The BCP Trust is responsible for community engagement activities within the Project Zone for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project. We are actively working with local stakeholders to identify and launch projects that address (and reduce!) the drivers of deforestation in the areas where they live. The BCP Trust has worked actively to identify and build upon local leadership structures, and to work with local representatives to launch the most effective and beneficial projects, with an aim to reduce deforestation and improve livelihoods within the Project Zone. We started “small” with micro-level investments that were intended to bring immediate benefits to local livelihoods. As the company and Trust grow, we are expanding and developing the reach of our Community Projects, so as to involve and benefit the greatest number of people possible.
Who we work with:
The BCP Trust works closely with locally-hired “Community Coordinators,” who serve as local representatives of BCP to their communities. The BCP Trust Community Coordinators promote sensitization about REDD and BCP’s activities in local languages, and ensure that questions or concerns about BCP’s operations are addressed effectively. They also help to identify local leaders and potentially impactful projects that could be launched in partnership with local communities.
The BCP Trust also works closely with local “Zone Development Committees” (ZDCs), who are comprised of democratically elected representatives from each village. The ZDCs assist the BCP Trust in making decisions about the “best” (most effective, most beneficial) projects to launch within their communities.
To the greatest extent possible, the BCP Trust aims to partner with local organizations that have the skills and capacities to launch specialized projects that representatives from local communities have requested. We aim to avoid “re-inventing the wheel,” and to bring the highest-quality specialized care, supervision and advice to the projects that we launch in partnership with local communities. The BCP Trust actively seeks partnerships with organizations that have local presence, who are interested in expanding their activities into our Project Zone, and who have expertise in areas of: conservation farming, agricultural production (such as mushroom growing or honey production), livestock rearing, savings and loans, and other projects that could potentially benefit participants and reduce their dependency on deforestation as a livelihood strategy.
The BCP Trust is particularly interested in targeting women, youth, and minorities through their work.
The BCP Trust is an “Equal Opportunity Employer,” and we do not discriminate on the basis of gender, age, religion, ethnicity, or any other innate human factors.
Types of Projects:
BCP’s Community Engagement Strategy includes an active, on-going process of stakeholder consultation. Project activities are coordinated through our Project Design and Identification Process, which entails numerous rounds of stakeholder consultation meetings, surveying and needs assessments conducted by Community Engagement Team members, involvement of ZDCs in decision-making, and demonstrated community consent for project activities through signed meeting ‘minutes’ (records) and signed agreements. BCP works with local communities to develop project “priority lists,” and once project activities are approved to continue, BCP works through local ZDCs to determine pilot project locations and participants—BCP wants decisions about project activities to come directly from local communities, themselves. This community-based approach is intended to promote long-term ‘ownership,’ buy-in and sustainability of project activities, and to guarantee long-term success of project activities, by engaging local communities in meaningful activities that they have requested and participated in designing.
BCP Trust has over twenty different types of project activities that we intend to launch in the Project Zone for the LZRP, which could also be expanded or scaled-up to other REDD+ project areas in the future. These project activities are designed to reduce poverty and promote local development, and to reduce local drivers of deforestation. All of our community project activities are directly linked to deforestation mitigation through the use of innovative “Community Covenants.”
In the Project Zone for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project, current project activities include:
Village Chicken Projects: These projects provide participants with access to training and resources, to provide improved care to chickens to ensure their health and survival. BCP Trust works with participants to develop project “growth plans.” The Village Chicken project is designed to improve food security and generate small business opportunities for local stakeholders, including women.
Conservation Farming Training Program: Through an important partnership with the Zambia Conservation Farming Unit (CFU), BCP Trust is providing rural farmers with access to training in conservation farming techniques that improve yields and help farmers to be more productive over time on the same areas of land. Key techniques promoted by the program include: early planting, minimum tillage basins, precision farming, crop diversification, crop rotation and agro-forestry. This project is designed to improve food security, generate small agricultural business opportunities, and to reduce deforestation by lessening pressures that farmers face to clear new areas for field expansion or produce charcoal for additional income.
Sustainable Eco-Charcoal Project: This project is designed to reduce poverty and to reduce deforestation from unsustainable charcoal production, by creating incentives for unsustainable charcoal producers to adopt sustainable harvesting techniques taking place on areas of protected community forest. Participants in the project are trained in the use of improved (higher efficiency) kilns, which allow participants to make more charcoal from the same amount of wood using less labour. BCP Trust makes critical value chain interventions, by providing transportation for the sustainable eco-charcoal product and paying producer higher amounts for their product. BCP Trust is working closely with community participants to develop viable business plans, to promote community ownership of the project in the long-term. BCP’s eco-charcoal product is a legal, sustainably-produced, high-quality miombo lumpwood charcoal product that benefits rural producers and reduces deforestation within the Project Zone for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project. Please contact us directly for information about sales or product availability.
School Support Program: BCP Trust aims to improve access to quality education and environmental education to children living within the Project Zone. The School Support Program provides support to teachers, facilitates School Orchard Projects, provides material classroom support and makes investments in school refurbishment and maintenance. The School Support Program also works with teachers, students and environmental trainers to develop appropriate environmental education curriculum materials, and to promote access to information about environmental protection among local youths.
Social Services: BCP Trust makes critical investments into social services such as access to clean water and clinic/health facilities. The purpose of these investments is to improve quality of life for local stakeholders, to build trust, and to build perceptions of the value of forest protection in local communities.
Non-Timber Forest Products: BCP intends to work with local stakeholders to develop sustainable natural resource management plans that allow communities to benefit from the collection of forest products in areas of protected forest. Such projects have the potential to improve food security, develop small business opportunities, and generate buy-in for community-based forest protection efforts.
Employment: BCP aims to generate as much local employment as possible through our projects, in order to provide meaningful alternatives to deforestation-dependent livelihoods. BCP’s African-base and focus lie at the heart of our REDD+ project model: we aim to build local capacity, invest in local communities and ecosystems, and to develop African capacity to manage and benefit from REDD+ projects. BCP aims to provide a truly African approach to REDD+ project management.
Please contact us for more information about specific projects, or if you’d like to make specific donations.