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Barriers Affecting Renewable Energy Development

This study has collected, reviewed and synthesized available information relevant for understanding and deriving the values of Zambia’s forests and their contribution to the national economy. The approaches used in this study include an extensive literature review of publications, in-country reports, and grey literature; the collection and synthesis of biophysical and economic data found within the country; and the integration of spatial data on forests within Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ecosystem service models to support spatial analysis of ecosystem services values. Preliminary estimates of the values of forest-based ecosystem services were derived in two main ways: • Extrapolation of data based on spatial parameters at the resolution allowed by the data (e.g. by vegetation type, biomass, population density or district), or • Use of an existing spatial modelling platform, “InVEST”, developed by the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University, USA, which, despite the relatively high level of spatial resolution involved, is not necessarily more accurate in the absence of locally relevant data. This study makes significant contributions to the understanding of the value of forests to the national economy of Zambia. Specifically, this is one of the first studies to systematically assess the availability of data/information for a suite of forest ecosystem services and synthesize that information to derive values for each service at a national scale. In addition, for some services, such as forest-based tourism and sediment retention, very little information was available. This required collection of data from proxy sources for tourism and conducting ecosystem service modelling for sediment retention to spatially analyse the distribution of services for which little information was available prior to this study. It is important to note that a major challenge to this study has involved dealing with contradictory and wide-ranging estimates of some ecosystem services. Much effort has been put towards understanding the nature of these differences and deriving more reliable estimates where possible. To that extent the analysis could also function as a prelude to a national natural capital account using the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting