BCP Incentivizes Conservation Through A Cash Dividend Project In Mweshang’ombe Zone

On 2nd September 2020, in partnership with the Zambian Government, and supported by The Mills Foundation, BCP launched the first-ever cash dividend pilot project; targeting 178 households from 6 villages in Mweshang’ombe zone of Bunda Bunda chiefdom.

The second cash installment of this widely popular initiative was distributed between 18-20th November in Mweshang’ombe Village. This one-year pilot scheme is an initiative that offers a direct way of incentivizing communities to co-manage and conserve forests in Rufunsa. By offering communities a direct cash incentive BCP’s goal is to unite households behind our mission of “Making conservation of wildlife habitat valuable to people”.

The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) in Zambia protects 40,126 hectares of forest in the Lower Zambezi ecosystem. The project partners with 7,182 people in Rufunsa District to conserve the forest through a set of livelihood and community development initiatives.

“People in this area are poor, and although we advise against deforestation, in some cases people are desperate and feel they have no other choice. We are so grateful to BCP for this opportunity, as village leaders, we try and encourage recipients of this pilot project to invest this money in school books and school uniforms so that the children here are able to receive an education. This way they are educated against deforestation and educated in the implications of climate change”
Headman Malilakufusa of Malilakufwa Village.

“These communities are predominantly subsistence farmers, and this is what they rely on as their income. We find that when weather conditions are perverse, more incidents of deforestation and poaching take place in this particular zone. We are hoping that through this incentive, people will not encroach on the forests because they are being provided with an alternative form of income”
Brighton Chama, Bundabunda BCP Chiefdom Lead.

Before LZRP, 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, thanks to the REDD+ Project in The Lower Zambezi there is a reduction of emissions by 188,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

“The money we receive in this way is helping us to buy food and supplies, and prevents people from turning to deforestation”
Radona Chikambo, Mweshang’ombe Village.

Help communities in LZRP by buying offsets today.

50 New Community Scouts Join The REDD + Team!

We are thrilled to share with you that on Monday 02 November, 50 BCP funded community scouts – 16 of whom are female, successfully graduated from an intense 3 month training course through DNPW (Department of National Parks and Wildlife) from Chunga Training Camp in Kafue National Park.

The Pass-out Parade was attended by distinguished guests – Acting Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Arts William Katonga, DNPW Director Dr. Chuma Simukonda, and Mumbwa District Commissioner, Pamela Chipongwe.

“Government is not only ensuring that wildlife is safe, but also injects capital into rural communities by creating employment and opportunities of ownership at a local level. Despite these efforts to empower and motivate local communities the illegal exploitation of wildlife and habitat destruction have continued to seriously threaten our collective effort to grow the sector”
William Katonga, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Arts.


William Katonga, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Arts presenting certificates to the scouts.

“The biggest challenge that we have is manpower for resource protection, so any form of training regarding resource protection personnel is very much welcome. We really appreciate what BCP has done because that is a way of addressing the biggest challenge that we have about manpower. This training came at the right time”.
Jarton Shawa, Senior Warden, Kafue NP, DNPW.

Of the graduating scouts, 34 will be employed by CRBs (Community Resource Boards) in Eastern Province, and 16 in Lusaka Province. BCP will support the CRBs to cover the costs of Community Scouts.  Community scout operations in REDD+ Zones are paramount to safeguarding the wildlife habitat that BCP strives to protect in partnership with communities and Government.

“BCP values our partnership with the Government of Zambia, and are grateful to DNPW, most especially Senior Wildlife Warden, Jarton Shawa’s Kafue training unit. The unit did an amazing job of moulding the Scouts. This training partnership increases the number of community scouts protecting Zambia’s wildlife and habitat for the future of our great nation through REDD+ financing.  We look forward to supporting further training to qualify these scouts as Honorary Forest Officers”.
Tim Parker, LCFP Project Manager

The addition of new scouts would not be possible without the valuable funding that BCP received from The Darwin InitiativeNational Geographic, and The Lion Recovery Fund. BCP now funds 105 community scouts in partnership with 13 Chiefdoms, which means BCP has almost doubled its efforts to support communities tackle poaching and encroachment in Community Forests.  Community scouts now represent over 50% of the people on BCP’s payroll of 205 people.  Community members from our Chiefdom partners make up 65% of these jobs. We are proud to be supporting local communities to provide skilled employment and safeguard habitat in this way.

