To bolster civil society organisations (CSOs) in Zambia's natural resource space, the Finish Government has commissioned a consortium, including PMTC and Ecorys, to, among others, identify strong CSOs into which investment, in terms of financial and skill-based support, would generate considerable benefits in preventing and reversing environmental degradation in the country.
Zambia has been one of the world’s fastest growing economies averaging above six percent annual growth over the past decade. The country, which falls in the medium category on the HDI scale, continues to be mired by an AIDS epidemic however, while around 60% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line. Zambia too remains relatively dependent on an undiversified economy, with copper the major export commodity.
Zamia’s natural resources industry, does not come without impact however. In a bid to develop a clear framework for the management of the country’s natural resources, the Support to Civil Society Organisations in Environment and Natural Resource Management in Zambia (CSEF) project was launched in 2011. The project was commissioned by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) and is operated by a consortium including PMTC (Zambia) and Ecorys.
The project, among others, seeks to strengthen civil society organisations (CSOs) in the environment and natural resource management space, by providing them with enhanced institutional and technical capacities; improved capacity in advocacy and policy dialogue in environmental and natural resource issues; and an increased number of environment and natural resource projects across sectors preventing and reversing environmental degradation.
Following the successful first phase of the project, the second phase, CSEF Phase 2, was launched in 2015. The new phase continues to support CSOs across the country, leveraging lessons learned from the first phase, as well as adding a range of expanded objectives.
Ecorys, a global consulting firm, recently announced that two of its advisors, Ellie Harvie and Gino Martin, were selected by the MFA to provide technical support to the project’s second call for proposals. The selectees were joined by CSEF 2 Project Management Unit (Barney Shiels, Kotutu Chimuka, Kapanga Kasongo and Bruno Mtonga) to carry out research into more than 20 CSOs across the environmental management, forestry, wildlife protection and agriculture as part of their assignment space, operating in Zambia.
The Finish ambassador to Zambia remarks on the project, “CSEF 2 started its implementation in 2015. The fund specifically addresses the needs of Civil Society in the environmental sector and provides support for implementation of activities that complement Government of Zambia's own efforts to sustain the rich natural resources and environment of this country and towards reaching the new Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time the fund seeks to enhance the role of CSOs by strengthening their capacities to be able to implement their work more efficiently. In addition the fund aims to reinforce the coordination, advocacy and lobbying role among the CSOs. This is even more important in the poor communities in rural areas that rely more heavily on natural resources for their livelihoods.”