The Luangwa Community Forests Project is currently being funded through a USAID cooperative agreement. It is a five-year programme expanding REDD+ activities across 700,000+ hectares in Eastern Zambia. The Community Forests Program is designed to benefit at least 10,000 households and promote improved forest management activities across two million hectares in the Zambezi and Luangwa Valley ecosystems. The programme is being carried out in close partnership with the Zambian Forestry Department and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.
The Luangwa Valley ecosystem is one of the last great landscapes in Africa. It is home to globally significant wildlife, including Zambia’s only black rhino population and its most stable elephant population. It is also a key component of the Luangwa-Zambezi hydrological system.
However, this ecosystem is under threat. A significant portion of the Luangwa Valley is located in the Eastern Province of Zambia, an area with one of the highest rates of deforestation in the country. We are tackling this threat by working with communities to create sustainable ways to earn an income while improving livelihoods through improved social services such as access to healthcare, sanitation, and education.
The USAID-funded Community Forests Program runs from mid-2014 to mid-2019, providing start up financing to support the establishment of REDD+ Projects in the Zambezi and Luangwa Valley ecosystems. It is our goal for these projects to be validated, verified and self-financing from the sales of Forest Carbon Offsets by 2019.
The USAID funded Community Forests Program involves key partners such as the local communities and traditional authorities, Government of the Republic of Zambia implementing partners such as the Forestry Department and Department of National Parks and Wildlife, and NGOs, ensuring that the programme activities are properly managed and lawful. This project will help form a future national REDD+ programme in Zambia.