Young Experts

James Mbewe

James Mbewe

Young Expert at WNF - Zambia
YEP period 2019 - 2021, batch 17

YEP Role

My focus at WWF Zambia is creation of Basin Health Report Cards that contribute to improved river basin management and safe estuaries by monitoring indicators of basin health and in a participatory process with stakeholders, developing management recommendations for Healthier River Basins. I specifically support WWF Zambia to liaison with technical staff in partner institutions, stakeholders and communities to bring them on board and create awareness on the need for collective participation in the management and governance of river basins. This also include active participation in creating awareness on anthropogenic activities that threaten biodiversity in our priority landscapes, such as mining and damming, deforestation and unsustainable economic developments.


  1. Some of our priority landscapes are nearly in pristine condition, but are under threat from a massive drive for infrastructure development projects within floodplains, recharge zones, headwater areas and riparian zones, which have adverse impacts on the environment and eventually compromise water security. Hence, urgency needed to create awareness on best practice on basin management and governance issues.
  2. I also support lobby and advocacy efforts targeting stakeholders including communities, corporates, and central government to support the gaz[etting of designated places within river basins for protection under the ‘Water Resources Protected Area’ policy framework, and to mobilize for implementation of recommendations emanating from River Basin Health Report Cards. I also contribute in encouraging the same stakeholders to embark on sustainable and efficient use of water resources, and for companies and corporates to adopt international water stewardship standards.


Other than creation of River Basin health Report Cards Creation, I also support the Coordination role of Freshwater Department. This includes preparing programme budgets, three months (  Quarter) rolling plans, consolidating weekly and monthly programme updates.



  • Good analytical skills, including ability to process large amounts of data in Excel.
  • Excellent inter-personal skills, including the ability to develop and maintain strong relationships with stakeholders and partners,
  • Coordinating teams to deliver a targeted goals
  • Ability to work independently, and with a diverse group of individuals in a multi-cultural environment. 
  • Good communication Skills and diplomacy
  • High degree of flexibility
  • Ability to work in/with groups or teams
  • Adaptable to new working environments and operating conditions.
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Computer literate: Windows, MS-word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet.
  • Excellent attention to detail and record keeping.
  • Passion for nature conservation, water stewardship and sustainable development.

Nationality: Zambian
Education: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management with credit from the Copperbelt University and I graduated on 31st August 2017. I have done course work on Conservation And Ecotourism, Wildlife Policy And Legislation, Research Methodology And Seminars, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Pathology And Parasitology, Ecology Of Terrestrial And Aquatic Ecology, Land Surveying And Remote Sensing, Operations Research And Project Management, Wildlife Resource Assessments, Wildlife Nutrition, Soil Science, Biometry, Wildlife Ecology And Biodiversity, Diversity And Ethology, Plant Biology, Animal Biology and Genetics.


My obligatory thesis during his undergraduate studies at the Copperbelt University Zambia was on conservation of both terrestrial and aquatic species; I examined the effects of agriculture activities on the diversity of amphibians in Lupande Game Management Area of Luangwa Catchment. I accessed the diverse frogs in both pristine and disturbed habitats to determine whether agriculture activities had an impact on the amphibians. I have then gave recommendations for sustainable agriculture practices to advocate the coexistence of wildlife and people in these catchments. This background ensures that I have a good appreciation of the rationale behind the Freshwater Program’s efforts to secure freshwater habitat connectivity in priority landscapes and why, we advocate for sustainable agricultural practices that do not fragment freshwater ecosystems.


I also pursued and got awarded with a Certificate in Science Communication course by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences in 2019. With this training, This training was aimed at equipping students be instrumental in the communication of the scientific analysis, tailored to different target audience that includes technocrats, decision makers and the general public.


