for immediate release
The Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia (WECSZ) and its collaborating partner, WeForest, would like to inform the public that following a successful application by the Mwita Community Forest Management Group (M-CFMG) of Mafinga District in Muchinga Province, the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment has signed the Community Forest Management Agreement between the Director of Forestry and M-CFMG, giving M-CFMG full authority to manage and sustainably utilise forest resources in the Mwita Community Forest Area.
The agreement is based on the commitment by the group to adhere to the principles set out in section 29 of the Forest Act No. 4 of 2015 and the Statutory Instrument No. 11 of 2018: The Forests (Community Forest) Regulations.
WECSZ envisions a Zambia with well-balanced and maintained ecosystems by linking practical conservation with research, advocacy and education in securing Zambia’s natural resources.
The agreement approval is strong evidence of our valued shared collaboration with the Ministry and other stakeholders such as the Mafinga District Administration, Mafinga Local Authority, and the traditional leadership, including line ministries within Mafinga.
This devolution of user rights to the community will ensure communal control, use, and sustainable management of the Mwita Community Forest Area. The transfer of management authority to the community is a massive step in the realisation of Government legislation that calls for strengthened collaborations between the public sector and other stakeholders, including Non-Governmental Organisations, to work together to manage and secure natural resources for the present and future generations.
With the devolution of authority to manage the Mwita Community Forest Management Area in place, WECSZ and its implementing partner(s) will continue to provide technical and financial support where possible to ensure the successful implementation of the CFMGs Resource Management Plan. We sincerely hope that the MCFMG will stand out as a success story in local community participation in the protection of forest resources in Zambia.
As a partner in conservation, WECSZ looks forward to further enhanced collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Zambia and other stakeholders in the conservation sector.
WECSZ appreciates all the stakeholders and partners that had positive input in the process. We will continue in our endeavour to supplement government efforts in securing natural resources in Zambia.
Joseph M. Chikolwa