BCP Sells Forest Carbon Offsets to BP Target Neutral, Supporting African Communities

Elephants in Lower Zambezi

BioCarbon Group, BCP, and First Climate are pleased to announce a significant multi-year transaction of Forest Carbon Offsets (also known as Verified Carbon Reductions)  from a transformational community forestry project in Zambia. The purchase of the carbon offsets by BP Target Neutral will enable the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project to continue to implement and scale up work, improving the lives of farming communities in Zambia, in South-Eastern Africa.

The project engages more than 8,300 local community members to improve land-use practices and conserve forests and wildlife. It ensures the conservation of 39,000 hectares of valuable Miombo forest, creating a vital buffer for Lower Zambezi National Park, as part of a trans-frontier conservation area of global significance that is home to 23,000 elephants. The project area also provides valuable habitat for threatened species such as lions, ground hornbill and sable and roan antelopes. Threatened animal species are now returning to the forest, which is linked to a UNESCO World Heritage site.

_MG_0529Income levels in the project zone have historically been extremely low, and Zambia itself is a UN-designated Least Developed Country. To earn a living, local communities depend on charcoal production and in efficient farming practices, both of which put significant pressure on shrinking forest resources. The project directly tackles the poverty-driven causes of deforestation. It does so, for example, by improving agricultural practices, boosting yields while conserving soils and diversifying production. The project also supports the establishment of village-based agro-businesses, such as poultry and honey. Furthermore, communities are now successfully producing “eco-charcoal” from sustainably managed community forests. All these activities directly support local incomes. In addition, the project directly supports local schools and healthcare and improves access to drinking water. Since inception, the project has provided approximately 50% of all clean drinking water supplies across the entire project community zone, and this figure continues to grow.

“We are proud of this sale to BP Target Neutral, and very happy they are supporting the exceptional environmental and development benefits this project is creating,” says Jason Patrick, Managing Director of BioCarbon Group.

“We have worked hard to very actively engage communities in designing alternatives to land-use practices that drive deforestation,” explains Dr Hassan Sachedina, Managing Director of BCP. “The success of our intensive and focused community approach is evidenced through triple Gold validation under the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance Standard; the first project in Africa to achieve this level of recognition.”

P1060661Dr Jochen Gassner, Director of First Climate, adds: “As a provider of climate neutral services, we have been working together with BP Target Neutral for many years now. It has always been a great pleasure to support our partner’s environmental, socio-economic and social commitment all around the world with high-quality and multi-benefit projects such as the Lower Zambezi Community Forestry Project.”

Further details about this project can be found on the VCS website

BioCarbon Group

BioCarbon Group Pte Ltd is a leading international investor in land based carbon mitigation activities that offer transformational environmental and development benefits. With projects located in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America, BioCarbon works with experienced local project partners. Its shareholders are Global Forest Partners LP, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Macquarie Bank. www.biocarbongroup.com

BCP

BioCarbon Partners (BCP) is a leading African-based and majority African citizen owned forest carbon social enterprise. BCP’s mission is to make African forests valuable to people. BCP’s focuses on dry-land forest conservation projects in globally significant biodiversity landscapes in Africa. BCP combines an entrepreneurial approach with a core philosophy of caring for people and environments to catalyze landscape-scale, community-based market driven solutions to deforestation. www.biocarbonpartners.com

First Climate

For over 15 years, first Climate has advised companies, governments and international organizations on various aspects of their climate protection and water management strategies. With more than 500 large- and medium-sized clients to date, First Climate counts as one of the leading providers of climate protection, green energy and water management services worldwide. www.firstclimate-climateneutral.com

For information please contact:

Jason Patrick, BioCarbon Group, Email: jpatrick@biocarbongroup.com

Hassan Sachedina, BCP, Email: hassan@biocarbonpartners.com

Jochen Gassner, First Climate, Email: jochen.gassner@firstclimate.com

To read the press statement please download PDF here.

