2017 marks five years of project implementation for our Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) and this year we have begun to receive data that illustrates the real impacts of the Project on local communities and conservation.
During this month an independent consultant undertook social monitoring follow-up surveys with community stakeholders living within the LZRP area. We’re comparing results to findings from our 2012 baseline survey and already the data illustrates encouraging success!
Some of the key survey highlights include:
- 95% (of respondents) reported that the LZRP benefits their community.
- 91% reported receiving direct benefits to their household from the project.
- 75% reported active participation in the LZRP by a member of their household.
- 96% say BCP/CFP is welcome in their community.
While these are only preliminary results, we are excited to see such positive responses!
The USAID Community Forests Program (CFP) can also report on an encouraging LZRP forest monitoring and management statistic – during the last 12 months the CFP reported for the first time “0 new deforestation incidents” in the project area for the LZRP throughout most of the year. This is an important milestone as it illustrates the success of conservation activities including forest boundary monitoring activities such as patrols, as well as the culmination of five years of community engagement and livelihoods work. Together, these measures have helped to deter illegal forest violations and incentivise collaboration on forest protection and conservation.
CFP reporting to date is strongly indicating key successes for the project, and is serving as a powerful illustration of the potential of REDD+ projects to transform local mind-sets, livelihoods and conservation outcomes in critically threatened ecosystems.