During the 2020s, the world will begin to address on a major scale the increasingly deadly and destructive problem of a warming and disrupted climate.

Zambia has experienced the impact of drought  on farmers and hydropower, along with shifting rainfall patterns. While industrialized nations bear the burden of reducing carbon emissions that are blamed for creating global warming, African nations such as Zambia must learn to adapt and build economies powered by renewable energy. FDI aims to expand effective collaboration with the government and the private sector around the idea of resilience. 

Adaptations that can build resilience to climate impacts  may include reforestation, climate-smart agriculture, and water conservation measures, energized by strong community awareness-building and participation. Climate-resilient farming practices in livestock management, aquaculture and water harvesting feature in the EU’s Zambia plan. A World Bank study found that most small farmers in Zambia – those with less than 5 hectares of land – are vulnerable to climate shocks – drought and floods. To adapt, the researchers say that farmers need to use “context specific” climate-smart farming practices such as minimum tillage and tolerant seeds, informed by timely climate information services. This information could be delivered through digital platforms, according to the study.

Work in climate-stressed dryland areas (such as southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya) have shown that resilience steps including participatory planning help to reduce conflict over scarce natural resources such as water. By adding climate resilience and adaptation to its portfolio, FDI is opening a new area for its work just as the recently elected Zambian Government shifts in this direction. New forms of “green” finance for energy, protection of biodiversity and building up resilience to climate shocks may open intriguing avenues for FDI’s work. The formation of a Ministry of Green Economy and Environment in Zambia suggests that the Government intends to expand efforts to strengthen community resilience. EU grant funding will be available for startups in Zambia led by young entrepreneurs that invest in “green and digital transformation.” Smallholder farmers, including women and youth, will gain support for the transition to greener and more sustainable agri-food systems. Among the reversible environmental problems in Zambia is the unsustainable destruction of trees for charcoal. The loss of forests affects water reserves and biodiversity, a pattern unfolding in many fast-urbanizing African countries.

EU interventions will involve communities at the borders of national parks and other conservation areas, with investments planned in sustainable wildlife management, non-wood forest products, horticulture and tourism. This approach is similar to a USAID initiative designed to tackle sources of poverty and environmental degradation around major parks. Rapid Response: FDI will explore ways to reverse deforestation and expand the involvement of women in natural resources management in response to Government, United States and European initiatives to more boldly confront climate-change impacts.