The race to save Zambia’s wetlands

The government of Zambia is executing a new four-year project to help communities near the Lukanga and Bangweulu wetlands in the Central and Luapula provinces of the country.

Drawing on an increasingly valued approach for building climate resilience, termed ecosystem-based adaptation, the project is restoring wetland and forest ecosystems to reduce the vulnerability of local communities to climate change.

Wetlands and forests reduce the impacts of climate change by absorbing excess rainwater into the ground during floods and providing sources of water during droughts. As the ecosystem disappears, so too do these vital climate defenses, and communities become trapped in the constant oscillation between flood and drought.

“The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration was launched last year with the recognition of the multiple benefits that restoring nature brings to communities,” said Jessica Troni, Head of the Climate Change Adaptation Unit at UNEP. “This includes the power of nature in defending and shielding us against the impacts of climate change, and Zambia’s wetlands are a great example of this in action.”

For more information about the project, officially titled Building the Resilience of Local Communities in Zambia through the Introduction of Ecosystem-based Adaptation into Priority Ecosystems, please contact Learn more about our GEF-supported work in climate change adaptation here.

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