The World (and BCP) Look Toward the Paris Climate Agreement

The BCP Office in Mfuwe with the installed solar panels

The BCP Office in Mfuwe with the installed solar panels

Climate change is a critical issue affecting our world today. On April 22nd 2016, ”Earth Day”, a global event dedicated to environmental protection, was also historic, as global leaders from 175 governments met at the UN headquarters in New York, to begin signing the Paris Climate Agreement.  This event marks the first step towards binding countries to the promises they made to cut greenhouse gas emissions just 4 months earlier at the Paris COP21. “The era of consumption without consequences is over,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “We must intensify efforts to decarbonize our economies. And we must support developing countries in making this transition.”

 

The Paris Climate Deal’s main objective is to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Any rise past 1.5°C marks the point of no return and will have drastic effects on the world’s climate. The Paris deal intends to achieve long-term global goals for net zero emissions and countries have promised to try to bring global emissions down from peak levels.  Experts say that with these pledges we can reach net zero emissions by 2050.

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry applauded the power of the agreement to “unleash the private sector” and send a signal to global markets that renewable energy and infrastructure are smart investments. Later, when officially signing the agreement, Kerry brought his granddaughter with him to the stage — a representational move no doubt meant to remind everyone that climate change is not only a reality for us today but a necessity for tomorrow.

 

Climate change is already having a significant impact on the world.  A recent report was released that stated that one of the Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef, has experienced unprecedented coral bleaching that affects 93% of the reef, and caused by the rising water temperatures.  In Zambia we are experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent memory.  The Kariba Dam, which produces power for most of the country, is at its lowest in years, and has led to rolling blackouts affecting the entire country.  Additionally, rural farmers, whose livelihood depends on the seasons, have experienced difficulty in growing stable crops to feed their families.

 

The documentation retiring BCP's Forests Carbon Offsets from circulation

The documentation retiring BCP’s Forests Carbon Offsets from circulation

Against the backdrop of the New York Climate Agreement signing, BCP wanted to share that as a Company we are 100% carbon neutral, as we feel it`s essential to be leading by example, and walking the walk.  We’re excited about the fact that all our electricity use is now from renewable sources. Zambia’s electricity grid is primarily hydropower, and four of our five offices are now equipped with solar arrays as back up systems.  Our fifth office in Nyimba is soon to be solar equipped.  An additional step to reduce our carbon footprint is that we are disposing of older vehicles and have procured a fleet of newer, more efficient vehicles.  For BCP’s unavoidable emissions we are carbon neutral from the voluntary retirement of forest carbon offsets from the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project which we implement.   These offsets were retired permanently from circulation with assistance from project partner, BioCarbon Group.  As an African Company, we hope more American and European companies will join our example of investing in renewables, more efficient vehicles and forest carbon offsets for unavoidable emissions.

 

For more information on how you can purchase Forest Carbon Offsets through our Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project visit the Stand For Trees website, or contact our Sales, Marketing, and Communications Manager, Andrea McWilliam at amcwilliam@biocarbonpartners.com.

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.

 

Students Celebrate Special Environmental Education Day with Music, Dance, and Leaning!

About two hours outside of Lusaka, and down a muddy dirt road filled with holes and bumps, lie two schools, Namanongo and Ndubulua. At these rural schools most days are quiet, but on March 30th, the atmosphere was buzzing with a sense of excitement, as students and teachers prepared to participate in a Special Environmental Education Day (SEED).

 

Department of National Parks and Wildlife Services representive talks to sixth graders at Ndubulula School about different types wildlife and their role in the ecosystem

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Services representative talks to Grade Six students at Ndubulula School about different types wildlife and their role in the ecosystem

In the project area for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) – Zambia’s first verified REDD+ project – BCP is supporting the Environmental Education Program in four schools, including Ndubulula and Namanongo, as well as two other community schools in Mweeshang’ombe and Chilimba. The Environmental Education Program is implemented with funding from USAID under the Community Forests Program (CFP), and is one of the many livelihood activities taking place in the local communities around LZRP in the Rufunsa District.

