Forest protection, Zambia

Project name Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project
Project location Lusaka Province, Zambia
Project type Reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation mitigation (REDD+)
Standard VCS and CCB Triple Gold
Project status Operational
Portfolio Current

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.

How does the project contribute to carbon reduction?

Deforestation is mainly 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.

The project expects to reduce deforestation by implementing a suite of activities including 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 biodiversity landscapes in Africa. The project has received the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which has recently agreed to invest USD4.9 million in a partnership with BioCarbon partners to establish verifiable REDD+ activities across at least 700,000 hectares in Eastern and Muchinga Provinces. USAID also supports BCP’s “Conservation, Poverty and Greener Rural Economies” Program, which includes a variety of community-based deforestation mitigation activities to be implemented by the BCP Trust within the project zone for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP).


Key benefits

  • The total emission reductions from the project are estimated to be on average 210,316 tonnes of CO2e per year over the selected 30-year crediting period.
  • So far, over 1,200 people have participated in sensitization activities to raise awareness within the local community about local environmental issues and the positive impacts of the REDD+.
  • 607 people are direct beneficiaries of the project’s different livelihood interventions activities which include:
    • A pilot ‘Bio Bank’ Project which is designed to involve community members in participatory forest demarcations of areas of intact forest, to be conserved and protected in exchange for support to Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) activities and recurring pay-for-performance ‘forest protection’ payments.
    • Provision of local Community Livestock Workers (CLWs) with training in improved livestock care and support for their development of small businesses as ‘extension agents’ of the local veterinarian. The purpose of this project is two-fold: first, to improve access to livestock care and support services in rural areas, and second, to assist motivated individuals to develop small income-generating businesses as extension agents.
    • Provision of training and support to households in the implementation of improved conservation farming (CF) 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. Positions range from domestic workers and part-time construction workers, to facilitators and management positions as members of BCP’s renowned Plot Team or Community Engagement Team.
    • Financing of environmental education through its Environmental Education Programme (EEP); a 21-lesson interactive curriculum targeted at Grade 6 students.
    • 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, including a borehole repair in Ndubulula (Kantyantya village), a solar lighting unit for the Namanongo clinic, and cement for the classroom in Mweeshangombe.
    • Supporting the development of NTFP activities that help communities see the benefits of their forests through improved food security and improved/diversified income from the production and sale of NTFPs such as dried fruit, mushrooms and honey.
    • In partnership with SunnyMoney, provision of training in the installation, use and maintenance of solar units, plus basic sales and business development training for four Solar Extension Agents (SEAs). The purpose of the program is to promote availability and access to solar lighting units through a decentralized Extension Agent system supported by SunnyMoney, and to assist SEAs in the development of alternative sources of income through the development of small-scale extension agent businesses.
    • Provision of training in improved poultry rearing, and assistance to participating households in developing small-scale village chicken businesses. The project is designed to simultaneously improve food security and improve/diversify income, while reducing the dependency of participating households on deforestation-dependent livelihoods (such as charcoal production) over the long-term.

For further information: