Zambia integrated land use assessment phase II - forest plots
Integrated Land Use Assessment - Phase II
The Government of the Republic of Zambia through the former Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (MTENR), in an effort to reduce poverty, promote economic growth, fill existing human capacity gaps and fulfil its international commitments, requested in 2005 technical and financial assistance from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to design and implement an Integrated Land Use Assessment (ILUA). The aim of the project was to establish a permanent forest and tree monitoring system and to obtain baseline national-level data on forest and other related land use resources, addressing the urgent need for knowledge on the state and trends of Zambian forestry resources, given the lack of existing national level surveys and the need to strengthen institutional and financial capacity. In this way, the ILUA served as a pilot to provide data on the national status of land cover, management and use. The ILUA results were seen as vital to supporting national policy processes and planning, but because ILUA was intended as a national-level inventory, the results had limited utility for informing provincial and district level land use planning and decision making due to limited available funds and therefore applied low sampling intensity.
Based on the discussion with stakeholders, a proposal on the continuation of ILUA with an extension was proposed in March 2009 to the Government of Finland for financing. Since the Environment and Natural Resources Management and Mainstreaming Programme (ENRMMP) has been launched to bring improved coordination and implementation capacity to the environment and natural resource management sector in Zambia, the project is designed to be implemented during 2011-2014 under this Programme, with Technical Assistance from FAO.
While ILUA I generated baseline data, the continuation of ILUA II for four subsequent years from 2011 to 2014 aimed to enhance the use and development of data and information systems for forest resource monitoring and sustainable forest management (SFM), particularly for provincial level land use planning as well as for selected districts (see
ILUAII_UN-REDD_Brochure). ILUA II aims to provide information on trends in forest change through refined methodologies, re-assessed field plots and a four-fold intensification of sampling density in order to report at the sub-national level. It also aims to cover socio-economic related information needs via the Forest Livelihoods and Economic Survey (FLES) in order to better understand the drivers of deforestation and to inform policy interventions which support sustainable forest management. Establishing a monitoring system that captures livelihood needs beyond the forests is critical to designing well-targeted and innovative policy solutions that can support and promote sustainable natural resource management. The principal objectives of the ILUA II project are to strengthen forest and land use inventories at the national and sub-national level, and to support implementation of SFM and initiatives to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) through better information, capacity building, dissemination of information, and improved multi-sectoral dialogue.
The main stakeholders of the project are: MTENR and different departments and institutions with which it collaborates, Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Ministry and Agriculture and Cooperatives, Central Statistical Office (CSO), Ministry of Lands, National Remote Sensing Centre (Ministry of Science and Industrial Research), University of Zambia (UMZA), Copperbelt University, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), National Institute for Scientific Research (NISA), Zambian Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI), other national and international education and research institutes, small holder farmers, NGOs and civil society, UN-REDD and other projects, FAO and other Cooperation Partners (CPs).
The intended beneficiaries of the project can be summarized as follows: policy and decision makers at all levels, forest industries with an interest in timber and non-timber forest products from forest areas, the international community and international organizations requiring reliable information on the natural environment, NGOs, academia and grass roots organizations with interests in forest resource management, environmental protection, timber trade and extension.
In line with the overall policy of the Government of Republic of Zambia, the impacts of this project are that benefits of sustainable forest management (SFM) are increased and mainstreamed in national economy and policies, supporting sustainable development of environment and rural livelihoods, meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in a changing climate.
The project main outcome is: “strengthened capacity in planning and implementation of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and REDD through better information capacity building, dissemination of information and improved multi-sectoral dialogue. The three main outputs of the project are:
Output 1: Effective means of dissemination and utilization of the information for multi-sector dialogue
Output 2: improved methodological and human capacity in collecting and analyzing forest resource information for SFM, REDD monitoring and carbon inventory.
Output 3: Implementation of ILUA II Mapping and Field Survey.
Progress during 2011-2012
The work plan and budget for the first two years (2011 -2012) of ILUA II focused mainly on Outputs 1 and 2 for the development of methodology and capacity for collecting and analysing forest resource information as well as tools for the dissemination and utilization of the information for multi-sector dialogue. Foundation work under these outputs was completed in 2011 and 2012 as a basis for work under Output 3 which is the envisaged implementation of the actual ILUA II field survey in 2013 and 2014. However, in order to fast track the program and test methodology, Output 3 was commenced in 2012, with the actual implementation of ILUA II field survey with the full biophysical inventory for North-western Province. This implementation confirmed the methodological approach for field survey and also confirmed that the human capacity exists in Zambia to successfully collect forest resource information.
