This media brief is designed to provide media practitioners in Zambia with detailed background information and knowledge on community-based natural resources management (CBNRM) and environmental natural resources management issues (ENRM) in an effort to increase accurate and confident reporting on these issues. This brief was developed by Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) under the Deepening Community Based Natural Resources Management project, which seeks to build the capacity of rural communities to engage in sustainable natural resources management and curb rampant soil or land degradation, fish depletion, and deforestation.
As explained in the brief, “PSAf has always recognised media as a key player in stimulating public debate and dialogue among communities and stakeholders using all possible forms such as radio, television and print. Through the media, communities can be mobilised and influenced positively to engage in sustainable environment and natural resources management practices. Through exposure in the media of ENRM issues an effective advocacy for improved policy implementation can be realised. In this regard, it is fundamental that the media is assisted to know and understand the ENRM issues at stake and appreciate its role in facilitating clearer understanding by the community and thereby enhance involvement in ENRM. This media brief is therefore intended to serve as a handy resource in building some knowledge and capacity of the media to effectively report ENRM issues. It should also promote CBNRM as it relates to the focus areas of land degradation, deforestation and fish depletion.”
The media brief highlights critical ENRM and CBNRM issues that exist, what community structures exist, the capacity gaps or challenges these encounter, and the impact or implications of these capacity gaps on ENRM. The information highlights what policy and legal issues need to be addressed to empower CBNRM structures to drive a sustainable programme for NRM in Zambia. It is anticipated that effective media reporting in a language and manner that is clear and less technical would increase awareness and understanding among communities in Zambia. The media brief also seeks to influence advocacy actions around policy and programmes, as well as the adoption of best practices in the exploitation and management of natural resources.
The brief contains the following sections:
- Mechanisms and structures for community engagement in ENRM and CBNRM - this section outlines some of the structures that help communities engage with ENRM and CBNRM. These include fishing/agricultural committees, radio listening clubs/radio farm forum, traditional leadership, and farming information centres, among others.
- Gaps in the mechanisms and structures for community engagement and their impact on ENRM and CBNRM - this section highlights some of the capacity gaps or challenges faced by community structures when carrying out their functions. These gaps can, for example, be limited understanding or awareness of existing relevant legislation, regulations, and policies on agriculture and natural resources.
- Environment natural resource management - this sections outlines some of the issues and reasons for lack of action around: 1) depletion of fish or wildlife; 2) deforestation; and 3) degradation of land.
- Policy and legal responses in ENRM and CBNRM in Zambia - this section offers an explanation of the laws and accompanying policies that relate to the three ENRM issues of fish depletion, deforestation, and land degradation.
- Gaps in ENRM/CBNRM policies and laws - this section looks at the lack of provisions or inadequate existing provisions that need to be established/strengthened to adequately provide for sound ENRM and CBNRM.
- The role of media in promoting sustainable ENRM and CBNRM - looks at how PSaF views the role of the media within this context.
- Conclusions and recommendations - proposes a list of recommendations on what should be done as a way forward.
At the end, the brief provides a list of contacts and reference materials for further enquiry.
Panos Institute Southern Africa website on September 7 2017.