The Civil Society Environment Fund (CSEF) in Zambia recently awarded approximately $10,000 to support the development of the Ndubulula Eco-Charcoal Association’s sustainable charcoal production project. The funds will be used to support an Eco-charcoal Officer and forest guard, a motorbike, fuel, efficient kiln infrastructure, safety equipment, institutional development support to the Association, and support to the Forestry Department to pilot an eco-charcoal certification scheme.
The community has set aside 93 hectares of degraded community forest for the project. The Ndubulula Eco-Charcoal Association (NEA) comprises 16 members, including 8 women. The NEA has taken over sustainable management of this forest including monitoring, patrolling, early burning, replanting of hardwoods, and excluding livestock. The BCP Trust is providing technical support through a GIS-based production plan following the Forestry Department’s proven ‘coup and shelterbelt’ system. Eco-charcoal will be produced from a portion of about 5-6 hectares of charcoal in 2013 using higher efficiency charcoal kilns. NEA and the BCP Trust ensure that this harvested area is strictly managed to encourage regeneration, and limit fires and livestock impacts. The project aims to increase household level income, and to produce more charcoal from the same trees, while improving the condition of this forest – through sustainable management. Pressure on existing forests will be reduced, as the project has absorbed existing unsustainable charcoal producers into the project.
The BCP Trust is grateful for CSEF’s support. The support is catalytic towards developing this community-based deforestation mitigation project as a potential replicable model that could be scaled up at a national level. This project is one of 15 community-based deforestation mitigation projects that the BCP Trust and partner communities are developing together to enhance livelihoods and reduce deforestation through the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project.
The Civil Society Environment Fund is an initiative of the Embassy of Finland in Zambia and the Royal Danish Embassy in Zambia.