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Global Environmental Facility 8 Launch in Lusaka, Zambia
Global Environmental Facility Approves $9 Million to Preserve Kafue Flats

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has approved a $9 million financing package to address the environmental challenges that threaten the Kafue Flats. The objective of this facility is to restore the region's ecology and fortify its economy by implementing two significant projects under the 8th GEF Replenishment Cycle.

Dr Douty Chibamba, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, stated during the Project Inception event for the GEF-8 Kafue Flats Projects, which took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka on June 21, 2024, that "Zambia has secured GEF approval to launch initiatives that will protect the Kafue Flats' wildlife, habitats, and local livelihoods while enhancing climate resilience."

Dr. Chibamba further emphasised the urgency of this funding: "Ecosystem services to rural communities are under immense pressure, exacerbating their climate vulnerability and driving unsustainable practices that further harm the environment."

The Ministry has collaborated with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Zambia, and the International Crane Foundation to address the urgent issues identified by the Permanent Secretary. The Collaboration is earmarked to  be granted an aggregate funding of $9 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to implement two sister projects:

  • The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) has allocated $2.76 million to the Kafue Flats Climate Resilience and Adaptation Project (KaF-Adapt)
  • As part of the Global Wildlife Conservation for Development (WCD) Integrated Programme, the Kafue Flats Wildlife, Habitat, Health, and Livelihoods Project (KaF-Wild) has been allocated $6.67 million in support from the GEF Trust Fund.

These projects aim to foster a transformative approach to conservation, protecting ecosystems and wildlife habitats while enhancing community resilience. "Incentivizing conservation will support a healthy ecosystem essential for climate change adaptation," Dr. Chibamba explained.

The initiatives will adopt a comprehensive, whole-of-society approach, engaging stakeholders from local communities to various governance levels across multiple sectors. This collaborative effort is expected to improve biodiversity conservation, promote sustainable land management, and enhance community resilience, ensuring harmonious coexistence among people, livestock, and wildlife.

WWF Zambia Country Director Ms. Nalucha Nganga-Ziba expressed WWF's enthusiasm for these critical projects. "WWF Zambia is honoured to support these initiatives, building on our work with the Sustainable Luangwa Project to protect water resources, biodiversity, and community livelihoods," she stated.

Ms. Nganga-Ziba underscored the importance of the new GEF projects, which will inject nearly $9 million into the Lower Kafue basin over the next five years. "This investment will enhance existing co-financing efforts by the government and its partners, supporting crop and livestock farming alongside wildlife conservation."

The approval of these funds marks a pivotal step toward safeguarding the ecological and economic future of the Kafue Flats, ensuring a balanced approach to development and conservation.