 

The Environmental Education Program is a year-long program targeted for Grade Six students, following a curriculum that provides weekly classes, as well as interactive activities and events, such as quarterly SEED days, where students, teachers and schools can showcase their learning. The Environmental Education Program curriculum is based on the Lolesha Luangwa Conservation Education Programme implemented by the Frankfurt Zoological Society as part of the North Luangwa Conservation Project.

 

SEEDs are intended to give participating students, teachers, and schools the opportunity to showcase their environmental learning and celebrate environmental education through exciting, hands-on activities involving the wider community and partners. For this particular SEED event in March, representatives from BCP, the Forestry Department, and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Services attended, and gave presentations that added their perspectives about the importance of forests, wildlife, and their work with BCP.

 

At Ndubulula School, the sixth grade students who are part of the Environmental Education Program appeared nervous but excited with the arrival of the visitors. They sat at their desks in smart blue uniforms and giggled anxiously. The classroom was filled with posters that depicted the water cycle and listed reasons why forests are important. Younger students crowded outside the windows of the classroom and peeked in excitedly to see the program. The sixth graders, initially hesitant and shy, came alive after introductions and broke into a song welcoming BCP and their partners. Three students gave a presentation on people’s roles in protecting the forest. They listed several different reasons why forests are important, including being part of the water cycle, food sources from the fruit growing on trees, and helping to keep the land fertile. After the presentations from the Government partners, students asked lots of good questions, and then the class broke out into traditional song and dance.

The representative from the Forestry Department talks to students at Namanongo School about the importance of forests

 

After winding up at Ndubulula School, the BCP team spent the rest of the afternoon at Namanongo School. Here, the entire school, grades one through seven, gathered for the SEED program! The students and teachers collected desks and chairs and sat under a large tree in the schoolyard. After introductions and presentations made by the Forestry Department and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Services, the sixth graders underwent a short quiz on what they had learned, so far, from the Environmental Education Program. They were asked several questions including three causes of deforestation, what a reptile is, and what conservation agriculture is. This was followed by a skit about poachers hunting animals in the national park and then being tracked and apprehended by scouts from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Services. The program ended with students singing and performing traditional dancing.

 

Mrs. Blessings Mwabi, one of the Environmental Education Program teachers at Ndubulula, says that students at the start of the program asked; “Why, should we conserve the forests?” But over time she described that: “The program offers a lot of explanations and sensitizations about the forests, and here it is very much destroyed, but now they [the students] know the importance of saving the forests. I’m able to really see how the pupils as learners are interested in their land, their forests, and conserving it.” She further explained that sometimes it’s difficult for communities to understand the importance of forests when they sell charcoal to make money, but these students now have the knowledge to go home and talk to their parents about conservation and forest protection.

 

The next SEED program is scheduled to take place in late June or early July.

Sixth graders at Namanongo school open the SEED program with a song and dance about BCP

Grade Six studnets at Ndubulula school open the SEED program with a song and dance about BCP

Sixth graders at Namanongo school drew pictures about what they learned in the Environmental Education Program.  These pictures were displayed during the SEED program

Grade Six students at Namanongo school drew pictures about what they learned in the Environmental Education Program. These pictures were displayed during the SEED program.

Students at Namanongo School ending the SEED program with a traditional dance called Nyau

Students at Namanongo School ended the SEED program with a traditional dance called Nyau

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.

BCP Donates 30 Tents to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife

BCP Donates 30 Tents and Printer to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW)

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BioCarbon Partners (BCP), through the USAID funded, Community Forests Program (CFP), continues to offer technical support to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), formerly known as the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA). Earlier this year, BCP donated 30 tents and a printer (at an estimated cost of 5,000 USD) to provide operational support to DNPW at their newly established District level offices in Chongwe.

