Copperbelt: Forests on Farms
In the Luanshya district, WeForest works with hundreds of small-scale farmers, providing them with training and tools in return for setting aside part of their lands to regenerate the miombo woodland. As a result, they receive higher incomes, diversify their economic activities and learn new skills. The project also links them to local companies to ensure their honey gets sold. This way, the project becomes more sustainable, which makes the beneficiaries less dependent on WeForest's contribution.
In June 2021, a successful third party audit took place and means the project is now verified to the Forest Ecosystem Restoration standard. This standard was developed by Preferred by Nature to enable projects to demonstrate alignment with and support for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and covers technical, environmental, social and economic criteria. You can download the certificate here.
Restore native Miombo woodlots on smallhold farms
Promote sustainable exploitation of Miombo woodland and sustainable forest management
Promote economic development
Build livelihood resilience
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Why is intervention needed?
In the Copperbelt province, more than anywhere else in Zambia, the typical miombo forest has suffered from mining and charcoal production. WeForest trains farmers in restoring their small farms (1 or 2 ha on average) with indigenous and fruit trees.
The project empowers farmers to restore miombo woodlots on their farmlands. Farmers with a minimum of one lima (0.25 hectares) of woodlot are recruited and trained in Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR), which involves protecting and nurturing wild tree seedlings. This process is carried out all year round and serves to promote the natural succession of the forest.
Fruit trees take a while to produce food or income, so farmers need short-term alternatives to replace the cash they used to get from charcoal, for example. Beehives help a lot, as they can double a household's annual income in some cases. Farmers are also trained in harvesting biomass from their woodlots through coppicing, a technique that involves extracting wood from tree stems while leaving the total number of trees intact, making it a sustainable alternative to charcoal production.
A growing Team
* Carbon calculation methodology
In the Copperbelt province, the above-ground biomass in Miombo woodlands can store an average of 145.4 tons of CO2 per hectare after a period of 20 years.
Kalaba, F.K., Quinn, C.H., Dougill, A.J., Vinya, R., 2013. Floristic composition, species diversity and carbon storage in charcoal and agriculture fallows and management implications in Miombo woodlands of Zambia. Forest Ecology and Management 304, 99–109. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2013.04.024