BCP’s Response to COVID-19: A Message of Hope

I live in a small tourist town that is the gateway to South Luangwa National Park, one of Zambia’s most prized and visited tourism destinations. Today it’s a ghost town. The world is facing an unprecedented crisis, and Zambia feels it deeply. As of 30 March there are 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Zambia, and there are calls for the President to announce a state of emergency. The copper price (which sustains our economy) has dropped 30% since January, tourism has collapsed, most businesses are in a state of panic, inflation has spiked, and unemployment is rising. I’m scared to even think what could happen if the infection rate becomes exponential in a country with such under developed public health capacity. 

At BCP, our bottom line is threatened, yet our role and our vision remain more important than ever.

Climate finance, which BCP channels into communities, is critical. With the collapse of photographic and hunting revenue streams, combined with the Luangwa River flooding farms and a reduced tax base for government, the climate finance channelled by the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) and the Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) are central to peoples’ livelihoods in our partner communities.  In 2020, the benefits we commit to communities will be over $3 million. These funds will primarily go to agriculture support, health, water, and educational infrastructure. 

Despite the crisis, our work and our support continues, and there are some additional measures we are taking:

  • Our board has approved a USD $50,000 grant to support tourism related community jobs. This is to help businesses in the chiefdoms where we have partnered to provide subsistence packages to community employees. Our contribution is part of a wider private sector coalition effort to support government.
  • Where we can, we also fund micro-support packages, for instance we donated soap to every single household (1,200 in total) in the LZRP to help with sanitization.  Our policy of buying Zambian products where possible takes on more meaning as we do our best to support local businesses stay afloat. 
  • For our co-workers, fondly dubbed BCPeople, we have assured them that our goal is to keep everyone employed throughout the year. We have also invested in soap, wet wipes, sanitizer and face masks for all six of our offices, and for each vehicle in our fleet.  Staff who are mobile are equipped with sanitizer and masks.  Staff using public transport are collected directly from home.  Our offices now run strict sanitization every two hours of hands and door handles. 

We have also increased pay for the lowest paid members of BCP staff to 18% higher than the statutory minimum.  We are introducing a health subsidy to help buy healthy food for all staff in our six offices.  We have offered staff remote work options, and empowered staff to take all their annual leave even if not accrued.  In March, a bonus pool from 2019 was paid out.  We have introduced a USD 2,800 Emergency Loan Fund to help staff who face emergencies.  In January, BCP staff, most of whom live in remote areas with limited employment possibilities, received an average increment of 10% across the board.  All staff and their families have access to a company medical fund.  To take the sting out of cooking fuel costs, a subsidy has also been provided to BCP staff to buy Eco-Charcoal at reduced costs.

While we hear of people at risk of losing employment, we are creating up to 80 additional jobs.  In 2020, we hope to have 202 people employed, which indirectly benefits 1,212 people who depend on our salaried staff.

We have formed an Emergency Response Team and put the company on ‘red alert’ where we monitor the situation by the hour, not by the day.  We are ready to shut down any office within 30 minutes to self-isolate if an outbreak is reported in a nearby neighbourhood. 

While this crisis is unprecedented in our lifetimes, our work is so important at community level that we need to keep climate funds flowing in order for rural communities to access basic staples and services during these difficult times.  We are fortunate to have such strong and supportive partners who, in spite of their own economic challenges, are staying true to their carbon reduction commitments.  We plan to  keep investing and growing and sharing our message of hope and optimism. I am reminded of navigating a small aircraft through a storm front between Mfuwe to Lusaka.  When the turbulence, rain and lightning got rough, I reverted to my training and focused on 2 instruments to keep the wings level wings level and to stay out of the center of the storm. Eventually we landed trouble free. I am optimistic COVID will be the same. And imagine, weathering the storm based on a model that supports climate change mitigation and conservation efforts – that message keeps me optimistic.

We will continue to review the situation and to act in the best interest of our people. 

Here’s how YOU can help! Click on the link below to purchase offsets from our Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) to help support our communities. Click the “Buy Offsets” tab in the top right hand corner of the page. For every 10 tons of carbon offsets purchased, we retire an additional 1 ton, making your purchase ‘climate positive’!

https://www.biocarbonpartners.com/

1,200 pieces of soap delivered to a partner Chiefdom

Written by BCP’s CEO, Dr. Hassan Sachedina

BCP Celebrates Staff Appreciation Day

“It was so memorable in that other than sending thank you messages. It felt like BCP as a company was bringing everyone together to ‘hug’ them all at once and saying ‘thank you’. You know that special feeling when someone says ‘thank you’ to your face” Darlington Chipita
 
Darlington Chipita, fondly known as “001” was BCP’s first employee, signed on in 2012. Darlington, along with all of the BCP staff, shared a memorable day together in Mfuwe on November 2019, dubbed “Zikomo Kwambiri Day” (thank you in ChiNyanja), in an effort to show staff appreciation and give thanks for their commitment, hard work and dedication to our mission.  ZK Day was a fun day of team-building activities, sharing BCP’s history with new staff, annual awards, eating together, and more than a few beers.
 
BCP’s Mission is to “Make Conservation of Wildlife Habitat Valuable to People” and more important than profit to BCP, are our Co-workers, fondly dubbed ‘BCPeople’.  ZK Day was an example of our commitment to our team. BCP invested heavily in transporting all staff from all 5 offices across 6 districts and 2 Provinces to connect, bond, award long-servers as well as give recognition to staff who consistently go above and beyond to support our mission.  Over 90 staff were hosted in Mfuwe, gateway to South Luangwa National Park.

BCP is the 5th highest scoring Certified B Corporation in the World of about 3,300 companies (https://bcorporation.net/about-b-corps).  B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, staff care, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.  We care deeply about our Co-workers and it reflects in our B Corp score.
 

In light of the recent ‘Women’s Day, celebrated on 9 March 2020, we give thanks to our leading ladies that drive our business forward! Although women account for only 14% of our payroll, each one makes a powerful contribution to our mission. In 4 out of our 5 offices, we have women in important roles.
BCP’s CEO, Dr. Hassan Sachedina adds: “My hope and goal is for the percent of women in our workforce to increase to 50% in the future and for women to be working in 100% of BCP’s soon to be 7 offices.”
 
A company is only as strong as the team driving its operations forward.  BCP’s focus has shifted from fundraising, and bootstrapping VCS and CCB certification.  It has shifted to a focus on our people, our values (what we call our ‘Roots’), our culture, and a focus on making our two projects the best implemented REDD+ projects in the world within 2 years.  BCP believes that the best asset we could possibly invest in is our team of performers. It is possible that BCP’s 2 projects benefit the most number of people, more than any REDD+ project on earth.  We are immensely proud that this has been achieved by a team that is 98% African-born.  A team whose values are clearly underlined and a team whose passion and energy for wildlife conservation and community impact exceed the boundaries of their prescribed duties. We are eternally humbled and grateful to our extraordinary team for their extraordinary drive, energy, passion, commitment and hard work. “ZIKOMO KWAMBIRI”.

Protecting 1 million hectares of Zambian forests – Eni, Peace Parks and BCP Partner to sustainably protect indigenous woodlands

Following an announcement by Biocarbon Partners (BCP) that the Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) was successfully validated and verified by the Verified Carbon Standard and validated to Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA)  triple gold standards for exceptional social impact, we are proud to announce a partnership between BCP, Eni and Peace Parks Foundation that will greatly contribute to the project’s long-term sustainability.

The LCFP is a partnership between Government, 12 Chiefdoms with a population of 173,000 people and BCP to enhance protection of a biodiversity corridor between the Lower Zambezi and Luangwa National Parks in Zambia.
 
Zambia’s deforestation amount by landcover of indigenous forests and valuable wildlife habitat annually is ranked the highest in Africa approaching 300,000 hectares a year. This not only contributes to global climate change, but also exacerbates the loss of already threatened wildlife species that call these forests their home, such as the African wild dog, elephant, lion as well as locally threatened species such as sable, roan and ground hornbill. Since 2012, BCP has worked with the Zambian Government and local communities to create new value from wildlife habitat protection through REDD+.
 
REDD+ is a mechanism to fund forest protection and community development through sales of carbon offsets. To incentivise participation in these forest conservation initiatives, rural communities receive performance-based incentives from the return on the carbon sales, that can be used to fund local infrastructure and social development projects. The LCFP is Africa’s largest REDD+ project by hectarage at 944,000 hectares.
 
A key risk to the success of the LCFP is to continue to deliver impactful benefits and alternative livelihoods to local communities.  LCFP aims to catalyse a conservation economy in Eastern Zambia that will create jobs, improve social conditions and attract new investment. 
 
The new 20-year agreement signed between BCP, Peace Parks Foundation and Eni aims to address this risk and ensure that LCFP communities economically transform alongside improved conservation co-management of key wildlife habitats. Eni’s step to partner with an African conservation NGO and an African social enterprise in a multi-year, multi-project pipeline plan is a pioneering leadership step.
 
Antonio Baldassarre, Senior Vice President REDD+ and Africa Program for Eni stated that: “Eni is one of Africa’s largest energy investors and has been active in the continent since 1954.  To Eni, protecting African forests and biodiversity, creating community wealth are logical and important components on how we operate and how we can contribute to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals, all important constituences of our decarbonization strategy.  The scale and longevity of this Partnership will help ensure LCFP can continue to be a leading conservation project recognised for its quality and positive contribution towards both the people and landscape of Zambia.”   
 
Mr. Werner Myburgh, CEO of Peace Parks Foundation added: “The biggest challenge of our time is to ensure co-existence between humans and nature, and this project is an exemplary conservation success story, because not only will this be achieved, but both will truly thrive. We laud Eni for stepping up to join a partnership that is leading the way in making an impact at a scale that is vital to help mitigate climate change and maintain biodiversity.”
 
According to Dr. Hassan Sachedina, BCP CEO: “Successful community-based conservation efforts to reduce deforestation requires sustainable incentives.  Signing a 20 year partnership agreement de-risks our community partners and resonates deeply with BCP’s mission of making conservation of wildlife habitat valuable to people.  In 2020, direct payments to 12 communities will be $2.6 million (38 Million Zambian Kwacha).”

In 2018, Peace Parks facilitated a historic seven-year offset purchase agreement for BCP’s forest carbon work with luxury goods company, Richemont. Richemont’s commitment to reduce their company emissions through BCP offset purchases also support ongoing forest conservation and social impact projects in Zambia.

Eni

Eni is a global integrated energy company operating in 67 Countries. We concretely support a just energy transition, with the objective of preserving our planet and promoting an efficient and sustainable access to energy for all. Our work is based on passion and innovation, on our unique strengths and skills, on the equal dignity of each person, recognizing diversity as a key value for human development, on the responsibility, integrity and transparency of our actions. We believe in the value of long term partnerships with the countries and communities where we operate, bringing long-lasting prosperity for all. Our path to decarbonization aims to make the Company carbon neutral in the long term, developing an integrated energy transition plan, leveraging efficiency maximization and direct emission reduction, promoting an energy mix with a low carbon impact, developing circular economy and offset initiatives through forestry projects development. Finally, a key role will be played by new technologies use for the capture and use of CO2 emitted.

BCP

BCP (BioCarbon Partners) is a Zambian-based social enterprise, which develops and manages long term forest carbon projects in Zambia. We are 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. Both projects have been validated to Community, Climate and Biodiversity (CCB) triple gold standards (validation) and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) verification; 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 at approximately 173,000 beneficiaries.  www.biocarbonpartners.com

Peace Parks
 
The Peace Parks dream is to reconnect Africa’s wild spaces to create a future for man in harmony with nature. In order to achieve this vision the Foundation works to renew and preserve large, functional ecosystems that stretch across international boundaries. Peace Parks engages with governments to secure protected land, and channel investment into development of transboundary conservation areas.  The organisation plans and implements innovative strategies that revitalise habitat integrity, restore ecological functionality, and protect biodiversity. The Foundation develops nature-based tourism and enterprise opportunities to ensure the long-term sustainability of protected areas. At the same time, it focuses on communities living in and around these wild spaces –capacitating them in the sustainable use of natural resources and unlocking opportunities for them to derive equitable benefits from conservation.