“This is one important way of conserving wildlife, because if we look after our forests we can reduce the impacts of climate change. I am very happy to be working at the forefront of habitat protection in Zambia”.
Joyce Kamunga, BCP supported community scout, Petauke, Eastern Province

International Conservation Organizations Game Rangers International and Peace Parks Foundation Go Carbon Neutral

Game Rangers International and Peace Parks Foundation, in partnership with BCP have taken tremendous steps to protect the environment that they work so hard to preserve. Game Rangers International has taken the resounding move to offset carbon emissions generated for all of their operations, both inside and outside of Zambia for the first 6 months of 2020Peace Parks Foundation took the leadership stride to offset all of the emissions they created through their air travel for 2019, which brought their air travel emissions for 2019 to neutral.

Game Rangers International
Through Game Rangers International and BCP’s partnership in the Lower Zambezi Ecosystem, Game Rangers International learned about carbon offsets, and how they are key to the sustainable future of Zambian wild spaces:

“We, as conservation leaders in Zambia, have to demonstrate that we understand the impact our work has on the environment, both the positive and the negative. Our actions in the GMAs and National Parks are all focused on supporting Rangers and communities, but these activities have an environmental impact which we have a duty to mitigate. We have to lead by example, which is why we are committed to being a Carbon Neutral organization. We are committed to the ongoing relationship with BCP as we both have a vision for a sustainable future for Zambia”.
Jonathan Churcher, GRI CEO.

Peace Parks Foundation
Passionately protecting and restoring critical ecosystems, Peace Parks Foundation has made great strides to be eco-conscious with regards to investing significantly in solar energy, implementing anti-pollution and recycling initiatives, and putting measures in place to save water. Once Peace Parks partnered with BCP in 2015, they realized just how “carbon clever” they could be, and since then have worked with BCP on their road to being climate positive:

“Peace Parks is incredibly proud of our partnership with BCP and the tremendous impact they are having on climate, biodiversity, and communities through their REDD+ work in Lower Zambezi and through the LCFP. We look forward to expanding this partnership in transfrontier conservation areas in southern Africa. BCP ignited a spark in us to take the first steps towards carbon neutrality for our own organization as well”.
Kathy Bergs, PPF CDO.

 BCP
“Conservation and carbon-consciousness are naturally aligned. We commend Game Rangers International and Peace Park’s leadership and hope that conservation organizations around the world become climate positive. There are many great projects globally to offset from, including from our fellow Environmental Finance Award winners: Biofilica in Brazil and Bluesource in the USA. There are so many great projects doing great work to help people and the environment to suit your organization’s requirements, so please consider making the move to become climate positive for the future of our planet”.
Dr Hassan Sachedina – BCP CEO

Across both projects, BCP is benefiting the lives of 221,796 people through initiatives that include: access to clean water, health facilities, improved schools, and education in conservation farming.

Please visit our website to find out more about BCP.

BCP Announced Runner Up for Best Project Developer – Forestry and Land-Use in Environmental Finance’s Annual Voluntary Carbon Market Awards

Nine years in the making, the BCP (BioCarbon Partners) team is excited to share that we have placed runner up in Environmental Finance’s (EF) 11th Voluntary Carbon Market Rankings – the largest and most closely watched survey of the world’s voluntary carbon market.

This year EF received over 2,000 votes from around the world, and BCP featured in the awards table! Companies working in the voluntary carbon market were asked to nominate the leading service providers in the voluntary carbon market. The voting criteria focused on: efficiency and speed of transaction; reliability; innovation; quality of service provided and influence on the market, not just the volume of transactions handled.

