THE World Bank has approved a further US $225,000, about K4.9 million, technical assistance to Zambia for the continued implementation of the Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) programme.
The WAVES Programme, which falls under the Ministry of National Development Planning, is aimed at promoting and mainstreaming natural capital in development planning and economic accounting systems.
According to a statement released by ministry spokesperson Chibaula Silwamba, the Bank will execute the assistance to the government for integration of results from National Capital Accounts (NCAs) in sector strategy documents and development plans for sustainable development.
Silwamba said this is also meant to realise a deeper appreciation of the interactions between natural assets and economic activities at national and sub-national level.
He said on Wednesday this week,
Ministry of National Development Planning permanent secretaries Chola Chabala (Development Planning and Administration) Trevor Kaunda (Development Cooperation, Monitoring and Evaluation) held a meeting with World Bank senior environmental specialist Nathalie Weir Johnson and environmental economist Ngao Mubanga where they exchanged views on the continued implementation of the WAVES.
Silwamba said Chabala emphasised that Zambia was endowed with diverse natural resources upon which the economy was heavily dependent.
Chabala said it was imperative that data that was generated from natural capital accounting enhanced policy decision-making on allocation and use of natural resources.
He said the WAVES programme had, thus far, successfully completed compiling reports in three priority areas, namely forestry, lands and water.
And Mubanga explained that a monitoring and evaluation aspect would be added to the programme.
“Seeing the progress Zambia has made in the other Accounts, it was decided that support will be given to the development and publication of the tourism account as it would help us look at eco-tourism services and other value chains that can be developed in this respect,” said Mubanga.
The renewed support to the WAVES programme will focus on development of national capital accounts, and the technical assistance will require a greater involvement of the department of monitoring and evaluation in the Ministry.
Meanwhile, Kaunda expressed satisfaction that the monitoring and evaluation component would be added to the WAVES Programme.
Kaunda said monitoring and evaluation was important in the implementation of development programmes to ascertain whether or not the set objectives were being attained.
Through the technical assistance, the WAVES team will support government in capacity building for all relevant stakeholders such as government itself, academia and civil society to ensure programme sustainability.
It will also assist in updating and further developing land, water and forest accounts and finalisation of national capital accounts for tourism, energy and mining that are currently under development and development of a road map for institutionalising National Capital Accounting.
The extension of the support to the WAVES programme comes in the wake of global recognition of Zambia, through the Ministry of National Development Planning, as one of the top performers in the region in addressing climate change.
The Ministry’s Strengthening Climate Resilience in the Kafue Sub-basin (SCRiKA) in January this year won the African Water Change Makers (People’s Choice) Award at the 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit.
The Netherlands and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) co-organised the climate adaptation summit aimed at creating actions that will accelerate African adaptation.