In the recent U.N. Climate Summit in New York in September 2014, more than 125 heads of state and government resoundingly demonstrated the rapidly converging global consensus that the impacts of climate change are real and costly, and that they no longer have to choose between economic growth and climate action—they go hand-in-hand.
The world loses more than 13 million hectares of forests each year. When we destroy forests, we eliminate one of our most potent natural carbon sequestration technologies. Millions could be spent developing extravagant artificial technologies to sequester carbon, but they wouldn’t come close to the efficiency or elegance of a forest. The reason is simple; Trees “breathe in” carbon dioxide and “exhale” oxygen.
Through the award of a cooperative agreement to BioCarbon Partners (BCP) to implement the Community Forests Program (CFP) in Zambia, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is taking a leadership role in harnessing the sequestration potential of preserving the world’s remaining intact forests.
USAID is the principal arm of the United States Government offering economic, humanitarian and technical assistance to more than 80 partner-countries, such as Zambia, and the citizens of those countries.
The CFP is the flagship activity of the USAID mission in Zambia’s Global Climate Change (GCC) project under the Presidential GCC Initiative. It is designed to exemplify and support the Government of the Republic of Zambia’s (GRZ) Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) strategy by establishing the largest REDD+ program to-date in the country. The CFP is a 5 year, $14 million program implemented jointly with the Forestry Department and the Zambia Wildlife Authority.
CFP activities will be primarily based in Lusaka, Eastern and/or Muchinga Provinces, and will focus on establishing REDD+ project areas across a minimum of 700,000 hectares within the Zambezi and Luangwa ecosystems. In total, the CFP aims to undertake community livelihood and deforestation mitigation activities taking place on a total of up to 2 million hectares and involving up to 10,000 households. Across project target areas, the CFP aims to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, reduce poverty, and conserve biodiversity values.
BioCarbon Partners is proud to partner with USAID to address the challenges and opportunities of implementing this exciting project and to work together to carry out a common strategy for engaging communities, improving forest-compatible livelihoods that involve job creation, making community- based livelihoods more productive, and achieving more sustainable land management practices.
This blog is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The content of this blog are the sole responsibility of BCP and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.