This Press Release is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of BCP and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Mwanya Chiefdom Sails Toward its Future

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The Chief Representative giving a speech

Imagine that you live in a small remote village in Zambia.  For four months every year the river swells with water from the rains further north.  You cannot access the other side to go to school, or visit the clinic when you’re sick, without the risk of being attacked by crocodiles who prowl the water.

 

This is a very real situation for the villages in the Mwanya Chiefdom. Every year from December to April, the Lukusuzi River, a subsidiary of the Luangwa River, rises, breaking the connection that local villages have to education and healthcare. When the waters rise and the footpath across become inaccessible, only an adventurous few are willing to venture across the water. Those who do cross the river during flood, build makeshift rafts or swim, but risk getting attacked by crocodiles.

 

For a long time, Mwanya Chiefdom has needed a boat to cross the river when it floods.  

 

On May 18th, BCP delivered a boat to Mwanya Chiefdom. The boat — “Mwase Wa Minga,” named for the first Chief of Mwanya Chiefdom — is one of three Partnership Projects that BCP is funding in Mwanya Chiefdom, under the USAID-funded Community Forests Program (CFP). The boat was handed over to the community during a public ceremony that was officiated by the Lundazi District Commissioner, and which was attended by numerous government representatives, as well as representatives from BCP and USAID. Two hundred people were in attendance, including many local school children, who were celebrating the fact that they would no longer have to cross the river by foot when it floods, or miss classes due to high waters.

 

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The District Commissioner, and a representative from USAID and BCP cutting the ribbon

For miles around the community came and gathered at  the banks of the river, where the boat launch was held. The event started off with the national anthem, followed by singing and dancing, and speeches given by BCP, the Chief Representative, and the District Commissioner. During her speech, the District Commissioner praised the partnership that has formed between Mwayna community, BCP, and the government, to deliver community needs and to promote local natural resource conservation, under the USAID-funded CFP. As she said: “BCP under the CFP has engaged the government, traditional authority, and the entire community. This has made them very visible in the district and more specifically it’s importance to Mwanya Chiefdom. This incentive we are witnessing today must be commended. The CFP has procured a boat to facilitate the crossing of the Lukusuzi River. […] I am aware that we have recorded a number of of fatalities and incidents at the Lukusuzi crossing point and a boat needs to be used during the rainy season.  My office is aware that this is an important crossing point because it’s the only route out of Mwanya during the rainy season. I’m very pleased and glad to see this boat […] Mwanya Chiefdom has a lot of needs and it is my hope that the CFP, with funding from USAID, will go a long way toward improving the community once an agreement has been signed by the community, government, and BCP to protect the forest.”

 

Along with the speeches, students from the local school performed a play about a young boy trying to get to school and a young pregnant woman who was unable to reach a clinic.  While the play elicited laughter from the crowd, it still provided a reminder of what has, up to now, been a very real concern and reality for local communities who are regularly isolated by the river. In attendance at the event, Mrs. Abbia Daka, the acting deputy teacher at Mwanya School, stood beaming and surrounded by her students. Praising the launch of the boat, she said: “In March there was just a recent case of an attack. Children were afraid to cross and they stopped their education. Now this boat will take them to the other side so they can attend and get an education from the fifth through twelfth grade.’’   

 

IMG_2450 retouchThanks to this boat, during the next rainy season, villagers in Mwanya will be able to safely cross the Lukusuzi, children will be able to go to school and the sick will be able to access the clinic.

 

The USAID-funded Community Forests Program (CFP) is now working in Mwanya Chiefdom as well as 8 other Chiefdoms in Eastern Province to develop community-led REDD+ projects, by partnering with local villages to protect intact forest, and delivering impacts based on community needs. Partnership Projects are an initial step of demonstrating goodwill and commitment from the project, in advance of signing forest protection agreements between communities and government. In Mwanya Chiefdom, other partnership projects that are being delivered by BCP under the CFP include delivery of furniture to Yakobe Clinic and assistance with the construction of a maternity shelter for Mkasanga Clinic. These projects are estimated to be completed in upcoming months, through BCP support and community and government facilitation.

 

This blog is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The content of this blog are the sole responsibility of BCP and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.