Towards Sustainable Livelihood Practices in the Indigenous Forests of Zambia's Central Province: Barriers and Opportunities
Energy and Environment Research
This study was designed with the aim of establishing a comprehensive picture of the problems and needs of local communities in upholding sustainable livelihoods in the face of forest degradation and recommending how their livelihoods may be improved in the short and long term. Thus make them self-reliant by enhancing their resilience. Study Methodology: included a literature review and a household survey for a total of 443 household interviews. In addition, Focus Group Discussions
... GDs) and Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) were conducted with the rural population and other stakeholders respectively. Field visits were made to all the 8 sites in the two districts Serenje and Chitambo. The main constrain of sustainable livelihood in the communities, included, low levels of education and skills, low levels of asset holding, weak local institutions and unfavorable legal and institutional frameworks. But the respondents registered a wide variety of NTFPs based livelihoods obtained from forests resources (15). Most important usage includes land for cultivation, fuelwood, poles for construction, charcoal production and use of NTFPs (collection of mushrooms, wild fruits and nuts, caterpillars, honey production and medicinal plants). The livelihood activities remains largely subsistence and for safety net functions. Trade resulting into incomes generation is minimal, unstructured and therefore unsustainable. In conclusion: commercialization of NTFPS and PES activities may be the solution to sustainable livelihood and forest conservation. A range of specifically forest sector elements would also need to be addressed, including, entrepreneurship, market and skill development for forest product and services delivery; embracing these elements will also require new kinds of enhanced institutional arrangement.