Investing in Education through Forest Conservation: Luembe Chiefdom Schools Upgraded

The launch and hand over of the projects were graced by the District Council Chairman, His Royal Highness, Senior Chief Luembe and the District Education Secretary on 15th December 2019

The Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) is the largest REDD+ project in Africa by hectarage.  The LCFP partnership between Government, 12 Chiefdoms and BCP enhances conservation of globally important wildlife habitat in the Lower Zambezi to Luangwa corridor of Zambia.  The success or failure of LCFP will depend upon communities realizing adequate benefits of community-based forest conservation.  A key LCFP tool to support enhanced community livelihoods is through the use of ‘conservation fees’: performance-based fees which depend upon the successful conservation of community forests.  Conservation fees are managed through Community Resource Boards (CRB) in partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and BCP.

BCP is pleased to report that the Luembe Chiefdom CRB successfully rehabilitated 2 classrooms and a Teacher’s House costing $18,300.00 in conservation fees.  The infrastructure was officially launched in December 2019 by the Nyimba District Council Chairman, His Royal Highness Senior Chief Luembe and the District Education Board Secretary.

These projects are significant because Chikwasha and Mbilisao are located on the Lukusashi River, and roads linking both sides of the Chiefdom do not exist.  Chikwasha is reached via a two-day drive from the other side of the Chiefdom.  As a result, development investments in this part of the Chiefdom are limited.  As Senior Chief Luembe stated: “Mbilisao is a three-day walk from the Palace but it is important to share REDD+ benefits in all the front-line villages protecting our community forest. The upgrading of educational infrastructure is a huge boost in my communities.”

As an example of the public-private-community partnership, the Ministry of Education has since introduced a permanently based, trained teacher; This is an important development in a remote community where teacher retention is difficult without decent housing.  The two schools impact 380 households of approximately 2,300 people.

Mr. William Soko, DNPW Area Warden stated that: “The support BCP gives to the community through conservation fees from selected protected areas which the community has set aside in Luembe Chiefdom has helped the community to generate extra revenue which is being used for community projects such as construction of schools and recruitment of community scouts. The areas BCP is helping to protect is also the habitat for wild animals.”

BCP has secured a line of infrastructure investments into Luembe Chiefdom since 2014 in order to create value for communities through forest protection. Over US$ 180,000 has been invested into teachers’ houses, classrooms, boats and a hammer mill.  Of Luembe’s ten Village Action Groups, eight (or 80%) have been beneficiaries of this infrastructure.  Conservation fees over the last 3 years were an opportunity for CRBs to build capacity, managing carbon finance before larger conservation fees were secured following VCS verification of LCFP; in 2020 alone the secured conservation fee amount is 38 Million Kwacha (US$ 2.5 million) for 12 Chiefdoms.

Infrastructure investments chosen by the communities are part of an approach BCP refers to as a “quality of life” approach.  As Dr. Hassan Sachedina, BCP’s CEO describes: “Infrastructure investments are part of a broader strategy BCP implements to enhance access to clean water, health and education as well as investments into agriculture and off farm cash incomes like honey.  If I lost access today to either of clean water, nutrition security or accessible health, my quality of life would plummet.  It shows how trans-formative some of these investments can be.  It’s ambitious but BCP targets a measurable increases in household level incomes and quality of life in communities within 5 years of a project’s VCS verification”.

Mr. Mundia Akende, BCP’s Site Operations Manager for Nyimba also added: “The recent education projects have cheered up a lot of people in the communities of Mbilisao and Chikwasha since the community started receiving Conservation fees. The teachers house which has been rehabilitated, was started by the Government in 1983 but could not be finished. Now, through forest protection, the community has generated funds that will see the children of Mbilisao and Chikwasha have a better learning environment.”

Before: The Mbilisao Primary School classrooms before rehabilitation
After: The Mbilisao Primary School classrooms after rehabilitation

Africa’s Largest REDD+ Project by Hectarage Verified in Zambia

BCP is pleased to announce that the Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) has been successfully validated and verified by the Verified Carbon Standard.  This is the culmination of over 6 years of joint implementation with The Forestry Department and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.
 
