Forest protection, Zambia

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Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project project is helping farmers with improved conservation farming practices

Project name
Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project
Project location
Lusaka Province, Zambia
Funder and supplier
BioCarbon Partners
Standard
VCS and CCB Triple Gold
Project status
Operational
Portfolio
2017

UN Sustainable Development Goals supported

About the project

The project aims to protect the Rufunsa Conservancy, a 38,781-hectare area adjacent to the Lower Zambezi National Park. The project area remains one of the last intact areas of forest in Lusaka Province and provides a 60 kilometre buffer to the Lower Zambezi National Park (LZNP), a strategically protected area in Zambia in a globally significant trans-frontier conservation area.

The total emission reductions from the project are estimated to be on average 187,144 tonnes of CO2e per year over the selected 30-year crediting period.

How does the project contribute to carbon reduction?

Deforestation is driven by charcoal production and the expansion of farmlands by residents and long-term immigrants. It is estimated that 53% of Lusaka’s annual charcoal supply originates from the project’s location. The project zone is home to approximately 8,300 people, living in 28 villages, spread within four community zones.

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Families gather round a newly planted tree in the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project

The project expects to reduce deforestation by implementing community-based projects that aim to reduce local dependency on deforestation, improve local livelihoods and resiliency, as well as implementing land management systems such as infrastructure, security, fire management and biodiversity monitoring.

Who is behind the project?

BioCarbon Partners (BCP) is an African-headquartered, focused and majority African-owned social enterprise that develops and manages long-term forest carbon projects in globally significant and biodiverse landscapes in Africa. The project has received the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which has invested $14 million in start-up financing with BCP through the Community Forests Program (CFP), to establish verifiable REDD+ activities across 748,000 hectares in Eastern and Lusaka Provinces. The USAID funded Community Forests Program also supports a variety of community-based deforestation mitigation activities to be implemented by BCP within the project zone for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP).

The project supported the Forestry Department to double the size of its existing tree nursey and modernize it. Farmers are now able to access seedlings for a variety of different types of trees including fruit trees and trees for use in Conservation Farming.

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The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project protects 39,000 hectares (100,000 acres) of primary Miombo forest that borders the Lower Zambezi National Park (4,092 km sq). Known as the Rufunsa Conservancy

Key benefits

  • The total emission reductions from the project are estimated to be on average 187,144 tonnes of CO2e per year over the selected 30-year crediting period.
  • Approximately 8,300 people have participated in sensitization activities to raise awareness within the local community about local environmental issues and the positive impacts of the REDD+.
  • Through the 2015 Revenue Share from the sale of Forest Carbon Offsets following REDD+ project verification, around 64,000 USD was directly invested into the LZRP communities as a result of forest protection. Communities used funds toward projects that brought community wide benefits including a hammermill and boreholes.
  • Approximately 3,100 people are direct beneficiaries of the project’s different livelihood intervention activities which include:
    • Provision of training and support to 750 beneficiary households in the implementation of improved conservation farming practices, which help farmers to generate higher yields through more efficient farming practices.
    • Provision of training to current charcoal producers in sustainable charcoal production practices and financial incentives to operate within designated areas of protected community forest. The project is designed to meaningfully address some of the most serious drivers of deforestation within the project zone for the LZRP.
    • Creation of local jobs and local employment to 33 people. Positions range from domestic and part-time construction workers, to facilitators and management positions as members of BCP’s renowned Forest Monitoring Team and Community Engagement Team.
    • Financing of environmental education through its Environmental Education Programme; a 21-lesson interactive curriculum targeted at Grade 6 students. In 2017, the Environmental Education Programme is taking place at 4 schools, involving 11 teachers and 153 pupils.
    • Working closely with local institutions and organizations to build their capacity to access and manage community resources in a fair,transparent and meaningful way.
    • Improving community infrastructure by increasing access to clean water for 58% of the communities with boreholes and wells and constructing a clinic to expand access to healthcare.
    • Constructing a teacher’s house to support education opportunities for rural students.
    • Partnered with local organization Bee Sweet in 2016 to launch a long term and scalable beekeeping initiative by establishing 4,000 beehives among 200+ new households in Rufunsa over the next 3 years.
    • Zambia-reforestation-small-images

      Left: Bee-keeping is one of the new additions to the local economy brought to the community by the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project. Centre: As part of the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project, the project developer, BCP, support a school orchard which includes fruit tree planting. Right: Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project project is supporting the teaching of Environmental Education classes helping pupils like Jessie learn more about her environment.

    • Support the creation and training of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Dog Detection Unit in partnership with Conservation Lower Zambezi to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade in and around the Lower Zambezi National Park.
    • Supported the Forestry Department to double the size of its existing tree nursey and modernize it. Farmers are now able to access seedlings for a variety of different types of trees including fruit trees and trees for use in Conservation Farming.

Added value benefits

Carbon management projects are able to contribute to improving the livelihoods of local their communities in significant ways. These benefits are a vital part of the broader aims of creating lasting social and environmental sustainability. The benefits are in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and include improvements to local economies through employment, higher value produce and infrastructure upgrades. Many projects will have health benefits, education improvements and a positive impact on gender equality. Different types of projects will carry different benefits. Research commissioned by ICROA and carried out by Imperial College in 2014 set to quantify the impact of voluntary carbon market investments.

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REDD+ projects deliver significant carbon savings, working closely with forest communities to enable sustainable livelihoods while conserving the trees.

Each year, carbon emissions are reduced by 6,550,464 tonnes, whilst delivering $8,502,324 of total added value.

For further information: bptargetneutral@bp.com