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Lower Zambezi Community Forest Conservation

Working with 8,000 community members across 28 villages to improve land use practices and maintain a healthy ecosystem

BioCarbon Partners, Zambia
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Project overview

  • Region: Africa

  • Project type: Agricultural, Forestry and landscapes

  • Standards: CCB, VCS

The Lower Zambezi Community Forest Conservation project works with local villages to improve land use practices and maintain a healthy ecosystem across approximately 33,000 hectares of Miombo forest; one of the last intact areas of forest in Lusaka Province. As Zambia’s first active REDD+ project, it is establishing a range of initiatives to tackle deforestation pressures including training local communities on improved and diversified agricultural practices; producing eco-charcoal; and establishing organisation networks to monitor and protect the reserve.

Sustainable Impacts
  • Biodiversity protection
  • Climate adaptation
  • Economic growth
  • Education and skills
  • Energy access
  • Financial security
  • Food security
  • Infrastructure development
  • Job creation
  • Water stewardship
  • Water stewardship: Inefficient charcoal production and agricultural land conversion exacerbates soil and groundwater degradation. Through forest protection, erosion control and fire management, the project is helping manage the watershed and hydrological systems. The project is also creating and refurbishing borehole wells to help communities access free, clean drinking water.
  • Financial security: Agricultural and livestock initiatives help to improve food security and enhance community incomes by reducing expenditure while generating possible surplus that may be sold. Other initiatives to build business capacity, access new markets, and create jobs include sustainable honey production and an eco-charcoal programme.
  • Education and skills: Beyond community training activities, the project is co-funding five teachers’ salaries in two community schools, providing supplies for children of the poorest households, and initiating an environmental curriculum.
  • Energy access: The eco-charcoal programme is working to increase the share of more sustainable energy resources and increase earnings from legally produced charcoal for low income producers by identifying market demand in Lusaka.

The project is creating a buffer for The Lower Zambezi National Park and Mana Pools National Park - both areas of global biodiversity significance.

Biomass accounts for 70% of the country's energy demands, contributing to the loss of 4% of forest cover each year.