The LCFP becomes Africa’s largest REDD+ project by hectarage at 944,000 hectares.  To the best of our knowledge, LCFP is the largest REDD+ project in the world by quantified social beneficiaries of approximately 175,000 beneficiaries.  LCFP was also validated to the highest standard possible of CCBA triple gold for exceptional community, climate and biodiversity impacts.  Chieftainess Msoro of Msoro Chiefdom, one of the LCFP community proponent partners stated that: “Our communities protect habitat in one of the last great wildlife strongholds left on the planet, but we also need to ensure that our communities are nutrition secure.  We applaud FD, DNPW and BCP’s social impacts in the LCFP which have helped us to see standing forests as engines of growth.”
 
The LCFP was developed in Zambia’s iconic Lower Zambezi to Luangwa ecosystems: a biodiversity stronghold of global importance.  The project interconnects 5 national parks to create a contiguous wildlife corridor in one of the last remaining strongholds on earth for lion, elephant, wild dog and other species.  The project teams up with 12 Chiefdoms represented by their Community Resource Boards, private wildlife reserves, Government agencies and BCP in project implementation and took 6 years to develop to verification.  LCFP’s US$ 16 million in start-up costs blended capital from BCP, USAID, Musika Development Initiatives, The Lion Recovery Fund, Elephant Crisis Fund, and the Mills Foundation.
 
A key risk REDD+ projects is not making the project beneficial to local communities.  LCFP aims to catalyse a new conservation economy in Eastern Zambia to create jobs, improve social conditions, attract new investment and enhance conservation co-management.
 
One of the largest barriers to conservation is the absence of community rights to forests.  The LCFP worked closely with the Forestry Department to support the process of communities accessing forest carbon rights from Government.  Zambia’s community forestry legislation is one of the most progressive in the world.  Dr. Hassan Sachedina, BCP CEO added: “Granting clear rights over natural resources to local community institutions are a key foundation for successful conservation approaches, and to unlock investment into those resources.  We are proud to partner with the Government and our Chiefdom partners in LCFP.  LCFP shows that scale and triple gold social impacts are not exclusive”. 
 
Mr. David Antonioli, the CEO of Verra which administers the VCS and CCB Standards said: “The successful registration of the Luangwa Community Forests Project with both the VCS Program and the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards, where it achieved triple gold certification, is a tremendous milestone given the project covers nearly a million hectares and will be working with thousands of stakeholders.”

Why everyone is talking about Zambia’s award-winning conservation.

Although it has a reputation for one of the world’s highest deforestation rates, Zambia is proving it’s never too late to change, as this week a community forest project in the Lower Zambezi becomes the world’s most successful REDD+ carbon project.

The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) began as a pilot in Zambia in 2012. Now, seven years and more than 5,000 community participants later, the LZRP has just become the world’s first to achieve 6 consecutive VCS-verifications and a triple gold CCB verification.

“Verification for REDD+ forest carbon projects is difficult to achieve, requiring months of in-depth monitoring and auditing to strict international standards. That this degree of consistency and excellence has been achieved by an African company predominantly staffed by Zambians is something I am immensely proud of,” says Dr Hassan Sachedina, CEO of BCP (BioCarbon Partners).  

“Conservation of Africa’s great wildlife habitats doesn’t need to be at the cost of rural economic growth, in fact, carbon development is an untapped resource for communities with intact forest to generate income from their natural resources, without having to cut the forests. Truly incentivising natural resource protection, while also supporting community development is at the heart of the REDD+ model BCP follows.”

Central to this achievement is BCP’s valued partnership with the Government of the Republic of Zambia.  “This is a milestone in Zambia, and globally, which definitively proves that public-private-community partnerships can successfully curb the tide of deforestation currently washing across sub-Saharan Africa” said Mr Victor Chiiba, Lusaka Provincial Forest Officer.

REDD+ is a UN Climate Change mitigation strategy that stands for ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation’.  Forests protected under REDD generate verified carbon offsets, which are then sold on the global market to companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. The ‘+’ refers to the additional community benefits REDD models aim to deliver and, according to Sachedina, this is where BCP’s Zambian projects excel.

“Successful verification of our carbon credits is important because it is necessary to sell on the global carbon markets. However, more significant to me – and to the people participating in our projects – is LZRP’s triple-gold-level rating for positive impacts on Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB)” Sachedina said.