BCP is one of Africa’s leading forest carbon offset developers, with two projects: The LCFP (Luangwa Community Forest Project) and The LZRP (Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project), between which BCP is protecting close to 535 million trees from deforestation across almost 1 million hectares. That is an annual average reduction of deforestation related emissions of 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide across both projects per year, which is the equivalent of removing 290,000 cars from the roads each year! Its hugely successful REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) projects fund forest protection and community development through the sales of carbon offsets.

“BCP has been working towards this award for 9 years, and we are elated to be awarded the place of runner up. In our category of award recipients, BCP is the only carbon company that works directly with reducing deforestation in Africa. Out of the 14 companies recognized across all of the award categories, BCP is the only one that is based solely in, and operates entirely out of an African country.

This award was won by our entire team, who work tirelessly to ensure the running of BCP, and we are delighted for our dynamic and extremely hardworking colleagues to have been given this recognition. Nor could we have achieved this esteemed award without the support of our valuable buyers, without whom we could not protect our project areas from deforestation. We are proud of our partnership with the Zambian Forestry Department and Department of National Parks and Wildlife, whose relationships are key to protecting the forests, liaising with the communities, and striving towards zero encroachment. In order to ensure the running success of BCP, the communities we work with need to be wholly part of the process to ensure its sustainability, and for this commitment from them – we are thankful. Lastly, we are tremendously grateful to all of those who recognize our achievements and who took the time to vote for us… next year we are aiming for Number 1!”
Joke Hoffman, BCP COO

BCP’s mission is “Making conservation of wildlife habitat valuable to people”. Deforestation accounts for an estimated 15% of the world’s CO2 emissions, and Zambia’s is amongst the highest in the world. Zambia loses forest four times the size of New York City to deforestation each year… that’s an average of 300,000 hectares of valuable wildlife habitat depleted every year!

“Our partnership with BCP has enhanced the livelihoods of our communities and has given us a much greater appreciation of our forests. An example of how this partnership has benefited us is the provision of 900 beehives by BCP to our communities, and the 200 farmers across the Chiefdom who have been trained in conservation farming by BCP. Both of these initiatives provide people in the communities with a source of income that was not available before they entered into this partnership with BCP”.
HRH Chieftainess Msoro, Msoro Chiefdom, Mfuwe

Across both projects, BCP is benefiting the lives of 221,796 people through initiatives that include: access to clean water, health facilities, improved schools, education in conservation farming. 

To find out how you can buy carbon offsets visit our website.

Sky Trails Zambia Crowned One of Africa’s First Carbon Neutral Airlines

Sky Trails Zambia has achieved a major conservation milestone over August by becoming one of the first African, carbon neutral airlines during 2020! This pioneering carbon neutral status is a direct result of their partnership with BioCarbon Partners (BCP), in collaboration with the Zambian Government.

The company has offset emissions for its entire fleet for 2020 to date, in this industry-leading status.  Sky Trails Zambia has achieved this significant accolade by offsetting all of its measurable and identifiable carbon consumption from all of its business operations through the purchase of Verified Carbon Units.

Months on from the devastating toil that Covid-19 has taken on the tourism industry in Zambia, the announcement is a true testament to Sky Trails Zambia’s commitment to put conservation at the forefront of its business objectives.

“Sky Trails Zambia was established specifically to support conservation work and has carried out a great many hours of work in anti-poaching, wildlife surveys, logistics for conservation projects and transport of tourists to the less accessible destinations where tourism income is vital to conservation work. However, we remained with the anathema of hydrocarbon fuels being core to the operation of our business.  Remote carbon offset schemes which often had very questionable outcomes were distinctly unappealing. However, when the opportunity arose to offset all our carbon footprint through a project in Zambia aimed at the conservation of national landscape, supporting wildlife conservation, and feeding the resources through the under-developed local communities, it presented a perfect opportunity for us to become carbon neutral and thus enhance our underlying environmental objectives.”

