Environmental

Land Use Plan

For the Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia

Advance Africa are 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.

A recently concluded study for WWF and African Parks Network (APN), entitled “Integrated Catchment Basin Resource Management Strategy” (2015) offered an assessment at a landscape level that considers an integrated catchment basin, resource management strategy for the greater Liuwa region. It evaluated the land use of the region, incorporated the broader environment to include the biological, socio-economic and regulatory environments, and overlaid the major corridors that link and intersect through this complex system. The study then investigated the major resulting pressure points and analysed these to understand possible mitigations for each. From this analysis, key actions were identifies along with resulting projects and potential enterprise developments that all culminate in a management strategy for the region that is aimed at a sustainable approach to resource management.

During the study, one of the key project requirements was a revised and updated Land Use Plan that intuitively takes into account key wildlife corridors, conservation and tourism activities, community socio-economic development, the spatial distribution and utilisation of natural resources in the Park and its immediate surrounds as well as mitigation against the highlighted pressure points.

Liuwa Plain National Park

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 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 project started in June 2017 and will run for a 14 month period.  Stakeholders, including local communities that live in and around the Park, will be included and consulted with throughout the process.

The project is divided into four specified phases:

  • The first 9 months of the project (June 2017 – March 2018) are an intensive data collection and analytical phase. During the analytical phase, a spatial database on natural resource utilisation needs to be established that involves stakeholders at all levels, in particular local communities that utilise and rely on natural resources.
  • The project will then progress into a planning and re-zoning phase that will assess the current land use zones defined in the 2009 land use plan for the Park, and develop or revise these zones to take into account all additional data collected during the analytical phase.
  • Thereafter, the project will move 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.