Zambia begun developing the Land, Forest, and Water natural capital accounts (NCA) and an economic Modelling account in 2017 when they joined the Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) program. The country developed and launched their first Land, Forest, and Water natural capital accounts in 2019. As the country’s support under the WAVES program was coming to a close Zambia identified additional priority natural resource areas and begun the processes of developing three new natural capital accounts namely; tourism, energy and mineral accounts. Zambia later recived a second phase of support in 2021 under the Global Programme on Sustainability (GPS) aimed at updating the Land, Forest and Water accounts as well as completing the development of the Tourism account.
The Global Programme on Sustainability (GPS) support in Zambia has resulted in the following achievements for Zambia in the past one year; (i) updated and launched the Land and Water accounts to include the periods 2017-2020 and 2018-2021, respectively, (ii) development of the new Wildlife and Protected Area Accounts, (iii) complete the collection of date for updating the Forest Account (2016-2020) (iv) developement of a Rapid Environmental-Economic Assessment (REEA) tool to inform the tradeoffs and synergies between economic growth and environmental sustainability. Additionally, the country has benefited from trainings such as the pilot Training on Landscape Approaches held June 2022 in Lusaka, under the GPS in support of the new flagship Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Landscape Assessment (BELA) initiative. Zambia has also been able to show case their natural capital accounts during the GPS webinar series held in July 2022.
Government of the Republic of Zambia with the support from the World Bank successfully held the launch of the updated Land, and Water Natural Capital Account (NCA) Technical reports on 28th December 2022, under the Global Programme on Sustainability (GPS). The Ministry of Finance and National Planning Acting Permanent Secertary – Monitoring and Evaluation, Ms. Mwaka Mukubesa opened the the event where she emphasised Zambia’s continued commitment to NCA and it’s link to development because environmental sustainability is one of the prioritized strategic areas of focus in the country’s 8th Natonal Development Plan (8NDP):
“The Government recognises that the decline of nature, is a critical development issue and we must ensure that all natural resources or natural capital assets are mainstreamed in development planning and the System of National Accounts (SNA) of Zambia’s macroeconomic accounts.”
The Permanent Secertary Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, Ms. Daphne Chabu in her speech later stressed the importance of the findings from the updated 2018-2021 Land technical report:
“Forests, which provide important ecosystem services, have continued to dwindle due to the expansion of agriculture and settlements. Furthermore, key habitats and ecosystems found in our wetlands are continuously disturbed by human activity. The land account has been able to highlight these facts and provide us with information that shall be important to the management of our forests and wetlands.”
The Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation representative of the Permanent Secertary, Ms. Flora Simumba also spoke highlighting key aspects of the updtated 2017-2020 Water technical report and future plans that the government has to continue updating the water account:
“A key feature of the new Water Accounts for 2017 to 2020 is the improvements of data sources, methods and resultant increase in data quality. This has led to better estimates of physical water use by irrigated agriculture and groundwater use by households, as well as better estimations of the value of water used by the households. The Government intends to commence the undertaking of periodic water statistical surveys aimed at fulfiling the data needs of the country on water resources.”
To launch the reports, the World Bank Acting Zambia Country Manager, Ms. Ngao, Mubanga commended Zambia for updating the Water, Forest, and Land Natural Capital Accounts as well as developing the new Wildlife and Protected Area Accounts:
“….. Zambia stands out as an encouraging leader for other countries on NCA, providing confidence in the WAVES programming approach and offering useful lessons on how to organize the process.”
In his remarks the Guest of Honor the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance and National Planning – Economic Management and Finance, Mr. Danies. K. Chisenda, said,
“the launch of the two reports Land and Water is a clear demonstration that Zambia recognises that biodiversity is our planet’s wealth and a cornerstone for development and its loss threatens many hard won development gains made. The government recognises that the decline of nature, is a critical development issue and we must ensure that all natural resources or natural capital assets are mainstreamed in development planning and the system of national accounts (SNA) of Zambia’s macroeconomic accounts”.
He also noted that to ensure strategic coordination across the WAVES implementing ministries and at the highest level, government has placed environmental sustainability in its Eight National Development plan (8NDP) 2022-2026 which puts natural capital accounting at par with economic transformation and job creation, human and social development, and good governance environment to ensure resources are allocated to formulate, develop, and implement the natural capital accounts.
He further called on increased awareness on natural capital accounting at all levels of society, its relevance to socio-economic development by stimulating dialogue among key stakeholders from the government side to the whole of society such as the private sector, civil society, the academia, development partners, traditional leaders, and the general citizenry at large. This will make every citizen appreciate, and respond to their duty to safeguard our natural resources as opposed to exploiting natural resources by participating and contributing to the fight against biodiversity loss, deforestation, land degradation and climate change induced hazards such as flash floods, droughts, rising temperatures etc.
The event was well attended by over 40 participants from various government and private institutions as well as donors and the press.
Figure 1: The Government of the Republic of Zambia and the World Bank representatives launching the updated Land (2018-2021) and Water (2017-2020) NCA technical reports.
Left to right: Ministry of Finance and National Planning (Acting PS – Monitoring and Evaluation, Ms. Mwaka Mukubesa), Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation (Acting PS, Ms. Flora Simumba), Ministry of Finance and National Planning (PS – Economic Management and Finance, Mr. Danies. K. Chisenda), Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources (PS, Ms. Daphne Chabu) and World Bank (Acting Zambia Country Manager, Ms. Ngao, Mubanga).
For more information about the Reports visit : https://www.wavespartnership.