Edmund Farmer – CEO, Accountable Manager for Sky Trails Zambia

Through BCP, funds generated from the sale of Sky Trails’ carbon offsets are re-invested into the Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) to fund community projects and various livelihood initiatives:

“We have all been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and it is telling to see organizations still investing in conservation. It demonstrates just how important safeguarding Zambia’s natural resources is to Sky Trails. The LCFP is the largest REDD+ Project in Africa and to the best of our knowledge, the largest REDD+ project in the World in terms of quantified social beneficiaries, supporting close to 217,000 beneficiaries. Hand in hand with supporting the communities, it contributes to conservation efforts through the protection of nearly a million hectares of threatened wildlife habitat and in turn, wildlife. We know that by investing in people that we are going to help combat climate change by protecting our forests.”

Dr. Hassan Sachedina – BCP CEO

Sky Trails Zambia

Founded in 2003 by Edmund Farmer, Sky Trails was started up in Kasanka National Park, where Edmund was the manager of an innovative public-private conservation initiative. Sky Trails was formed around the need to move tourists between destinations in the north of Zambia and provide aerial support to conservation work in Zambia and beyond. From one aircraft operation, Sky Trails has grown into one of the foremost charter companies in Zambia with a fleet of six airplanes and one helicopter. Whilst tourism is the largest component of work today, the company also supports conservation projects and has an aircraft maintenance facility.

BCP

BCP is a Zambian-based social enterprise, which develops and manages long term forest carbon projects in Zambia. It is a leading African, carbon offset development company that partners with local communities to create environmental awareness and improve the quality of life for local communities. The current focus of BCP is on implementing and extending REDD+ projects in the greater Zambezi-Luangwa ecosystem with plans to extend our projects in the Kafue ecosystem in Zambia. BCP has certified two successful REDD+ projects in Zambia; The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) and The Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP), combining an area of almost 1 million hectares, and 224,000 beneficiaries. Both projects have been validated to Community, Climate, and Biodiversity (CCB) triple gold standards (validation) and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) verification.

Third Time’s a Charm for Team #24 Eco-Charcoal in Monumental Triumph for Conservation Education in this Year’s Elephant Charge

Over the weekend (26/09/2020) Eco-Charcoal took part in The Fuchs 2020 Elephant Charge for its third year running. The Elephant Charge is an annual event that challenges teams of cars and motorbikes to complete a gruelling course through the Zambian bush. The Charge is held to raise money for conservation in Zambia. Its focus over the last 13 years is conservation through education, with the money raised from the Charge going to 11 Conservation organisations across Zambia. This year the event raised $144,644 in total, $40,000 of which was raised by Team #24 Eco-Charcoal! Overall, since its inception the event has raised a total of $1,176,284 for conservation in Zambia!

Team #24 Eco-Charcoal

In 2018, Team Eco-Charcoal raised a modest $1,300; determined to beat this, 2019 saw the team raise $6,000. This year, however, in the midst of Covid-19, and the devastating impact it is having on conservation, the team knew that it was vital to raise as much money as possible for conservation education. Proving that third time’s a charm, Team Eco-Charcoal raised $40,000; the equivalent of K800,000. That is the second highest amount ever raised in dollars, and the highest kwacha amount raised in the Charge’s 13-year history. The team went from never winning an award at the Charge, to coming home in 2020 with not one, but two awards, winning The Shortest Net Distance Award and The Highest Sponsorship Raised.

“2020 has been a tough year- the copper price has dropped 30% since January, tourism has taken a colossal hit as a result of Covid-19, businesses across the board are in a state of stress, inflation has spiked, and unemployment is rising. We are seeing the impacts that Covid-19 is having first hand through the communities that we work with.  It is pushing people who are already facing hardships, living in some of the most vulnerable communities in Zambia, to the absolute brink. As a result, we fear that people will turn to deforestation and poaching, which is something Eco-Charcoal is trying to educate communities against doing. It was for this very reason that we knew this year we had to raise more money than we had ever done before. Once we started fundraising I was blown away by people’s capacity to give, with our board graciously offering to match any amount raised up until $20,000! I cannot thank our supporters enough for their generosity in helping us reach our target”.