CCB assessments recognise carbon offset projects which deliver transformational land and community benefits alongside offset generation. LZRP is one of just a few projects globally to achieve the highest – gold-level – rating in all three categories.

The exceptional positive impacts generated by BCP’s projects are further recognised today, as BCP is awarded a global business award as one of the top five “Best For The World” businesses globally.

Today, more than 5,000 members of the LZRP community report their household having benefited from project activity, through job creation, market linkages and improved social services such as education and healthcare. 

As Mr Rainford Chanshika, Chair of the Ndubulula Co-operative which administers LZRP-generated community funds adds,

“The community here is very happy with the development brought in by BCP. Resources we saw other communities have are now ours as well. The community has benefited a lot from BCP – the borehole, hammer mill, and bee-keeping projects are all new for us and our community is benefitting greatly”

While much of the world’s discussion about forest loss centres around South America and the Amazon, sub-Saharan Africa represents a huge opportunity for the word to achieve the emissions reductions goals of the Paris Agreement.

“As implementation of the Paris Agreement begins to take shape, projects like the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project are demonstrating that they can deliver tangible sustainable development benefits while protecting forests and reducing emissions from avoided deforestation through rigorous accounting and verification” Verra’s CEO David Antonioli reports.

Before and after – the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project has assisted the Mweshang’ombe community with an upgraded teacher’s house.

Public, Private, Community Unite for Conservation in Zambia

PRESS RELEASE: Nyamaluma, Mambwe, Zambia, 27 July 2019

This week at Nyamaluma a conservation milestone was achieved as 10 chiefdoms in Lusaka and Eastern Provinces welcomed the conservation support and expertise of 32 newly graduated Community Scouts.

The event marks the end of a 14-week intensive training course for the Scouts, conducted under the supervision of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) at the Nyamaluma Training School. The graduating Community Scouts have achieved TEVETA certification and GRZ endorsement as front-line enforcers of Zambia’s wildlife and forest protection laws and regulations.

The newly-created Community Scout opportunities are the result of a Community Scout Sponsorship Scheme developed by Zambian conservation organisation BCP (BioCarbon Partners). 

As Zambia faces unprecedented levels of deforestation and wildlife loss, Community Scouts play an important function in securing Zambia’s precious biodiversity and tourism sector. BCP is one of Africa’s leading forest carbon offset developers, who implements community-level forest and wildlife protection activities in collaboration with DNPW, the Forestry Department and Chiefdom-level leadership and governing bodies.

The newly created Community Scout roles aim to strengthen natural resource protection activities in Zambia’s Game Management Areas (GMAs), which provide vital connectivity between five National Parks throughout the Luangwa-Zambezi ecosystem. The 32 new graduates have been selected from ten Chiefdoms within the ecosystem and going forward will be employed by Community Resource Boards (CRBs) through the BCP Scout Sponsorship Scheme. 

Guest of Honour, Mambwe District Commissioner, Caroline Mwanza, addressed the new graduates and event attendees during proceedings.

“This is a Public-Private-Community model, increasing the capacity of our communities and CRBs in the protection and management of our natural heritage resources… While this is a clear demonstration of the community’s commitment to the protection of the resources in this area, it requires all of us to work together not just to enjoy the benefits, but to take responsibility to control illegal activities which damage our environment” Mwanza said.

BCP representative, Alastair Anton, spoke during proceedings of the need for collaboration to achieve Zambia’s conservation goals. 

“Forest and wildlife habitat protection in Game Management Areas can only be effective by engaging local communities and traditional leaders, and by forming a strong partnership with Government. Community Scouts and Community Honorary Forest Officers are key to the success of our conservation partnerships” Anton said.

“This is a difficult task which requires professionally-trained and -equipped teams with the mandate to enforce both local, customary and statutory laws and regulations.” Anton said.

The strength of collaborative commitment to conservation in Zambia was demonstrated by the many dignitaries in attendance at the event, representing communities, branches of government and NGO partners who have collaborated to reach this conservation milestone. The graduating scouts were honoured by the representative of His Royal Highness Senior Chief Nsefu and by the presence of His Royal Highness Chief Malama.

