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On 20 October, BCP was honored to welcome Zambia’s MoGEE, Hon. Eng. Collins Nzovu to our largest REDD+ Project, the Luangwa Community Forests Project.
BCP is a multi-award-winning leading Carbon Project Developer in Africa. Whom, together with The Ministry of Green Economy and Environment (MoGEE) and the 17 Chiefdoms it partners with in the Luangwa to Lower Zambezi valleys, is driving a new form of conservation finance that unites the community, wildlife, and climate positivity under the UN’s REDD+ benefit-sharing model.
Deforestation is a global problem that accounts for an estimated 11% of the world’s emissions. Africa emits less than 1% of global emissions, yet is projected to host the countries hardest hit by climate change, which is why developing nature-based solutions based on carbon finance in countries such as Zambia is integral to giving African countries more control, greater impact, and superior resources in the global fight against climate change.
BCP prepares to join the Zambian delegation’s attendance at COP27 in Egypt led by Minister Nzovu, to demonstrate to the World that an African company, in collaboration with the government is recognized on a global level as using climate finance to strengthen technologies and build capacity and resilience here in Zambia to combat climate change – with the capacity to share this knowledge regionally.
Hon. Eng. Collins Nzovu, MP recognized the role of the private sector, whose efforts, together with Government, are achieving positive impacts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, “There is a need to continue exerting effort towards supporting local communities through livelihoods projects. The establishment of carbon markets and pay-outs for environmental services is an innovative way of giving incentives to local communities to keep the trees standing”.
Hon Nzovu went on to add, “The Environmental Finance awards trophy is a testimony that the local communities and BioCarbon Partners are benefiting from the government’s good policies”.
The impact and pressure of climate change on indigenous populations and communities is ever mounting, with the link between poverty and deforestation intrinsically clear. Thus, to approach deforestation there is a need to use a credible form of carbon finance to tackle the root causes linked to the economic and social reasons behind why deforestation is taking place, to begin with. Such as a growing population placing heightened pressure on natural resources, unsustainable farming methods, illegal charcoal production, and poaching. Across both of BCP’s Projects, the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) and Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP), a total of 225,000 people are benefiting, and the livelihoods of over 37,000 households are being strengthened through direct payments to communities from revenue from forest carbon fees, employment, and livelihood support.
By the end of 2022 over $12 million will have been disbursed since inception to communities in the LCFP, which has resulted in a total of over 200 community-enhancing projects. With additional investment into livelihood projects to directly boost income at a household level, including climate-smart agriculture through the farmers’ extension model (currently supporting over 500 Lead Farmers –who in turn each teach 25 Follower Farmers), sustainable beekeeping, horticulture schemes, poultry farming, and goat rearing, and seed and farming equipment distribution.
BCP’s CEO, Nic Mudaly explains, “Ecosystem destruction continues to accelerate year on year. We can only manage what we can measure. At BCP one of the ways we are able to demonstrate substance is through our impacts. While most of us are familiar with the concept of carbon offsets, not too many people know exactly what a typical project looks like. Our 2021 impact report gives that insight into the benefit of carbon financing. As the population of our warming climate grows there is an imminent need to intensify our adaptation to climate-smart initiatives. The actors and beneficiaries are our local communities, institutions, and partners, all of whom play a critical role in the BCPs mission. Our projects have been our testament to a transforming green economy through carbon finance. Direct payments and livelihood restorations have positively resulted in a steady increase in household income, job creation, and essential services. To climate-vulnerable communities further impacted by the effects of COVID-19, climate finance through the sale of offsets has been a lifeline, all while conserving some of the world’s last remaining legacy landscapes that are home to critically endangered species”.
Nic continues, “We share our tremendous gratitude to the Zambian Government, namely the Forestry Department, Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment for paving the way and providing an opportunity for BCP to emerge as a leading project developer in Africa. This award is a win for us all!”
REDD+ has proven itself so revolutionary in the way that communities in the LCFP look at forest conservation, so much so that BCP is expanding nationally to Western, Central, North Western, Southern, and Copperbelt Province. With a feasibility study now complete the Carbon Developer is gearing into project development, pending the necessary approvals. On a regional scale, expansion is underway with BCP as the vessel to create this opportunity to share Zambian management and technical capacity in this sector with neighboring African countries. BCP is currently finalizing its feasibility study in partnership with Peace Parks Foundation in Limpopo, Mozambique. The plan is to verify an estimated 2.5 million hectares, with an official start date of early 2023.
With plans to expand regionally, BCP’s life-changing impacts and emission-reduction conservation efforts are only going to grow! Under our expansion goal, by 2030, BCP is set to deliver, avoiding 30 million tons of emissions annually, benefitting 3 million people, and partnering with communities across 11 million hectares of globally significant wildlife habitat.