Gender considerations in forestry: some cases from Zambia
Nkomeshya, Alex K.
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In terms of forest estates, Zambia is one of the well-endowed countries on the African continent. Forests are estimated at between 55 and 60% of the total land area. Forest reserves that are gazetted make up 9% of the total land area. The area taken up by National Parks is 9% of the total. Unofficial statistics, often expressed at official fora15 estimate the rate of deforestation at between 200,000 and 300,000 hectares per year. Considering that this is not accompanied by re-planting, it is alarming. Indeed several questions may be asked: Who uses these products? Who benefits? Who is more actively involved when activities assume a commercial dimension? Why is it that nearly all forest reserves are encroached? What measures is the government taking to redress the situation? What are the constraints and opportunities? This paper addresses these questions paying attention to gender with specific focus on three provinces in Zambia, viz., Luapula, Copperbelt and Central.