In 2018, I received a training from the Zambia Development Agency in conjunction with the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) on Trainer of Trainers (ToT) and Facilitator in the Entrepreneurship skills


Experience before YEP

Work Experience

  • Worked for Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) as a freshwater Intern supporting the deinterventions. My key duties in WWF Zambia freshwater unit are as follows:
  1. Date mining and colleciton for different basin health report card indicators
  2. Doing data analysis with The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences (USA)  for the basin health report card
  3. Following up with various institutions both Government and NGOs, regarding data requested to be used for the basin health report card.
  4. Management of the database (information management)
  5. Assisting in the collection and ‘ground truth’ related fieldwork to update the GIS database
  6. Assisting preparing budgets and fund requests for the same project.
  7. Organizing technical meetings with stakeholders and facilitate where necessary
  8. Undertaking water stewardship assignments assigned by The Water Stewardship Manager e.g. educating stakeholders on how to familiarize and use the water risk tool. 
  9. Clarifying on data requests to stakeholders by holding small meetings with them


  • I worked with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) for four (4) months starting from 4th March 2018 to 4th July, 2018, as a national supervisor (Volunteer) under the Empowering Youth with Employment through Entrepreneurship (EYEE) program. The project was called Youth Empowerment Project (YEP).  My  main duties included the following:
  1. Coordinating the project team to execute duties.
  2. Starting and capacity building clubs on entrepreneurship ventures.
  3. Training fellow youths on specific entrepreneurship ventures e.g. agriculture and agribusiness.
  4. Promoting sexual health and morality.
  5. Engaging local traditional leaders, local government and non-governmental institutions on poverty alleviation initiatives targeting youths.
  6. Capacity building youths on fund-raising.  

  • During this period, I was trained to be a trainer and a facilitator by Zambia development agency (ZDA).  I was then posted to Nyimba of eastern province, Zambia to facilitate training youth in entrepreneurship skills.

  • In 2016, I did my industrial attachment in South Luangwa National Park at Chinzombo Research Center, Infuwe. My responsibilities were data entry in the herbarium, law enforcement (patrolling with wildlife police officers) and research (data collection from the field) sections. I also worked with the Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) group where we sensitized, educated and empowered communities with knowledge to promote sustainable conservation of natural resources.
  • Other employment experiences
  1. In 2013, I worked for Shop rite at Manda hill, Lusaka as a part-timer general assistant
  2. In 2012, I worked For City Waste Solution as a supervisor in waste management for the city of Lusaka.
  3. In 2012, I Worked for Construction Company for Chinese at UNZA, Renovating Hostels for eight months in preparations for zone 6 games.


Research and Training

BSc thesis:  The impacts of agricultural activities on the diversity of frogs in Lupande Game Management Area, Mambwe district.  Infuwe, Zambia.  



  • Certificate of completion of a Science Communication course from the University of Maryland Center of Environmental Sciences (2019)
  • Certificate from Fire Brigade as a Fire Marshal. (2019)
  • Reference letter as a supervisor of national volunteers team of Eastern province from Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) (2018)
  • Certificate as a trainer of trainers (TOTs) and a facilitator from Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) in conjunction with Voluntary Service overseas (VSO). (2018)
  • BSc in Wildlife Management from Copperbelt University (2017)
  • Certificate of appreciation in recognition of my valuable work to the fellowship as a resilient member of Copperbelt University student fellowship, The Copperbelt University. (2017)
  • Certificate of leadership as the electoral commission for  wildlife biology and management society (WIBMSO), Copperbelt University (CBU), 2016-2017
  • Certificate of membership as a resilient member of wildlife biology and management society, Copperbelt University, 2015-2016.
  • Certificate of appreciation of service from Shoprite Manda hill Lusaka, as a part-timer general assistant (2013)



  • Nature conservation
  • Biology and technology
  • Handling awareness program to the public especially concerning protection of wildlife, monitoring the health of the River Basins, fighting poverty, sexual reproductive health and other related developmental bankable programs.
  • Reading research papers
  • Facilitation
  • Learning new languages
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Soft music
  • Adventure


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Organisation: WNF
Young Experts