Promoting sustainable and climate resilient management of natural resources, the NIRAS–HessenForst Consortium launches work in Zimbabwe.
The European Development Fund and the Government of Zimbabwe have recently awarded a contract for technical assistance support to natural resource management (NRM) to a consortium led by NIRAS in partnership with HessenForst. Under the contract, the consortium will support implementation of the Natural Resource Management Project (NRMP).
The overall objective of the NRMP is to “improve the livelihoods of rural communities through sustainable and climate resilient management of natural resources in Zimbabwe.” The technical assistance will contribute to this goal by coordinating, monitoring, and strengthening the project’s implementation through a wide range of tasks, including research, policy dialogue, institutional reform and change management, capacity building, and the provision of technical assistance in specific NRM activities.
NIRAS’s German partner, HessenForst, is a former state forest administration that has recently undergone institutional reform to become a state forest enterprise. As such, HessenForst offers the consortium extensive experience in day-to-day forest management and international cooperation projects, as well as a unique ability from own experience to offer guidance on change management and institutional reform.
The TA team is highly experienced in NRM and are skilled in, amongst others, policy and legislative reform, community-based NRM, applied research, and capacity development from grass roots to national level. Hans Buys is the team leader, a role for which he is highly prepared thanks to a 30-year career in international development cooperation.
The project will contribute to a wide variety of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the principal of which is SDG 15 – protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems; sustainably manage forests; combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation; and halt biodiversity loss – through its focus on creating an enabling environment for community-based NRM.
Efforts to improve livelihoods in local communities through capacity development will contribute to SDG 2 – end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
The NRMP will also include activities specifically designed to empower and employ women and the youth, so contributing to SDG 5 – achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls – and SDG 8 – promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth; full and productive employment; and decent work for all.
Through its activities to achieve its various targets, the project will also contribute to SDG 13 – take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts – and SDG 17 – strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.