DPNW works to protect, conserve, and manage Zambia’s wildlife parks by promoting integrated and participatory approaches to wildlife management, especially in Zambia’s Game Management Areas (GMAs), and to reduce conflicts between humans and wildlife.

BCP was approached by DNPW to see whether they could offer some technical support in the form of 30 tents (accommodating 2 people each) for DNPW scouts operating in Chongwe. These scouts are operating in Chongwe, Rufunsa, and the Lower Zambezi National Park (LZNP), where BCP is also implementing the Lower Zambezi REDD+ project (LZRP).  DNPW has been an integral part of the conservation strategy in the Lower Zambezi ecosystem.

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DNPW scouts in action

BCP has been supporting DNPW in the field by providing logistical support such as food and other technical help for field operations in the Lower Zambezi National Park. DNPW is assisting BCP by providing senior scouts to accompany BCP village scouts while conducting patrols in the Rufunsa Conservancy and LZNP.

Senior Wildlife Warden of DNPW, Kenneth Namunino Nyambe, listed numerous challenges in setting up the newly established Regional Office including: transport, inadequate operational supplies, and lack of gear for the scouts to use on patrols.  “In view of the above challenges, BioCarbon Partners came to our aid with the donation of electronics and operational materials. These were donations of thirty by two camping tents for rainy season operations, three laptops, three desktop computers and laser jet printer that the institution was able to procure to effectively manage the regional office administratively. This gesture by BioCarbon Partners has boosted the morale in our officers which has subsequently increased performance, as for the Wildlife Police officers, they can now be deployed for rain season operation without any hesitation.” Explained Mr Nyambe

In addition to this most recent support, last year, BCP/CFP, donated six computers (3 laptops and 3 desktops) to DNPW.

 

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.

 

BCP’s Honey Production Project in Rufunsa creates a buzz

Thanks to a new pilot project under the USAID-funded Community Forests Program (CFP), life is becoming a little bit sweeter for some households in the project zone for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP), taking place in Bunda-Bunda Chiefdom of Rufunsa District.

The sustainable Honey production pilot project was started in mid-2014, and to date, a total of 93 individuals from the project zone for the LZRP have been trained to maintain and manage their own hives. As part of the project, over 200 hives have been distributed with 120 swarm boxes. Under the CFP, BCP plans to increase the number of participants and to have at least 1,000 hives by the end of 2016. The Honey production project is taking place in partnership with an established honey production organization in Zambia. The aim of the project is two-fold: First, to sustainably manage and protect the local forest resources, and second, to assist local communities and families develop viable enterprises that can bring revenue to rural households, generated through sustainable business practices. Under the CFP, BCP is promoting the idea that improving community livelihoods is a very important prerequisite for sustainable forest management.

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Mr. Nketani shows the traditional beehives he used before receiving the Kenyan Top Bar hives.  Traditional beehives increased deforestation.  One tree was used to make a hive and could only be used 1-2 seasons

Smart Nketani and his wife Bertina attended the most recent honey production and beekeeping training conducted by Kapenda Mabula Natural Products (the maker of Luano Honey brand), facilitated by BCP under the CFP, which took place from 29th September-01st October 2015. Following the training, the Nketani’s, have created an impressive apiary in the Miombo woodland surrounding their farm. Mr Nketani explains how he greatly appreciated this opportunity: ”My wife and I are so happy especially with the seven hives we were given which now make up an impressive apiary just near our farm house. We used to cut trees to make bark traditional hives, but these hives would rot eventually and the type of honey that we would harvest was not of good quality. With the knowledge we were equipped with, we’re positive to produce over 10 liters of good quality honey per harvest from each hive without contributing to deforestation by cutting trees down.” Mrs. Nketani added that the training was very well done: ”They taught us a lot of things with demonstrations, like how to bait and how to move the queen from the swarm box to the hive. We are now experts!”