Dr. Hassan Sachedina – Team Eco-Charcoal driver and BCP CEO.

Eco-Charcoal

Deforestation causes 15% of global carbon emissions, and Zambia’s deforestation rate is amongst the highest in the world. One contributing factor to this is that only 27% of Zambians have access to electricity, leaving charcoal as the source of cooking, light and heat. On top of this, charcoal production is one of the primary income sources for many rural Zambians. BCP created Eco-Charcoal in response to this clear need to create a legal, sustainable alternative product for the market.

Probably the best Eco-Charcoal in the world – Eco-Charcoal is Zambia’s premium lumpwood charcoal which is sustainably produced to protect Zambian forests. It is 100% pure and natural, and burns 20% longer than regular charcoal. It is produced using a modern method that reduces harmful smoke and emissions during use, which reduces the risk of harmful inhalation by its users. Eco-Charcoal currently partners with 31 community producers we call “Charpreneurs” in a bid to provide fair and safe employment for rural Zambians.

To get your hands on a bag please visit us at:

BCP (BioCarbon Partners)
Leopards Hill Business Park
Lusaka, Zambia

Or from your nearest Shoprite branch at:Cosmopolitan /East Park/Twin Palms/Waterfall/Manda Hill,as well as: The Butcher’s Block in Leopard’s Hill, Kalimba Crocodile Farm, AMCA in Kabulonga, Raneta’s in Kabulonga, Little Gem in Lilayi and The Cheapest Shop in Ibex Hill

Phone us on: +260 976 321 164
Drop us an email at: ecsales@biocarbonpartners.com

Or visit our website

Zambia sets global benchmark for community forest conservation

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Twelve communities in the Luangwa Valley are benefitting from direct cash payments of K50 million ($2.3 million) thanks to a partnership with forest conservation business BCP (BioCarbon Partners). 

The ground-breaking Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) and Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP), facilitated by BCP in partnership with communities, the Zambian Forestry Department and Department of National Parks and Wildlife have resulted in direct monetisation of forest resources by local people.

The public-private-community projects set a new standard in forest conservation that puts the nation at the forefront of global efforts to combat climate change, while protecting forest resources and creating livelihood opportunities for local people.

His Royal Highness Chief Bunda Bunda said: “My community has worked hard towards this REDD+ verification success for Zambia. We thank the government for helping our Chiefdom to access REDD+ benefits and to BCP for the partnership, which has increased employment, livelihoods and development projects.”

LZRP is the world’s first REDD+ project to pass seven Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) audits, enabling income to be generated from credits that offset the carbon footprints of organisations producing greenhouse gases.  LZRP was also the first REDD+ project in Africa to achieve triple-gold validation under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard for exceptional social impact. 

BCP CEO Dr Hassan Sachedina said: “We are privileged to support government and community efforts to conserve the Luangwa-Lower Zambezi ecosystem, one of the greatest remaining wildlife strongholds on earth.

“This has been a tough year due to the pandemic; tourism and conservation funding have declined, but through the extraordinary efforts of our partners such as Forestry Department, the LCFP has channelled K50 million into communities in 2020. We are grateful for USAID backing the LCFP’s development.  This is just the beginning of a long-term, self-sustainable conservation model which benefits communities and wildlife”.

At 944,000 hectares, the triple-gold CCB validated LCFP is Africa’s largest project by hectares and improves the lives of 217,000 people in 12 chiefdoms, while LZRP covers 40,000 hectares and benefits 7,000 people in 1 chiefdom.

About BCP

BCP is a leading African conservation social enterprise with a mission to make wildlife habitat conservation valuable to people. BCP employs over 160 people across 13 chiefdoms in Zambia, partnering to help conserve 1 million hectares of habitat in critical ecosystems.

www.biocarbonpartners.com

Organic Farming Scaling Livelihoods in Sandwe

The Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) and Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) extend across both Eastern and Lusaka Provinces. The two projects encompass communities that are among those worst impacted by poverty as well as low and erratic rainfall in Zambia. One of the fundamental objectives of the REDD+ strategy to forest conservation is to contribute significantly to the reduction in nutrition insecurity within the areas of implementation.

