Appreciating the ‘us’ in USAID

A well-known African proverb says that if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

February is the month of valentines and, for BCP, milestones. February 2019 marks BCP’s 7th birthday (in lieu of gifts, carbon offset purchases are happily received). It is also the end of an era, as the USAID-funded Community Forests Program comes to a close.

Partners are key to success across this vast continent, and core to BCP’s work – that’s why it’s in our name. Five years ago BCP was a relatively new startup with a great method and great people operating out of a two-room cottage-come-office in Lusaka. We were full of potential and enthusiasm and were immensely proud of the conservation impact already achieved by LZRP.

USAID changed the scale and success of conservation in Zambia when, in 2014, they funded the Community Forests Program (CFP). When USAID selected BCP to implement the Program, they demonstrated a belief in our ability to grow and adapt beyond the scope of any REDD+ project on the continent.

USAID has been a partner to BCP beyond funding. They have provided leadership and capacity building and have facilitated relationships that will ensure the success of REDD+ in Zambia well into the future. Together, we have achieved the extraordinary. Close to 1 million hectares protected, more than 170,000 rural people benefitting, and conservation improving in one of the world’s largest biodiversity corridors.

A lot still needs to be done to reduce deforestation and poverty, and restore wildlife and connectivity in one of the last great wildlife strongholds on earth, but the scale of what we have achieved would have been inconceivable by now without USAID’s support.

Thank you, USAID, for sharing your conservation vision with BCP and for your legacy investment into Zambia’s people and Africa’s wildlife, as well as climate-change mitigation for the world. We look forward to continuing the critical work of CFP and to expanding its legacy throughout Zambia and beyond over the coming years.

Walking the Talk – BCP is Carbon-Neutral

Deforestation mitigation and emissions reduction is tough business – it’s our passion for conservation that drives BCP, and it’s important we lead the way and ‘walk our talk’.

BCP has been carbon neutral for the last 5 years. We hope that one day we will be able to conduct our conservation and community work without generating emissions at all. For now, we’ve achieved neutrality by switching to eco-friendly alternatives where possible, and then retiring BCP offsets to cover the unavoidable emissions.

As an organisation, in 2019, BCP will generate 400 tonnes of carbon emissions. Over the years we have achieved reduced emissions from our operations and activity by making a few easy changes that might also work for your company.

BCP has:

  • Purchased more efficient vehicles
  • Installed solar power at our HQ and regional offices
  • Switched from 4×4 vehicles to motorbikes for field work, whenever possible
  • Cut beef from the menu at BCP meetings and events (learn why)
  • Adopted technology that enables multi-office meetings without requiring travel
  • Made conscious efforts to reduce food waste in our offices
  • Begun recycling glass and plastic bottles through local projects that provide community income
  • Staff and company efforts to commute via carpooling.

Our remaining, unavoidable, emissions are generated by necessary national and international flights for staff as well as fuel for vehicles travelling throughout rural communities and conservation areas and light aircraft which is used to patrol the 1 million ha forests

It’s easier and often less expensive than you think to take your company carbon-neutral. Contact us by email to start the process and calculate your organisation’s emissions.

BCP’s VCU retirement certificate, 2019