Strong dependence on woodfuel for domestic energy consumption in Zambia increasingly puts pressure on production areas. However, miombo woodland species hold good potential for recovery through assisted natural regeneration.
Most woodfuel is sourced from customary land under the care of traditional authorities, with small amounts coming from state land. However, strategies for woodfuel management are lacking from both authorities.
Efficient and sustainable woodfuel management is hampered by weak concerted efforts, and limited communication and coordination among relevant stakeholders. Interactions are particularly limited at feedstock production and management levels.
Rules and laws aimed at regulating the use of forest resources exist within the sector, yet enforcement is generally weak and fragmented due to capacity constraints, overlapping or contradicting mandates and limited collaboration.
Actor networks along the woodfuel value chain, representing mandates regarding enforcement, extension, transportation and production, are concentrated around the Forestry Department, with links to chiefdoms, charcoal association groups, transporters and end users.
Existing producer networks can play an important role in facilitating legal and sustainable charcoal production and trade. Clarifying group and association mandates, benefits and responsibilities, and enhancing communication are key to success.