Over the last few months, BCP, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, have trained 110 Lead Farmers within the LCFP and LZRP project area. The trained Lead Farmers are part of the conservation farming livelihood initiative that is aimed at increasing food security and improving nutrition for the project beneficiaries. On average, we expect the 110 Lead Farmers to cascade their knowledge to Follow Farmers and reach approximately 660 Farmers and 3,960 beneficiaries in total. These new Lead Farmers are taught how to farm organically using climate smart farming techniques that avoid chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and growth regulators that are not only costly to farmers but are also known to have a harmful effect on the environment.

Organic farming systems rely on a number of innovative techniques including crop rotation, crop residues, animal manures, green manure, and bio fertilizers. Mr. Nafitali Shawa is one of BCP’s successful Lead Farmers within Kamutu Village in Sandwe Chiefdom (LCFP) who is practicing organic farming. He utilizes crop rotation and a technique called “Stover Management” which involves the use of retaining leaves and stalks on a field after harvesting as a form of organic fertilizer instead of burning.

In addition to these common practices, Mr. Shawa and his wife, Telesa Banda, enhance their soil fertility through the addition of cow manure from their herd of cattle. Organic farmers build healthy soils by nourishing the living components of the soil that release, transform, and transfer nutrients. Soil that has been organically nourished has a better soil structure and a greater capacity for water retention.

Mr. Shawa’s 2019/2020 harvest season has been distinctively productive without the use of any chemical fertilizers. He planted 10kg of hybrid maize seed which yielded 60 x 50kg bags of maize! Through crop rotation, Mr. Shawa also planted 30kgs of soya beans from which he was able to harvest 21 x 50kg bags. During the same season, Mr. Shawa planted 10kgs of groundnuts and was able to harvest 15 x 50kg bags unshelled.

By using climate smart farming techniques, Mr. Shawa has been able to support his family with food for a whole year, while still producing excess crops for sale. Through the sales, Mr. Shawa has been able to send his two children to school as well as purchase a Smart phone for his Grade 12 son to complete eLearning during Covid-19 pandemic.

Our hope is to support at least 34% of our project households within the next 3 years by improving agricultural techniques that result in increased food security and general quality of life.

Lending a Hand in a Time of Need

As the world adjusts to the “new normal” of face masks, social distancing, and regular sanitization, here at BCP, we are focusing on the need to protect the health of our families, our staff, our partners, and our community.

Over the last few days we have seen spikes of over 15% in cases and 40% in deaths in Zambia which is a sign that now, more than ever, we need to be vigilant.  Supporting our team, our partners and the communities we work with through these trying times is a top priority for BCP. In addition to the measures that we have taken in our office, we are making every effort to extend the same level of support to our partner Chiefdoms, as well as small businesses across Zambia. 

In April, we donated 3.5 tons of soap to cater to each household in each Chiefdom in the Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) to help support household sanitation efforts.  A total of 35,000 households benefitted. In July, we donated 100 wash basins and 3,000 re-usable masks to Mambwe District Education Board for use in various schools around South Luangwa National Park.

As the world enters an economic recession not seen since the Great Depression of 1929, we are seeing dramatic decreases in tourism and funding available to conserve African biodiversity strongholds.  Never more than now is it important to try to support these organizations who are doing great complementary work in the same ecosystems where BCP operates.  Our hope is that when we emerge from COVID, that the “ecosystem” of businesses and NGOs supporting the same Chiefdoms as us will still be strong. 

In an effort to aid small businesses that are facing unprecedented adversity, BCP’s Board rallied an emergency fund to provide financial grants to tourism businesses and conservation NGOs in Eastern and Lusaka Provinces.  The facility named the “REDD+ Emergency Business Support Fund” disbursed 1 million Kwacha (US$56,000) as grants to 14 small tourism businesses and NGOs. This fund will help these organizations to pay community employees subsistence packages. The grant is set to impact 6,876 beneficiaries directly and over 61,600 beneficiaries indirectly.