 

The support being given to the local community is being appreciated and more local farmers are now approaching BCP staff, requesting to be trained and equipped with hives. The beekeeping initiative offers one of the best opportunities for the rural communities because of its minimal requirements for land, machinery and equipment, labor and capital investment. Beehives typically start producing good harvests within two (2) years once hives become occupied with bees.
Under the CFP, Honey production trainings are usually done in partnership with the Forestry Department station in Chinyunyu, Rufunsa District, and other partners from the private sector such as Kapenda Mabula Natural Products. The trainings accommodate a limited number (20-30) people per session, and they are designed to be personalized, intensive, and hands-on.

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Participants at the most recent training in February 2016 learning about beekeeping

During the last round of trainings under the Honey Production pilot, the Rufunsa Team was interested to note that farmers from nearby areas outside of the project zone also participated in the training program, although they are not eligible to receive hives at this time. This clearly shows that the farmers in the area are interested in beekeeping, and the project is set to expand well in upcoming years, and grow to include new areas. In upcoming years, the Honey Production initiative in Rufunsa is planned to include hundreds of participants and thousands of beehives!

 

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.

Congratulations to Hildah Mbalazi! – on Receiving BCP’s 3rd Carey Eaton Mission Award Recipient

On February 2nd, BCP’s 4th birthday, Hildah Mbalazi, the BCP/CFP Community Engagement Manager for the Rufunsa Site, became the third person and first female to be honoured with the BCP Carey Eaton Mission Award, which recognizes BCP team members for their  outstanding service and exemplification of BCP’s values.

 

Hildah planting

Hildah has worked with local communities in Rufunsa to deliver impacts such as creating nurseries for growing trees

Hildah is one of BCP’s longest-serving team members, having started as an intern in 2012.  As she explains: “I graduated in 2013 from the University of Zambia where I acquired my degree in environmental education. It was during my time at UNZA that I got devoted to BCP as an intern; this was equally a time when the company was being set up. I think, I left a good impression because after my internship, I was given an offer to join them after completing my degree which I later did…Looking back at my very first years to what I have achieved today is just unbelievable.”

 

With a strong commitment to BCP and delivering impacts with the communities she works with, Hildah was promoted to Community Engagement Manger in Rufunsa in early 2016.  Along the way, she has faced numerous challenges with positivity and dedication.  As the inscription on her award certificate describes: Hildah lived in a tent for nearly a year, including during the rains, and she chose to remain in Rufunsa despite local politics, all the while being the only female on her team.  Throughout these challenges, she maintained her poise, kept her team focused, and proposed solutions.

 

Hildah teaching EE

Hildah teaching environmental education in Rufunsa

However, Hildah is not only a hard worker with a positive attitude. As the announcement to the BCP team read, what set her nomination apart from the 10+ others that were received from over 20 members of the BCP team, was the fact that Hildah’s hard work had recently resulted in some remarkable impacts. In the past 6 months Hildah has helped to lead the Rufunsa team in delivering tangible impacts to local communities, including: overseeing a grant that trained 500 farmers in conservation farming, delivering 11,000+ kg of seeds, launching 3 nurseries, training 83 honey producers, delivering 113 hives, registering 4 community governance Cooperatives, and expanding the Environmental Education Program and School Support Program to include 5 schools and 8 teachers.

 

Despite her long time and demonstrated commitment to BCP, Hildah responded to the announcement of the award with modest surprise: “Honestly I did not see myself winning this award,” she said. “The company has grown exponentially and there are people doing some great work for the company that I thought were going to receive the award…I am truly honoured and humbled to receive this award and I am grateful to everyone.”

 

Hildah’s achievement is a testament of her leadership skills, hard work, and having role models who inspire her. “I would like to pay tribute to Molly Crystal who has been my mentor and role model, and the Rufunsa team who have only been supportive, without them this would not have been possible. This is a great motivation for me to work extra hard and win the award again,” concludes Mbalazi.

