Multistakeholder Platforms for Integrated Landscape Governance: The Case of Kalomo District, Zambia

December 2023
F. S. Siangulube, M. A. F. Ros-Tonen, J. Reed, K. B. Moombe and T. Sunderland (Land Use Policy)

This open access academic article focuses on the role of multistakeholder platforms (MSPs) in integrated land and natural resource management, at national, district and local levels. MSPs have become increasingly important to land governance globally since the adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Forests and Fisheries – MSPs are one of the main vehicles for implementation of the guidelines, which have been strongly promoted international donor organisations in selected countries in the Majority World. MSPs are also much promoted within the environmental management space. The authors of this paper focus on the Zambian experience with MSPs. They note that national level MSPs benefit from a broad range of actors and opportunities to lobby for policy and institutional change. Legally instituted MSPs at the district level provide a bridge between national policy development and local resource governance. At local level, informal and formal MSPs can effectively address resource conflicts and foster community coordination and customary regulations but the authors find they are less successful in influencing policy change due to weak linkages with formal governance institutions. These weak linkages between local and national governance levels lead to implementation issues, with policies not taking root at the local level. The authors conclude that MSPs have much potential to improve stakeholder dialogue in land governance but need to be supported by deliberate feedback loops and enhanced linkages between local, district and national level stakeholders to achieve more collaborative, equitable and effective landscape governance.