Policy coherence and interplay between Zambia’s forest, energy, agricultural and climate change policies and multilateral environmental agreements

  • Felix Kanungwe KalabaEmail author
  • Claire Helen Quinn
  • Andrew John Dougill
Original Paper


There is increasing international demand by policymakers focussed on Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation for developing countries to conserve forests in the face of pressure from agriculture and energy demands. Improving forest conservation efforts requires a better understanding of how policies influence forest resources management, hence a need for better analysis of policy coherence and interaction. This study employs a content analysis of national sectoral policies in agriculture, energy and forestry, and national programmes under United Nations Rio conventions in Zambia to examine coherence and interplay between international- and national-level policies. Results show positive horizontal interplay between energy and forestry policies, while conflicts were observed between the agricultural and forestry policies despite the potential of conservation farming to provide a mutually supportive link. Policy documents show inconsistencies between national sectoral policies and national statements to the Rio conventions. Additionally, although national statements to Rio conventions share common ground on measures to address deforestation, they seem to be poorly mainstreamed into national policies and broader development policies at national level. Findings have further revealed a lack of coherence between national commitments to Rio conventions and national forest legislation. The paper concludes that although developing countries, such as Zambia, are ratifying international environmental conventions, measures are often not drafted into national policies and linkages remain largely superficial.


Policy interplay Forests Governance Deforestation Rio conventions REDD 



Government Republic of Zambia


Millennium Ecosystem Assessment


National Action Programme


National Adaptation Programme of Action


National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan


Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation


United Nations Convention on Biodiversity


United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification


United Nations Conference on Environment and Development


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change



The authors would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Funding was provided by the Copperbelt University and a Commonwealth research studentship to Felix Kanungwe Kalaba.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felix Kanungwe Kalaba
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claire Helen Quinn
    • 2
  • Andrew John Dougill
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Natural ResourcesCopperbelt UniversityKitweZambia
  2. 2.School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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