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Barriers to policy implementation and implications for Zambia's forest ecosystems

Kalaba, Felix Kanungwe
Forest policy and economics 2016 v.69 pp. 40-44
deforestation, developing countries, forest ecosystems, forests, funding, interviews, issues and policy, land tenure, nongovernmental organizations, politics, stakeholders, Zambia
Policies play a vital role in setting priorities and actions for forest use and management. High rates of forest loss can be attributed to failure by policies to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. It is argued that in most Least Developed Countries such as Zambia, adopted forest and natural resources policies are rarely put into effect resulting in ecosystem degradation.This study examined policy actor's perception of implementation of policies aimed at reducing deforestation and forest degradation and their implications for forest resources.To examine policy implementation, 55 policy actors were interviewed at national, regional and local levels. This included government officials, Non-Governmental Organisations, traditional leaders and local people. Interviews were analysed using discourse analysis.Findings show that policy implementations deficits are prevalent in Zambia's forest sector. Policy actors identified the main barriers as inadequate institutional capacity, inadequate legal framework, political influences, insecure land tenure, poor funding, and lack of intersectoral coordination. The paper has shown gaps between policies and their implementation. To halt deforestation and forest degradation, it is imperative that formulated policies are implemented. This will require improved communication and coordination among government units and various stakeholders, sufficient resources and harmonizing policies and legal frameworks.