the food security of the local population. In order to achieve these goals, the project will promote a shift in land management from the currently used chitemene system to a sustainable land management system, based upon CF and IEM principles.
The specific objectives of the project are to: (i) identify and assess the applicability of potential IEM and CF techniques; (ii) build national and local capacity in sustainable land management; (iii) bring about a fundamental shift from chitemene to sustainable land management in a selected area within the Miombo woodlands; and (iv) extend the experiences gained with sustainable land management to other areas with a comparable agro-ecological environment.
The proposed pilot project area consists of Mkushi and Serenje districts, which have traditionally supported chitemene farming and are now experiencing a rapid degradation of forest cover and soil fertility due to unsustainable land management practices. Four protected areas in the area are severely threatened by encroachment (Kasanka national park and Luano and Chisomo Game Management Areas; Serenje also borders the South Luangwa Park, one of Zambia’s most important parks). The project activities in the two districts will be facilitated by the experience of district and field level government officers with participatory extension approaches, including FFS, and CF, as well as by the local availability of high quality lime deposits. A map presenting the location of Mkushi and Serenje districts is included in Appendix 3.

Current Situation

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