German government funding community forests

11 Feb 2014 13:50pm
RUNDU, 11 FEB (NAMPA) - The German government has availed N.dollars 50 million for community forestry projects in the Zambezi, Otjozondjupa and Kavango regions.
The funding will primarily be used to equip the projects with basic tools, as well as to build the capacity of the community forestry committees.
There are currently 11 gazetted community forests in the two Kavango regions, seven in the Zambezi, and two community forests integrated with conservancies in the Otjozondjupa Region.
The acting chief forester for the north-eastern regions, Jonas Mwiikinghi told Nampa on Tuesday part of the funding will be used to integrate additional community forests into conservancies.
Apart from the two integrated community forests in the Otjozondjupa Region, another two have been integrated with conservancies in the Kavango East Region.
These conservancies are the Muduva Nyangana and George Mukoya conservancies.
Integrating community forestry into conservancies has proved successful in the region as natural resources are now managed and utilised sustainably.
The funds will further be used to develop infrastructure such as offices which would enable committee members to run their activities in a more formal setting, and plan income generating activities.
“The funding will be used to build the capacity of community forestry members so they can sustain their livelihood, while at the same time sustaining natural resources,” the acting chief forester said.
Plans are also afoot to set up new committees in each of the community forests as the members of some committees have left for opportunities elsewhere.
Once the committees are up and running, they will receive training and will be in charge of ensuring that forest resources are managed and utilised in a sustainable manner.
Mwiikinghi however said not all community forests in the four regions will be funded, saying only those who demonstrate commitment will be eligible for funding.