SAFE Zambia

SAFE Zambia


Zambia faces high deforestation rates due to the clearing of forests for agricultural expansion and charcoal production. Agriculture is the main livelihood for most Zambians, and about 80% of producers are smallholder farmers. However, low productivity hampers the agricultural sector, contributing only 5.8% to the GDP.
To combat deforestation, the government prioritises environmental sustainability and the protection of biodiversity. It aims to minimise forest clearing for agriculture and promote agricultural productivity through private sector involvement. This will involve the implementation of favourable trade policies and the reduction of export restrictions on agricultural commodities, according to the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).
The formalisation of value chains in line with international market requirements, such as sustainability and traceability, therefore become more important for the Zambian agricultural sector. Additionally, Zambia is among the few countries to sign a memorandum of understanding for the EU Forest Partnerships with producer countries during the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference. Through the SAFE project, Zambia aims to contribute to the EU’s holistic approach to jointly protect, restore, and sustainably use forests by ensuring that forests are managed sustainably and deforestation is minimised. The Forest Partnerships encompass the EU’s holistic approach to jointly work on forests and are a means to reverse deforestation in the supported countries and consequently enhance climate and biodiversity protection.

Approach in Zambia

The SAFE project in Zambia aims to raise public and private sector awareness of the EUDR and its relevance for future Zambian exports to the EU market.
The project is working with smallholder farmers and communities to promote sustainable agricultural practices, minimise forest degradation, and prevent deforestation.
The project also aims to establish a compelling case for least developed countries (LDCs) on how they can produce in line with the EUDR in the future.
Lessons learned from the implementation in Zambia will be shared with Member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), enabling them to benefit from the knowledge and experiences that will be gained.
The project is taking an integrated landscape approach, fostering collaboration among various stakeholders and prioritising environmental considerations. SAFE will strengthen Zambia’s preparedness in the soy and wood value chains for potential exports to EU markets.


The project activities are being implemented in close collaboration with relevant public, private and civil society stakeholders:

  • Capacity-building of soy smallholder farmers in sustainable agricultural practices
  • Collaboration with the Forestry Department on the establishment and strengthening of Community Forestry Management Groups
  • Awareness-building on land use rights among community members, in close collaboration with traditional authorities
  • Awareness-raising campaigns on the importance of forest ecosystems with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment (MGEE)
  • Establishment of traceability and transparency pilots in line with the EUDR
  • Formation of inclusive business partnerships with the private sector to foster value chain development
  • Organisation of roundtables on the EUDR through multi-stakeholder platforms to support the development of policy guidelines
  • Activities to contribute to the EU-Zambia Forest Partnership, e.g. conducting forest inventory assessments in target districts

Commodities SAFE is Working on in Zambia