 

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of Ms. Mbalazi and her team, and we look forward to announcing the next recipient of the Carey Eaton Mission Award in mid 2016!

 

CE award winners

Hildah Mbalazi receiving the award with past Carey Eaton Mission Award reciepent, Darlington Chipita

The Legacy of Mr. Carey Eaton

Mr. Carey Eaton was a BCP Advisor from the beginning. He was born in Zambia, grew up in Kenya, and he was globally recognized as a technology pioneer in Africa.  Prior to the inception of BCP, Mr. Eaton held the position of CIO in a publicly traded Australian company. He then took a risk and returned to Kenya, where he started a group of linked technology firms that soon created 600 jobs in multiple companies, built African capacity and improved markets through the mantra that “technology is the great equalizer”.

 

When BCP was launched in 2012, Mr. Eaton became an Advisor who volunteered extensive time and expertise to support BCP through the rigors of the start-up phase and during the development of the company. BCP is here today thanks to his support.

 

In June 2014, Mr. Eaton tragically passed following a violent crime in Nairobi, Kenya. He is survived by his wife and four young children.

 

The Carey Eaton Mission Award was launched in his honour in October 2014, and is intended to recognize BCP staff members who embody the values, commitment and spirit that Mr. Eaton brought to the start-up phase of the company.  Mr. Eaton was committed to African economic development, capacity building, teamwork, mentorship, humility and hard work. In spite of his success, he made time to coach aspiring African tech entrepreneurs. He was generous, energetic, a strategic thinker, fun, and focused. The Carey Eaton Mission Award is as much a recognition of good character, as it is recognition of actions that contribute to the overall BCP Team.

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.

BCP Has A Fresh New Look

BCP and the BCP Trust have fresh new logos!

 

The original BCP logo

The original BCP logo

BCP’s original logo was designed by our Managing Director’s cousin in Nairobi in early 2012, just as BCP launched.   This new conception, created by the South African design firm Fixate retains the circular shape of the original logo, and will continue to be recognizable by local communities we work with.

 

What is the symbolism behind BCP’s new logo? The circle represents the earth, and the fading brush like lines represent the deforestation affecting the earth, as well as the inner rings of a mature tree.  The greens in the BCP logo represent the forest and the life that comes from that.  The BCP Trust logo, while the same design, uses brighter colours, representing the sun, sunrise, and hop e.  Both are interconnected, yet different – recognizing that the work of the BCP Trust supports BCP, but that the Trust is still a distinct entity with its own, connected, mission.

 

Not only does the release of this new logo mark an important milestone along with our 4 year anniversary, but it also revitalizes BCP with a new level of energy as we continue to grow and work to make African forests valuable to people.

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.

BCP Celebrates 4 Years!

BCP staff in Lusaka enjoying the braii

BCP staff in Lusaka enjoying the braai

On February 2nd 2016, BCP staff gathered to celebrate our 4 year Birthday.  Many start-ups and NGO’s do not make it to the 4 year mark, so this is a huge milestone.  In the four years since launching, BCP has grown from a small core staff of less than five people (including one driver), operating out of a rented cottage, to almost 100 (mostly Zambian staff), situated across three field sites and six offices, leading operations that are planned to extend from the Lower Zambezi to the Luangwa Valley ecosystems, based out of Rufunsa, Mfuwe, and (now, as of this month) Nyimba.

BCP’s fourth birthday  was an opportunity for staff to take a moment and reconnect as one team – a team we are now calling “One BCP”—  with a shared vision and mission to continue working to make African forests valuable to people.  On this day, teams at all five of BCP’s Zambia offices took a pause in the afternoon to celebrate BCP – which, at all sites, involved a braai (barbecue) and an opportunity for staff to relax and connect with each other, while reflecting on the accomplishments of the team in this short-but-long, and certainly very intense, time of growth for the company.

