Zambia Placeholder

Community Baboon Sanctuary Women's Conservation Group (CBSWCG)

About the Implementing organization

Name: Community Market for Conservation

Country: Zambia

Year of establishment: 2009

Type of organization: Legally recognized non-profit status


People who live on the land, who know it and who depend on it can also conserve it- probably better than most. The solution lies in the following:
1) Providing economically viable alternatives to destructive farming and land use practices, and
2) Recognizing that if able to generate adequate income from their farms by understanding and adopting conservation practices, small-scale farmers are often very willing to stop poaching and other destructive behaviours. COMACO is able to do both by producing its own value-added processed food products, sold under the brand, It’s Wild!, which are sourced entirely from the small-scale farmers it helps. COMACO uses these products in the market place to drive up the value of farm commodities and returns a significant share of the profit to farmers for complying with conservation initiatives and abandoning such practices as poaching and charcoal-making.

Nature Element

Forests / Wetlands / Rivers / Grasslands / Drylands / Wildlife

Type of Action

Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Mainstreaming into sectors / Access and benefit sharing / Pollution prevention / clean up / Awareness and education / Advocacy for land & water rights

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security / Disaster risk reduction / Health / Renewable energy / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

COMACO communities are transforming their land with local conservation plans and with improved livelihoods that remove household dependence on destructive uses of natural resources. Key impacts achieved to date include: 23 cooperatives with formalized community conservation plans, over 1.1 million hectares of communal land set aside by local leaders as protected conservation areas, over 25 million agroforestry seedlings planted annually as part of an effort to improve soil fertility, reduce chemical fertilizer dependence, and scale a renewable fuelwood source for fuel efficient cookstoves,now totaling over 50,000, over 15,000 beehives in use by small-scale farmers, over 2,400 local hunters who have surrendered their firearms to farm rather than poach,significant regeneration of woody vegetation and reduction in the frequency of bush fires in most areas, and a general increase or stabilization of wildlife numbers in adjacent protected areas, including elephants and buffalo.

Sustainable Development Impacts

The Market Approach: A significant portion of the food surplus produced by COMACO farmers is purchased by COMACO to manufacture 12 different value-added food products under its own brand, It's Wild!. From the sale of these products, projected to be $3.9 million in 2016-17FY, COMACO offers a premium crop price incentive (typically over 10% of the going market price) for farmers who comply with conservation-based farming and land use practices. As consumers all across the country learn about the COMACO model through the It's Wild! products, there is a growing awareness of Zambia's environmental challenges and the role all Zambians can play to address them, simply by supporting and buying the It's Wild! brand


By the end of 2019, COMACO will support not less than 200,000 small-scale farmers (or about 1.2 million family members) in Luangwa Valley and surrounding catchment areas through its combined strategy of farmer support services and higher-paying commodity market prices to incentivize conservation practices. This achievement will extend to all tribal chiefs' areas covering a total of 103,368 km2 that border Luangwa Valley’s 5 national parks and 10 national forests.


COMACO is in active discussions with the African Development Bank and the Zambian government to consider ways the COMACO model could scale to other landscapes through new partner relationships by using its current work in Luangwa Valley as a learning platform. In addition, an EU-funded project in Mozambique will fund a delegation to learn about the COMACO model in 2017 and a similar delegation from Botswana made such a visit in 2016.

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