BirdWatch Zambia BirdWatch Zambia BirdLife International Partner Designate

BirdWatch Zambia  -  IBA Projects

What have we been doing in Zambia?

Zambia’s IBA programme was officially launched in August 2005 with the help of the BirdLife Africa Secretariat and the Norwegian Ornithological Society.This programme was funded by NORAD and aimed at bringing 15 IBAs to a higher conservation status by the end of 2010. The project was implemented by BWZ mainly through selected Schools and Site Support Groups. From 2011 the Norwegian Ornithological Society supported BirdWatch Zambia consolidate and sustain local site support groups and environmental education programmes, and further develop avian ecotourism. This project came to a close in December 2013.

Civil Society Environment Fund  - National Biodiversity and Species Protection Project (2012-2013)

This was a short project which ran from May 2012 to October 2013 with support of the Zambia Civil Society Environment Fund (CSEF). The goal was to intensify biodiversity monitoring, bridge knowledge and information gaps and enhance partnerships that contribute to management of the country’s rich biodiversity within the protected area systems. The project focused on detailed assessment of important bird/biodiversity areas with the view of using the results for improved site management and advocacy work.
CSEF project was implemented in five of Zambia’s forty-two IBAs. These being Lukanga Swamps, Kafue Flats, Chisamba, Machile and Bangweulu Wetlands. Over a period of 18 months, BWZ worked hard to enhance its presence in these IBAs and scale-up biodiversity monitoring in collaboration with other key institutions such as the Zambia Wildlife Authority, the Forestry Department and Zambia Environmental Agency.
A Species Conservation Strategy for five trigger species in these IBAs was developed. The species are: Zambian Barbet, Wattled Crane, Grey-crowned Crane, Shoebill and Black-cheeked Lovebird. An Advocacy Strategy on the conservation of these species and protection of IBAs was also developed.

"Global Environment Fund Grants Programme - Support for Mutulanganga IBA Conservation and Mutulanganga Community eco-tourism initiatives"

This project aimed at poverty reduction through livelihood enhancement activities. The project aims at developing eco-tourism in the IBA as well assisting the local industries of fishing and traditional crafts (pottery and basketry).

The Community with support of UNDP-SGP and BWZ have built an Eco-tourism Camp that will in future be able to fund further activities in the area. Community Bird Guides have been trained in the IBA. In addition to the camp, a local women’s group in the project area has built a craft centre where local crafts in the form of pottery and reed baskets are being made and sold.
At the 2013 Zambia GEF-SGP Best Practice and Knowledge Fair, this project received an award for under the category Best Sustainable Community Based Initiative Award.

West Lunga Conservation and People Centred Project

This is a Global Environmental Facility – Small Grant Program (GEF-SGP) project hosted by UNDP with support from DANIDA and the Danish Government. The project has been designed to contribute towards improving biodiversity conservation, increasing people’s resilience to climate change, reducing anthropogenic pressures on West Lunga National Park IBA and giving the local people an opportunity to fight poverty through viable but sustainable enterprises. The project is a capacity building project specifically support for beekeeping and fish farming initiatives is being provided. So far over 100 beekeepers and 120 fish farmers have been trained and given business start up materials. By the end of the project 700 beehives will have been supplied and 30 group owned fish ponds will have been constructed and stocked.
Two cycles of Biodiversity monitoring have been conducted in West Lunga National Park in collaboration with ZAWA staff.

Zambian Barbet Conservation Centred Project

BirdWatch Zambia received funding from the Isdell Foundation in USA to implement a project focused on a single
species; the Zambian Barbet.
The Zambian Barbet (Lybius chaplini); formerly known as Chaplin's Barbet is Zambia’s only endemic bird species and is categorized as ‘Vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red List. It is a localized breeding resident known from a relatively small area with occurrence confined to a few sites in Central and Southern Provinces. The Zambian Barbet is known to occur and breed in five Important Bird Areas; namely: Chisamba, Nkanga River Conservation Area, Kafue Flats (Blue Lagoon), Kafue National Park and probably Lukanga Swamps. The project is therefore confined to these IBAs.

Lack of quantitative data on the actual population size and trends of the Zambian Barbet is by far the greatest challenge to instituting informed and effective action planning aimed at adequately conserving and protecting this bird. This inadequacy makes it very difficult to set quantitative population goals for this species. The long-term conservation goal is to attain substantial increase in the wild populations and down-listing of the Zambian Barbet from Vulnerable to Locally Common. Although the actual population status of the Zambian Barbet is unknown, change in the species threat status from Near Threatened to Vulnerable calls for urgent conservation actions.

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Last updated: 16 Dec. 2014
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