CONSERVING THE MIOMBO FOREST THROUGH BEEKEEPING
At the heart of the ZYCALA beekeeping practice is the conservation of our natural resources especially the Miombo forests of Zambia. The Miombo forest is home for many wildlife species, a source of indigenous fruits and food for local communities and it provides shelter for many people. The trees of the Miombo forest also help prevent the likelihood of drought and floods. Ultimately, in the climate change age, the trees of the Miombo forest draw down carbon and enhance soil organic matter.
However, deforestation activities such as illegal timber logging and the need for wood fuel continue to be a threat to the Miombo forests. Every year several trees are being cut down mainly to meet the demands for charcoal, mining and logging operations. While these practices present a threat to the forest ecosystem, many communities fall victim of cutting down trees for charcoal production in order to acquire an income meet their basic needs.
In the age of climate change where our human activities are slowly destroying our natural environment and causing a climate crisis where people and nature cannot thrive. The ZYCALA beekeepers are empowered agents of change in their communities to take climate action through forest conservation and with the support of the Scottish Government and partners WWF Zambia, Gaia Education and Young Emerging Farmer’s Initiative, the ZYCALA beekeepers have chosen an alternative livelihood; one that does not degrade the natural environment but creates an environment where nature and people can thrive. As such, the beekeeping practice enables farmers and beekeepers to produce food and income from honey production in perpetuity.