BCP staff in Mfuwe braaing on the banks of the Luangwa River

Setting up the braai in Mfuwe on the banks of the Luangwa River

In addition to the Birthday celebrations, Ms. Hildah Mbalazi was announced as the recipient of the third annual Carey Eaton Mission Award. Ms. Mbalazi is the first female recipient of this award, and she was recognized for her tireless work with the Community Engagement Team in Rufunsa since 2012, her positive attitude, her demonstrated leadership (especially as the youngest Manager on the BCP Team), and especially, for the tangible impacts that her team had achieved among communities in Rufunsa during the past quarter.

As BCP, we are certainly very excited to have achieved this important milestone. However, we also recognize that we have not made it here on our own: BCP’s fourth birthday was also an opportunity for our team to reflect upon the many partners and supporters who have helped make our journey possible. To all of you out there who have supported BCP, either from the beginning, or more recently, THANK YOU, sincerely, for your support. Partners is in our name – and if it wasn’t for our partners, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

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.

Mfuwe staff celebrating on the banks of the Luangwa River

Mfuwe staff celebrating on the banks of the Luangwa River

 

Staff celebrated at the Lusaka office with a cake dedicated to Carey Eaton work with BCP

Staff at the Lusaka office celebrated with a cake dedicated to Carey Eaton’s work with BCP

Building Community Capacity for REDD+ in the Luangwa Valley

Mfuwe CM training

The new Community Mobilisers

In January, seven even new Community Mobilisers (CMs) joined the growing BCP/CFP implementation team in Mfuwe. CMs are local hires from rural Chiefdoms, who are intended to support ongoing community engagement, mapping, sensitization and data collection work related to the development of new REDD+ projects in these Chiefdoms, under the USAID-funded Community Forests Program (CFP). Among other things, CMs will be in charge of organising the community stakeholders within their specific Chiefdoms and collecting household data on livelihoods.

 

 

The new mobilisers were selected through a transparent, competitive process led by BCP in collaboration with Chiefdom representatives from traditional leadership and/or local institutions such as Community Resource Boards (CRBs). The CMs were selected from seven Chiefdoms in Mambwe and Lundazi Districts, and include: Lufeyo Zulu from Nsefu, Emmanuel Milanzi from Kakumbi, William Sakala from Malama, Rhoda Mbao from Jumbe, Bornface Simunshi from Msoro, Paul Weza from Mnkhanya, and Doubt Phiri from Mwanya (under Lundazi district).  To date, these 7 Chiefdoms have expressed interest in participating in the CFP, and as such, these new CMs were hired in January, in anticipation of upcoming needs to increase local engagement in participatory REDD+ project development activities, as we hope to sign agreements to launch new REDD+ projects in these Chiefdoms within this upcoming year.

 

To empower the new CMs with the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct successful field work, the BCP/CFP team conducted a week long orientation and training detailing their new roles and responsibilities. The training was also aimed at equipping the new Community Mobilisers with skills on engaging the community on different issues including forest conservation. It was an interactive training with a lot of fun memories!

 

The new Community Mobilisers acquired skills in community organisation, including the use of Participatory Learning Action (PLA) tools for engaging the community in discussing issues affecting them.  To set the ground, the trainers defined ‘Community Mobilisation’ as “a process that brings community members at centre where they identify issues affecting them and together as a community identify solutions or develop ideas for community action”.

 

PLA Tool Training with School

One notable PLA tool was “a transect walk”.  This tool is used to explore the local area around a community and has been used successfully in natural resource management.  It allows people to take note of the different agro-economic zones and compare topography, land type, land use, soil type, soil fertility, vegetation, crops, social problems, opportunities, and possible solutions.  Knowledge gained from such tools / activities will be used to engage target communities in the development of Participatory Forest Management Plans (PFMPs) for new REDD+ protected forest areas under the CFP.