BCP also became a member of BCCET (Business Council Covid19 Emergency Taskforce) in Zambia. This council was created to bring together leaders from the private business sector to coordinate efforts to mitigate the financial, economic, and social effects of Covid-19.

We believe that it is critical to stand united and combine all efforts to support both our communities and the Government in the fight against Covid-19.

 As a reminder, please remember to vote for BCP through the Environmental Finance Awards under the category “Best Project Developer – Forestry and Land-Use”. Entries close on 31 July 2020. 

Women Leading Livelihoods in Forest Conservation

Through a partnership with Forestry Department, BCP-supported livelihood initiatives are benefitting women, their families, and their communities. In the Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP), the livelihood initiatives are providing women with the education, resources, and support to grow their own businesses.

The increased income from forest conservation opportunities that this gender mainstreaming initiative provides has helped to not only encourage women to step into positions of leadership, but also increase the wellbeing of their families. Today, we are proud to highlight two female leaders who have grown their own bee-keeping and agro-forestry businesses as a result of this conservation livelihood partnership.

Bee-Keeping: Mrs. Charity Chulu – Nsefu Chiefdom

Mrs. Charity Chulu, pictured here with her family, is a bee-keeping farmer in Chitunda Village, Nsefu Chiefdom. She is delighted with her success:  she has harvested and sold honey through a direct to export market partner of BCP which has allowed her to pay school tuition fees for her children for the entire year.

“We shall continue to keep our forest intact because it has brought a lot of benefits, one of them being beehives which has given us money to send our children to school. It also brings a good environment to our villages as it has got a part to play in bringing rainfall and good weather all around” – Mrs. Charity Chulu

Bee-keeping is a valuable and sustainable livelihood that has brought Mrs. Chulu, and many other bee-keeping farmers within the LCFP partner Chiefdoms additional income to support their families. There are currently 11,200 bee-hives deployed supporting 1,120 households and in turn, 6,720 beneficiaries.

Agro-forestry: Mrs. Enny Simufwi –Bunda Bunda Chiefdom

Mrs. Enny Simufwiis the Lead Agro-forestry Farmer in Mweeshang’ombe community zone, Bunda Bunda Chiefdom. BCP first came to know Enny in 2013 as one of the earliest trained conservation farmers under the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project.  Today, she leads and supports nine other agro-forestry farmers. Through BCP’s partnership with the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture, Enny has been able to improve her farming practices and increase her groundnut and maize yields using conservation farming techniques. Enny has also planted 78 citrus trees providing not only a source of income, but also a source of added nutrition from the fruits.

Enny had a lot to say about her flourishing orchard and their fascinating benefits.

“I planted mangos and oranges for home consumption. It is part of Agro-forestry.” Pointing to a Sennas ciamea Tree she adds, “Rainfall here is good because of these trees. When we plant these trees, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere and also help with rainfall.”

She adds, “the Faidherbia Albida is used as ‘green manure’. The leaves drop in October and November and make the soil so fertile.” Moving on to the Neem Tree she adds: “These leaves are used as medicine for chickens and people and cure about 200 diseases.”

Our ambitions are to scale up nutrition security in the 13 Chiefdoms we partner with over the next 36 months.  It’s an ambitious target, but it’s a necessary one.  According to Government statistics, some of these community areas of Eastern Zambia have some of the highest poverty and food insecurity rates in the country.  Our goal is to change this through forest protection.  In order to live BCP’s mission of making conservation of wildlife habitat valuable to people, we have to pursue strong partnerships targeting the most vulnerable households and scaling Enny and Charity’s stories across thousands of households.  We are proud that BCP’s partnerships with Government are building livelihoods and continuing to improve the livelihoods of women, their communities, and their farmlands and forests, and we are proud of Enny and Charity empowering their families through trees.