Zambia’s vast mineral wealth and plentiful water resources have traditionally been critical contributors to economic growth in the country. Zambia’s mining sector has been a prime mover of economic development for over 70 years, with exports of mineral products contributing about 70% of total foreign exchange earnings and currently about 11% of contribution to GDP. Despite the rapid economic growth between 2004 and 2014, Zambia has 60% of the population living below the poverty line and 42% considered to be in extreme poverty.
The government is looking to Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) as a tool to guide investments for more diversified and sustainable growth that preserves and enhances the natural resource base that so many poor communities depend on.
WAVES in Zambia
Zambia is the first core implementing country to join WAVES under its second phase (known as WAVES+). Building on the experiences of earlier partner countries, WAVES will collaborate with Zambia to provide important technical and institutional knowledge on producing accounts, analyzing results, and using findings to inform policy.
Zambia has identified three priority areas for NCA:
- Water Accounts: Including water supply, use and quality
- Land Accounts: Including production of timber and non-timber forest products
- Forest accounts, including production of timber and non-timber forest products
Some of the policy questions that the accounts seek to address include: Are current land, water and forest management practices conducive to sustainable and resilient growth? What are the economic and physical vulnerabilities in resource dependent sectors? Are the planned subsidy reforms in food, fuel and power conducive to sustainable growth as defined in seventh National Development Plan and who would be the potential winners and losers?
The Story So Far
Since formally joining the WAVES partnership as a core implementing country in March 2017, Zambia has made significant progress in compiling accounts for water, forests, and land.
In April 2018, the physical supply and use tables, as well as monetary accounts for water were completed. Preliminary forest accounts are being finalized with information on assets at the national and province level, land change matrix, and physical supply and use table. Effort is being made to procure the right data for land accounts to fill the gaps.
The first results for water, forests and land accounts are being validated with several rounds of consultations, including at the National Assembly. A policy and model technical working group has been formed to simulate key policy questions and evaluate trade-offs, especially concerning land and water use.
The Integrated Environmental Economic Modeling platform, a type of computable general equilibrium model, has been customized for Zambia. It will use data from the accounts to examine policy issues such as water and land management. Several indicators from accounts that can help track goals of water efficiency and access, as outlined in the National Plan, have been identified.
Zambia is now looking to develop both ecotourism and ecosystem accounts, tentatively including biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and sedimentation. The intention is to support the government’s plans to develop nature-based tourism in protected areas, and to measure and value the ecosystem services from these areas.
Zambia's 2018 NCA work plans can be accessed here, and the consultation report for the water account can be accessed here.
WAVES lead government agency
The Ministry of National Development Planning (MNDP) has been spearheading the implementation of WAVES and working with the Technical Working Groups (TWG) from selected government ministries.
Country steering committee
Representatives from: Ministry of Development Planning; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Lands; Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development; Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock; Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection; Ministry of Energy; Environmental Management Agency; Water Resources Management Authority; Interim Climate Change Secretariat; Energy Regulation Board; Chamber of Mines
World Bank contact