Environmental

 

Land Use Plan

For the Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia

Advance Africa have been appointed to develop a land use plan for the Liuwa Plain National Park and its immediate surrounding regions to assist with conservation planning and socio-economic development activities that are aligned with its conservation goals.

Advance Africa have been appointed by African Parks to develop a land use plan for the Liuwa Plain National Park and its immediate surrounding regions to assist with conservation planning and socio-economic development activities that are aligned with its conservation goals.  The project is one of the direct outcomes from the Integrated Catchment Basin Resource Management Strategy for the Liuwa Landscape, developed by Advance Africa, that identified land use as a key pressure point and required a revision and update of the current Land Use Plan as a tool for improved and proactive management of the Park and its surrounding region.

The project started in June 2017 and is due for completion in December 2018.  The process has included various forms of stakeholder engagement and participation, information and data collection, mapping and strategic intervention planning. In order to zone the LPNP appropriately, all types and intensities of various land use parameters were extensively investigated and updated. 

Liuwa Plain National Park

The approach to achieve this is to develop a Land Use Plan that takes into account environmental seasonality, cultural aspects, wildlife movements, analysis of population dynamics, agricultural seasonality, accessibility and resource utilisation, and to realistically document these into a land use plan that can be incorporated into strategic as well as day-to-day management activities.

Land use planning provides a mechanism to reduce the “economy vs ecology” conflict at a broader landscape scale.  Land use planning recognises that all goals cannot be achieved via uniform application of land use, and instead applies varying levels of land use intensity to distinctive boundaries of the landscape.  Land use planning in a protected area context refers to what can and cannot occur in different areas of the protected areas in terms of natural resources management, cultural resources management, human use and benefit, visitor use and experience, accessibility, facilities and protected area development, maintenance and operations.  Zoning is important to reduce conflict between different users of the protected areas, to improve the quality of activities such as tourism, and to facilitate compliance.

The consultant was assisted by APZs’ Land Use Planner (Bryson Sompa).  Bryson has been responsible for the conduction of community meetings, organisation and facilitation of stakeholder engagement, as well as data collection activities.

The project is divided into five specified phases:

The first 12 months of the project (June 2017 – 2018) were an intensive data collection and analytical phase. During the analytical phase, a spatial database on land use activities was established that involved stakeholders at all levels, in particular local communities that utilise and rely on the Park’s natural resources.

The land use categories that have been identified and mapped include physical, biological and socio-economic environment, conservation, tourism and infrastructural parameters

The project has since progressed into a planning and zoning phase taking into account the new and updated information regarding current land use activities.

The project has moved into a decision-making stage that will present the zoning concepts to all stakeholders for discussion, adjustment and approval.

Lastly, the project will be implemented and monitoring is to occur to ensure the successful adoption of the new Land Use Plan.

Although key stakeholders operate at a range of scales, they intersect directly or indirectly at the landscape level and thus it is important to include all spheres and levels of stakeholders in land use planning.  As such, key and relevant stakeholder engagement was carried out at throughout the process targeting public sector (local, provincial and national level government departments), the monarch of the Barotse Kingdom (BRE), civil society (local communities), private sector and NGO’s operating within LPNP.

The Land Use Plan has been developed simultaneously with a General Management Plan (GMP) that defines management zones aligned with the Land Use Plan, and will provide legal backing to this Land Use Plan.  The Department of National Parks and Wildlife have been integral to this process.