|The LCFP (Luangwa Community Forests Project) – As Africa’s largest REDD+ project by hectarage, the distance from our Lusaka Head office to the northernmost Chitungulu Chiefdom by North Luangwa National Park stretches over roughly 850 kms. In order to more reliably serve our community and government partners, we added an 8th office in Lundazi town to support Mwanya and Chitungulu Chiefdoms, and to begin engaging with a possible new Chiefdom partner, Kazembe. Together, the 3 Chiefdoms cover a total of 138,967 hectares of vital ecosystem. Lundazi is home to Lukusuzi and Luambe National Parks, and borders both North and South Luangwa National Parks, making it a conservation ‘bridge’. Between Mwanya and Chitungulu alone, LCFP’s reach is so impactful that it is benefiting a total of 20,753 beneficiaries across 3,459 households.
Due to the remoteness of the area, the new Lundazi office is integral to streamlining operations, such as community scout deployment and community engagement; and to strengthen our partnership with our Chiefdom and government partners in the region.
“I share BCP’s goal of making conservation of wildlife habitat more valuable to my people. Since our partnership with BCP began 4 years ago, there have been such positive changes. I see a mindset change in our people, which is evident in the following: a reduction in cases of human-wildlife conflict, low findings of illegal fishing, and a drop in deforestation for charcoal and timber production”.
His Royal Highness, Chief Chitungulu
|In 2020, using forest carbon fees directly paid by BCP to the community, Mwanya Chiefdom installed solar lighting at Mkasanga Primary School and purchased a fiberglass boat for the Lukusuzi River crossing point; a risky site due to crocodiles in the rainy season. While, Chitungulu Chiefdom invested in boreholes, and in teachers’ housing in Kasamba, which has helped to prevent teachers from seeking employment elsewhere. These may seem like basic necessities; however, they are bringing life-changing impacts to the community members they are reaching.
|Zambia’s deforestation is among the highest in the world. Zambia loses forest four times the size of New York City to deforestation every year. That’s an average of 300,000 hectares of valuable wildlife habitat, mainly driven by charcoal production and unsustainable farming techniques. We understand that in order to address deforestation, we have to develop deeper partnerships to jointly tackle the root causes of why deforestation is taking place, to begin with. The LCFP is a partnership between Government, BCP, and 12 Chiefdoms in the Luangwa to Lower Zambezi valleys, that works to address key drivers of deforestation while benefitting local communities and supporting forest and wildlife restoration. The LCFP is enhancing the quality of life for 217,000 people in 36,000 households in one of Zambia’s most impoverished regions through a partnership-based approach.