The most important achievement for 2012 was the biophysical field assessment conducted in North Western Province from 7th October to 7th December 2012. This activity was originally foreseen to occur during the extension phase (2013-14), but was commenced early for motivational purposes and to demonstrate methodological improvements. The field assessment was implemented following the biophysical and soil sampling methodology developed based on stratification sampling taking into account several factors such as; vegetation type, agro-ecological zones, land and vegetation canopy cover obtained through Google Earth interpretation. All ILUA I cluster/s where used as soil sampling points.
The aims of the biophysical field sampling were:
- To capture the variation e.g. caused by disturbances, degradation, and ecological conditions, which are reflected through variation within forest coverage and land use/cover
- To measure biophysical elements that are important for forest management in Zambia
- To satisfy information needs for REDD+ (MRV) (see ILUAII_UNREDD_Zambia)
In the lead up to biophysical field assessment 10 important studies were completed during 2012 to inform and shape the ILUA II field work design;
- Forest Classification Review
- Data Sharing guidelines
- Models for biomass and volume calculations
- Biophysical Information Needs Assessment
- Soil Organic Carbon data collection design (UN-REDD)
- Informal Forest Economy Measurement
- Forest Governance Monitoring
- Socio-economic information needs
- Forest Industry Opportunity Study
- Forest Livelihood and Economic Study
The 10 studies provided a platform for understanding ILUA II data needs in Zambia, to better guide the application of the eventual data, and for informing the design of the inventory.
Following revisits to the older ILUA tracts to assess accessibility and optimized plot length of the ILUA II biophysical plots, the sampling design was completed and a field manual for ILUA II and a data-entry booklet were created. During 2012, the following mobilization activities were undertaken in preparation for field work:
- Five vehicles procured and five sets of field measurement equipment acquired
- Two rounds of biophysical data collection training for field teams
- Five field teams were constituted in NwP consisting of; team leader, botanist, soil scientist, and district forester
- One Quality assurance and One field coordination teams constituted
- Official launch of fieldwork by the Minister of Lands Natural Resources and Environmental Protection
- Sensitization and palace visits for 18 senior Royal Highness in North western province.
These mobilization activities facilitated the commencement of field work in North western province on the 7th of October 2012. Five field teams worked continuously from 7th October to 7th December 2012 measuring all accessible field clusters in North western province.
Of the assigned 157 field clusters only 14 were not measured due to terrain challenges or for security reasons.
The Quality Assurance (QA) team selected randomly a percentage of clusters as control points where different sample plot parameters were re-measured and compared with what was captured by field teams. A total of 14 control clusters were re-measured by the QA team.
By 7th December 2012, all accessible clusters (143 of 157; 91%) were completed in North Western Province totalling 572 individual sample plots. Field teams worked continuously, and without rest, to complete field work 15 days before the target date and without accident or incident.
Progress during 2013
The extension phase for 2013 and 2014 will build on the momentum and methodological success of ILUA II field survey in North-western province and apply the biophysical methodology to the 9 remaining provinces of Zambia. Concurrent to the biophysical data collection in the 9 remaining provinces, the resource data will be entered, analysed and disseminated to Chiefs, provincial administration, and other stakeholders by the end of 2014.
The methodological development under Output 2 prescribed approximately 4000 sampling sites (1093 clusters of 4 plots) across Zambia to assess forests and integrated land-use practices in order to provide qualitative and quantitative information on the state, use, management and trends of these resources (see ZM Biophysical Field Manual). This information will satisfy local, national, regional and international reporting requirements, and will facilitate improved decision making at all levels. Following this prescription, ILUA II will provide technically sound information on the physical characteristics of forests in 2013 and 2014.
The biophysical methodology for ILUA II incorporates reporting requirements for countries to participate in the REDD+ initiative. Zambia is implementing a UN-REDD programme parallel to ILUA II that can provide financial incentives to developing countries for reducing carbon emissions from forests. For performance based payments on efforts to reduce deforestation, participating countries need to Measure, Report and Verify (MRV) greenhouse gas emissions from forests. ILUA II has been technically designed to meet MRV requirements, hence data collected during the extension phase (2013 and 2014) will facilitate Zambia’s potential participation in REDD (see ZM Biophysical Field Manual).