The 32 successful graduates are the highest-achieving of 517 candidates who applied for the opportunities. To be selected, the Scouts have undergone intense training and testing to prepare for their harsh and often dangerous job ahead. 

The exceptional level of training delivered to the Community Scouts by DNPW Trainers is further enhanced by international support from the Lion Recovery Fund, the Elephant Crisis Fund and the Mills Foundation, whose funding has ensured these 32 Scouts are among the best equipped in the country.

Now certified, the Community Scouts will be deployed across 10 Chiefdoms to conduct long mobile patrols that deter and prevent threats to forest and wildlife. They will also provide a much-needed rapid reaction capability, quickly responding to wildlife crime and encroachment breaches identified by aerial and mobile patrols as well as local informants.

It is hoped that the combined efforts of BCP, government and community partners will immediately have a positive impact on the reduction of wildlife crime and deforestation with the Luangwa-Zambezi ecosystem. BCP is already in discussions to further increase Community Scout resources within the ecosystem and hopes to be part of a brighter greener future for Zambia.

Congratulations Mbita! 2019 recipient of BCP’s Carey Eaton Award

BCP CEO Dr Hassan Sachedina presents the Carey Eaton Mission Award trophy to 2019 winner Mbita Nakazwe from our Lusaka finance team

Our newest Carey Eaton Mission Award recipient is Mbita Nakazwe from the BCP Lusaka finance team!

The Carey Eaton Mission Award annually recognises an outstanding BCP employee who demonstrates the BCP ‘Root’ values – Trustworthy, Adaptable, Good Communicators, Detail-focused, Purpose Driven and Courageous. The award remembers Carey Eaton, one of BCP’s founding leaders, who tragically passed away in 2014.

Mbita receives this Carey Eaton Mission Award in recognition of her exceptional work ethic and achievements. She is setting new standards for commitment and delivery at BCP. She has become known company-wide for her quiet diligence and dedication, to both her work and to supporting her colleagues. Mbita is a kind and helpful colleague who approaches her work with cheerfulness. She holds herself to high standards and in achieving them, her attention to detail and commitment to outcomes sets an example for us all. 

Mbita’s desk is as her work – neat and tidy with everything in place. She is outcome-focussed and puts in the effort to meet deadlines and scrupulously high standards, regardless of the challenges. Mbita is dedicated and resilient, and her exceptional achievements and innovations in her work are testament to this. Mbita has swiftly become a leader within the BCP team, as her colleagues recognise her leadership abilities and appreciate her contributions to the team and to our mission.

Congratulations Mbita! We are so grateful for your calm efficiency and team spirit. Your contributions to our work and to our team culture are noticed and very much appreciated.

9 Special Species You Can Save By Offsetting

When you purchase BCP Offsets you not only help reduce emissions, you also protect numerous endangered species seeking refuge in Zambia.

The Luangwa-Zambezi ecosystem is one of the last remaining wildlife strongholds in Africa. An inter-connected valley of National Parks, Customary Areas and Game Management Areas (GMAs), it is home to an abundance of wildlife including many significant and threatened species. BCP carbon offsets directly fund habitat and wildlife protection within one of the continent’s largest wildlife migration corridors, protecting many endangered and geographically-isolated species.

Learn more about 9 amazing species your offset purchases are helping to save:

Announcement! Local communities secure Zambia’s first carbon rights.

Yesterday, Zambia’s Labour Day celebrations coincided with celebrations of our own, as communities participating in BCP’s REDD+ activities became the first in Zambia’s history to receive carbon rights.

The milestone is a significant step toward empowerment for communities in effectively managing and benefiting from their natural resources. By legally recognising the rights of local communities to profit from carbon offsets generated by their own forest areas, participants in Zambia’s REDD+ activities now have legal security to retain income from carbon stocks on community land.

In order to halt deforestation in Zambia, communities must be engaged and empowered to make changes that support local development and employment. By formalising community rights to carbon stores in their natural resources, communities can make long-term plans for local development supported by carbon income.

So far, seven of the twelve Chiefdoms participating in BCP’s LCFP REDD+ project have been granted their carbon rights by the Government of Zambia. Rights agreements are already in progress for the remaining Chiefdoms, and we hope to secure agreements for all participating communities within the next few months.