If correctly applied, Community Mobilisation addresses individual and/or social fears, doubts, myths and hopes, and gives voice to the communities, empowering them to participate in the selection of forest for conservation, how they share resources, and ultimately benefit.

 

The training was facilitated by Godfrey Phiri, the Senior Community Engagement Manager, assisted by three community Engagement Managers — Esau Shawa, Nchimunya Hambote, and Willie Shuma —  and four Community Officers: Kennedy Tembo, Hebron Yowela, and Noah Mbewe. Marvin Mpola, a GIS Specialist on the CFP team, also participated, and the CFP Technical Coordinator also facilitated the training.

The CFP is excited to welcome the new Community Mobilisers to our team, and we look forward to working together to support new REDD+ activities in these 7 Chiefdoms, and beyond, in the upcoming year.

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.

Norman Carr Safaris Becomes the First Carbon Neutral Tourism Operator in South Luangwa and Liuwa Plain National Parks

BioCarbon Partners is proud to announce that Norman Carr Safaris are the first tour operator in both South Luangwa and Liuwa Plain National Parks to attain carbon neutral status from operations for the 2015 calendar year.

This accomplishment follows upon Lower Zambezi National Park becoming the world’s first carbon neutral park from operations in 2015, through participation of eight tourism companies. NCS is working in partnership with the Lower Zambezi camps to make Zambia one of the first countries in the world with carbon neutral national parks. The ultimate goal is to establish a carbon neutral corridor between the two premiere national parks in Zambia (South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi).

Furthermore, this commitment to a low carbon future coincides with the historic Paris Climate Change Conference in December 2015, which highlighted the global priority and focus on reducing human-caused carbon impacts on the climate worldwide.

All seven NCS camps are included in offsetting the company’s carbon footprint: Kapani, Luwi, Nsolo, Kakuli, Mchenja, and Chinzombo in the

Norman Carr Safaris are the first tour operator in both South Luangwa and Liuwa Plain National Parks to attain carbon neutral status

Norman Carr Safaris are the first tour operator in both South Luangwa and Liuwa Plain National Parks to attain carbon neutral status

South Luangwa and Matamenene Camp in Liuwa Plain making NCS one of the first carbon neutral tourism group operations in the world. The verified emission reductions were transacted to offset the camps’ unavoidable emissions, achieving BCP’s “BioCarbon Neutral” Copper Status in its reductions. NCS also invests in renewable energy to minimize direct operational carbon footprints, with five of its seven camps(71%) run exclusively off solar power in 2015. In 2016, NCS will build four additional accommodation units for its bush camps in the South Luangwa and begin construction on a permanent lodge in Liuwa, all of which will be powered by solar energy. The balance of  ‘unavoidable’ emissions from NCS operations use internationally accepted values for fossil fuels to offset the carbon impact of energy use: diesel, gasoline, electricity, charcoal, food production emissions for staff and guests, and staff travel. Silver and gold levels include offsetting emissions from guests’ domestic and international travel.

Over and above carbon neutrality, Norman Carr Safaris have been a pioneer of socially responsibly tourism in the Luangwa Valley. Following in the footsteps of Norman Carr himself, who revolutionized community-based conservation in Zambia and across southern Africa, Norman Carr Safaris established its own education non-profit in the 1980s, the Kapani School Project, for local student sponsorships. Money from every bed night also goes to support non-profit organizations such as the South Luangwa Conservation Society, Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust, and the Zambian Carnivore Programme; and, as of 2015, NCS is one of the primary funders of the Time & Tide Foundation, an independent non-profit benefactor that supports sustainable development, conservation, and education in the areas covered by Time + Tide’s portfolio.

In the Lower Zambezi ecosystem, BCP has secured management of the 100,000 acre Rufunsa Conservancy, as part of the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project, which acts as a direct buffer zone to a vulnerable 60 kilometer boundary of the Lower Zambezi National Park. As such, the proceeds from emission reduction sales are reinvested into the conservancy through conservation security, land management (fire management, anti-poaching roads, radio network), carbon accounting (soils, biomass and GIS, which are annually verified by US based auditors), community-based livelihood projects, and support to the Zambia Wildlife Authority and the Forestry Department.