To sustain forests we need to understand their physical extent and composition, however, we also need to understand the socio-economic condition of communities who use and manage forest resources, some of whom are among the poorest communities in developing countries such as Zambia, and often contribute to forest-loss in deriving a livelihood from local forests. Given this need, during 2013 and 2014, ILUA II will also collect information on the socio-economic condition of forest communities living in and around forests using a Forest Livelihood and Economic Survey (FLES) as a methodological instrument. The FLES will be implemented, entered and analysed for all 10 provinces of Zambia during 2013 and 2014. This information is fundamental for the sustained management of Zambia’s forests.
During the first half of 2013, funding for ILUA II came from the ENRMMP directly to the Forestry Department. This funding was to support on-going biophysical field assessments across Zambia. As of mid-2013, full-scale biophysical assessment is underway in Northern and Muchinga Provinces. Intensive field training of field teams for Northern and Muchinga Provinces was completed in the last week of June, and on the first of July full scale biophysical field assessment commenced in Northern and Muchinga Provinces. An important milestone for ILUA II in the first half of 2013 is the completion of the ILUA II data entry system, and completed data entry for data collected in North Western Province. Parallel to this, analysis of Soil Organic Carbon has been completed for North Western Province in the Soils Laboratory of Forestry Research in Kitwe. During the second half of 2013, the first results for ILUA II for North Western Province will be generated. A summary of major achievements for ILUA II as of mid-2013 is provided below.
- National IT specialist recruited for ILUA II. IT specialist has been active in the Forestry Department for 2 months and has assisted in making the ILUA II server operational; establishing the ILUA II data entry system; and improving the IT functionality of ILUA II and the Forestry department.
- Workshop to review biophysical field assessment in North Western Province (NWP), and develop lessons learnt was completed from Monday 28th to Wednesday 30th January 2013 at Fringilla Lodge, Chisamba. Many important lessons were noted and the ILUA II Field Manual and Field Data collection sheets were modified accordingly. The sampling design for ILUA II was also modified.
- Following feedback from drivers and team leaders involved in NWP field collection, all field vehicles have been modified to improve their suitability for field work; roof racks were secured; bull bars were repaired; Fuel tanks modified with increased capacity; rear bull bars have been fitted with spare wheel holders.
- All additional equipment has been procured for a sixth field team (an additional field team has been created), and items identified as required in the NWP feedback session have also been procured; satellite phones; calipers; laptops, etc. The Land-cruiser for the sixth team is provided by the UN-REDD program.
- Workshop with CSO conducted in Kabwe from 26th to 30th June to finalise FLES sampling design. Now need to arrange a wider stakeholder workshop to finalise FLES methodology.
- GIS office in FD established and in-house map production completed in preparation for field work in Northern and Muchinga Provinces.
- Procurements for new field outfits, boots and bedding completed in preparation for field work in Northern and Muchinga.
- One week intensive training for Northern and Muchinga completed in Mpika from 23rd to 30th June.
- Data entry portal for Open Foris Collect completed and installed on the ILUA II server in FD. Facilitated by National IT expert and a mission of a FAO-FIN database expert from FAO HQ.
- ILUA II Server is operational in FD. IT intervention has ensured that that data entry system is secure and functional.
- 9 data entry interns trained in data entry into Open Foris Collect (database for ILUA II). This was facilitated by the mission of a FAO-FIN database expert from FAO HQ. All collected data for ILUA II (NWP) entered into the database over a 2 week period. All entered data validated and cleansed in preparation for analysis. Analysis of Soil Organic Carbon for NW province completed in Forestry Research, Kitwe. Data analysis can now commence for NWP.
- Drafts of Land cover maps for 2000 and 2010 completed and validated using field control points. 1990 land cover has been completed in the Forestry Department. A mission to RCMRD from 9th to 20th June for Remote Sensing experts has produced consistent land cover maps for 1990, 2000, and 2010. A stakeholder workshop will now validate the land cover maps for Zambia.
- Sensitisation of chiefs and provincial administration completed for Northern and Muchinga Provinces from the 30th June to 7th July. ILUA II Field Manuals distributed to chiefs and provincial administration for Northern and Muchinga Provinces.
- ILUA II Field Assessment (6 teams, 1 quality assurance, and 1 field coordination team) commenced in Northern and Muchinga Provinces and will run for 100 days from 1st July 2013.
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Zambia integrated land use assessment phase II - forest plots
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. Zambia integrated land use assessment phase II - forest plots.