Western Province covers a total land area of approximately 126,386 km2 (Square kilometres). This is about 16.8% of the total land cover of Zambia. The total area covered by forests in the province is 9,984,494 ha. This represents about 79% of the total land area of the province. Over 90% of the total forested area in the province is under the jurisdiction of the traditional authority.
The province has One Hundred and Thirty (130) protected forests, consisting of Thirty Nine (39) National Forests and Ninety One (91) Local Forests. These forests have an approximate aggregate land cover of 802,594ha.
The Province has a huge forest that gives it a high potential for timber cutting and finishing investment as well as other forestry and non-forestry products. The locals exploit the timber at a small scale for curios and canoe making.
- Poles, curios & canoeing/ boat making
- Honey and
- Charcoal burning
- Other wood and non-wood products.
Rural life in Western Province is characterized by high levels of poverty and limited livelihood opportunities. A significant proportion of household livelihoods is derived from forest products. In Western Province, rural dwellers depend on forests for energy, in the forms of charcoal and firewood and for non-timber forest products including wild fruits, caterpillars, flying termites, honey and medicinal plants while a few are involved in the trade of forest products, especially firewood and timber, which constitute an important source of income. Therefore, logging, both by timber companies operating with concession licenses and small-scale “pit sawing” permits, is therefore an important economic activity for the Province.