With the pilot project in Lower Zambezi generating meaningful impacts, BCP is actively developing new forest areas in the Luangwa ecosystem to verify and co-manage for long-term emissions reduction, poverty alleviation and conservation aims. These new forest sites adjacent to the national parks are expected to fall under improved conservation management schemes starting in late 2016 through the USAID-funded Community Forests Program.

Therefore, NCS and other operators that partner with BCP not only offset their carbon emissions, but they also protect surrounding trees, wildlife and habitat through a project that is internationally audited with demonstrated success in reducing deforestation and improving conservation security and community well-being.

An increasing number of Zambian companies are showing climate change leadership and taking responsibility for their emissions by investing in low carbon futures. This commitment to the local environment raises the standards for environmentally and socially responsible business practices. With other operators following the Norman Carr Safaris lead, South Luangwa and Liuwa Plain National Parks are potentially on track to become one of the next carbon neutral national parks from operations in the world.

 About BioCarbon Partners (BCP): BCP is an African-based and focused social enterprise, whose mission is to enhance livelihoods and conservation through verified forest conservation projects in Africa. BCP’s current focus is implementing REDD+ projects in the greater Zambezi-Luangwa ecosystem in Zambia. BCP has certified Zambia’s first pilot REDD+ demonstration project known as the ‘Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project’ (LZRP) to CCBA triple gold standards (validation) and VCS verification; the first project in Africa with these certifications. In addition, BCP is proud to partner with USAID in the implementation of the Community Forests Program (CFP). This innovative program targets the verification of minimum of 700,000 hectares of threatened forests across in Luangwa Valley ecosystem. BCP’s local presence, concentration on African dryland forests and intense focus on community livelihoods and conservation are the foundations of our operational strategy. www.biocarbonpartners.com

For further information or for companies wishing to purchase bulk REDD+ offsets from Zambia, please contact: Juraj Ujházy, Enterprise Development Coordinator, +260 979 225 811, juraj@biocarbonpartners.com

Individuals and small businesses can purchase Lower Zambezi offsets directly through the Stand For Trees website.

Norman Car edit2About Norman Carr Safaris: Established in 1950, South Luangwa’s Norman Carr Safaris is a pioneer in its field. At a time when safari was a track-and-hunt tradition, Norman Carr broke the mould and created conservation based tourism and was the pioneer of photographic and walking safaris in Zambia. Today, along with company staff homestead and operational headquarters, Kapani Lodge, Norman Carr Safaris operates six award winning camps in Zambia; wildly luxurious Chinzombo; Luwi, Nsolo, Kakuli and Mchenja Bushcamps; and Matamanene in Liuwa Plain. Marketed under the Time + Tide portfolio, Norman Carr Safaris is also sister company to Chongwe Safaris in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi and Miavana in Madagascar.

For further information please contact: Mindy Roberts, Sales and Marketing Director, Norman Carr Safaris. Tel: +260 216246025/15, mindy@normancarrsafaris.com

 

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.

BCP featured in ‘Why Does Conservation of the Natural World Matter?’ article published by Nkwazi Magazine.

BioCarbon Partners (BCP) is playing an important role in the fight against climate change and promoting conservation of natural resources that span community lands and protected areas.

The contribution of BCP’s work towards forest management was recently highlighted in a recent article in Proflight’s Nkwazi Magazine. The article, ‘Why Does Conservation of the Natural World Matter?”, written by Jo Pope, highlights especially BCP’s innovative Eco-Charcoal project, as a means of promoting sustainable natural resource management, and recognizing that nature provides essential benefits to people.

The article was published in the Nov-Dec 2015 issue of Proflight’s Nkwazi In-Flight Magazine: To read the full article please Download pdf here

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.