The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project pioneered REDD+ in Zambia through the protection of 39,000 hectares of forest in the Lower Zambezi ecosystem.
The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project is supported by the USAID-funded Community Forests Program and is Zambia’s first Verified Carbon Standard verified REDD+ project. Lower Zambezi National Park forms part of a globally significant trans-frontier conservation area home to important elephant, lion and other wildlife populations. The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project provides a vital buffer area to this important park, protecting over 60 kilometers of threatened boundary. This project partners with 8,300 people in Rufunsa District to conserve the forest through a set of livelihood and community development initiatives.
The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project has also achieved `gold` level validation against all three categories of the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard for its exceptional climate change impacts and community and biodiversity benefits. It is the first REDD+ project in Africa to achieve this highest level of recognition possible.
Your support will enable:
- Protection of 39,000 hectares
- Community protection of resources and management of their forests
- Income from sustainable enterprises like honey production and the creation of employment opportunities
- Enhanced livelihoods through access to education, improved sanitation and infrastructure development
- Habitat protection for lions, elephants and ground hornbills
- Conservation of threatened key habitat in the Lower Zambezi ecosystem
- Reduces emissions by an estimated 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year
We are leading the way to find solutions to climate change.
Before the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project, deforestation rates were estimated to be as much as eleven times higher than Zambia’s national rate, which is already estimated to be one of the highest in the world. This area also has a growing human population with soaring poverty rates, as high as 88%, which meant many families turned to charcoal production as a main source of income. As much as 53% of Lusaka’s charcoal supply was estimated to come through the area.
Now, as a result of the project, these patterns are rapidly changing. We work with about 1,200 households and 8,300 residents in the area.
The Lower Zambezi National Park is also part of a globally significant trans-frontier conservation area which is home to 23,000 elephants—one of Africa’s largest populations, and includes Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lower Zambezi National Park also provides valuable habitat for lions, wild dogs, and locally threatened species such as sable, eland, roan antelopes and ground hornbills.
As the first verified REDD+ in Zambia, it is envisioned that the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project will serve as a pilot for the implementation of high impact community-based REDD+ projects in the country.
Our key partners in this project include: USAID; the Soli Shamifwi Royal Establishment; Traditional Authorities (Headmen), Cooperatives of Ndubulula, Mweeshang’ombe, Namanongo and Chilimba community zones; Forestry Department, Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Rufunsa District Council; Conservation Lower Zambezi, Bee Sweet; as well as other partners including Sable Transport Limited and Musika Development Initiatives.
Stats from BCP baseline study and FAO