BCP Trust is thrilled to announce that we have received a grant through USAID/Zambia’s Various Incentive-based Grant Opportunities and Rewards (VIGOR) program. The grant will support BCP’s “Conservation, Poverty and Greener Rural Economies” Program, which includes a variety of community-based deforestation mitigation activities to be implemented by the Trust within the project zone for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project.
Specific project activities supported by VIGOR will include:
1) The expansion of BCP’s Sustainable Eco-Charcoal Project, which creates incentives for rural producers to adopt sustainable charcoal production techniques in place of current unsustainable practices.
2) The intensification of BCP’s Village Chicken Project (VCP), which is designed to improve local food security and provide an alternative source of income.
3) The expansion of BCP’s Conservation Farming Training Program (CFTP), which is designed to improve local food security, promote agricultural income as an alternative livelihood strategy, and reduce deforestation caused by inefficient farming practices that require farmers to continuously expand and clear new areas to farm.
4) The launch of the Community Livestock Worker (CLW) Program, which is designed to improve local livestock health and promote access to livestock care and support services.
5) The launch of an intensive Environmental Education Program, as part of BCP’s School Support Program, which is designed to improve local access to quality education, educational facilities, and environmental education opportunities.
6) The launch of forest-compatible alternative Income Generating Activities, including a Mushroom Production Project (pilot), Dried Fruit Project (pilot), and Honey Production Project (pilot). These projects are designed to improve local food security and provide participants with alternative sources of income, as well as create incentives for participants to protect local areas of forest that support them.
7) The launch of a pilot Biodiversity Banking Scheme, which is designed to create incentives and channel direct benefits from forest protection activities to local communities, as well as to build local capacity to engage in Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) activities and benefit-sharing structures—important pre-cursors to any REDD+ project taking place on community forest.
All of these activities, supported through VIGOR, are designed to improve local livelihoods, to develop and promote alternative income-generating activities that can replace rural incomes from deforestation, to promote forest protection and to reduce deforestation taking place in Lusaka Province, Zambia.
The grant implementation period for VIGOR is expected to run until July 2014. During this time, the BCP Trust will use funds received through VIGOR to support community projects that involve over 450 individuals in forest-compatible alternatives, promote the adoption of new technologies, and result in improved forest protection practices taking place on at least 2,000 hectares of community forest. These activities will all support BCP’s overall aim of reducing emissions caused by deforestation, by addressing (and reducing) local drivers of deforestation, such as poverty and lack of access to alternatives.
The activities supported through VIGOR have been identified by local stakeholders as the sorts of project activities that would benefit from local support, cooperation and legitimacy, which could be reasonably expected to address local drivers of deforestation. All of the project activities supported through BCP Trust’s VIGOR grant will be directly and indirectly linked to forest protection, specifically through the use of BCP’s innovative “Community Covenants,” which document that project participants agree to cooperate in BCP’s forest protection efforts connected to the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project.
BCP Trust is extremely excited about this opportunity to expand and intensify our existing project activities, and to launch new activities, as a result of this grant “from the American people.” We are also excited to be among the first local organizations in Zambia to receive a direct grant from USAID/Zambia, as part of recent efforts through “USAID Forward” to promote sustainable development through increased direct investment to local partner organizations. We very much hope to be a part of this “new model,” and to demonstrate that direct partnerships and investments can effectively and sustainably promote local development.
Please continue to check our blog and facebook for more information and updates about BCP Trust project activities supported by VIGOR.
THIS POSTING IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THROUGH THE UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (USAID). THE CONTENTS ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BIOCARBON PARTNERS (BCP) TRUST AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF USAID OR THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.