Protecting 1 million hectares of Zambian forests – Eni, Peace Parks and BCP Partner to sustainably protect indigenous woodlands

Following an announcement by Biocarbon Partners (BCP) that the Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) was successfully validated and verified by the Verified Carbon Standard and validated to Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA)  triple gold standards for exceptional social impact, we are proud to announce a partnership between BCP, Eni and Peace Parks Foundation that will greatly contribute to the project’s long-term sustainability.

The LCFP is a partnership between Government, 12 Chiefdoms with a population of 173,000 people and BCP to enhance protection of a biodiversity corridor between the Lower Zambezi and Luangwa National Parks in Zambia.
 
Zambia’s deforestation amount by landcover of indigenous forests and valuable wildlife habitat annually is ranked the highest in Africa approaching 300,000 hectares a year. This not only contributes to global climate change, but also exacerbates the loss of already threatened wildlife species that call these forests their home, such as the African wild dog, elephant, lion as well as locally threatened species such as sable, roan and ground hornbill. Since 2012, BCP has worked with the Zambian Government and local communities to create new value from wildlife habitat protection through REDD+.
 
REDD+ is a mechanism to fund forest protection and community development through sales of carbon offsets. To incentivise participation in these forest conservation initiatives, rural communities receive performance-based incentives from the return on the carbon sales, that can be used to fund local infrastructure and social development projects. The LCFP is Africa’s largest REDD+ project by hectarage at 944,000 hectares.
 
A key risk to the success of the LCFP is to continue to deliver impactful benefits and alternative livelihoods to local communities.  LCFP aims to catalyse a conservation economy in Eastern Zambia that will create jobs, improve social conditions and attract new investment. 
 
The new 20-year agreement signed between BCP, Peace Parks Foundation and Eni aims to address this risk and ensure that LCFP communities economically transform alongside improved conservation co-management of key wildlife habitats. Eni’s step to partner with an African conservation NGO and an African social enterprise in a multi-year, multi-project pipeline plan is a pioneering leadership step.
 
Antonio Baldassarre, Senior Vice President REDD+ and Africa Program for Eni stated that: “Eni is one of Africa’s largest energy investors and has been active in the continent since 1954.  To Eni, protecting African forests and biodiversity, creating community wealth are logical and important components on how we operate and how we can contribute to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals, all important constituences of our decarbonization strategy.  The scale and longevity of this Partnership will help ensure LCFP can continue to be a leading conservation project recognised for its quality and positive contribution towards both the people and landscape of Zambia.”   
 
Mr. Werner Myburgh, CEO of Peace Parks Foundation added: “The biggest challenge of our time is to ensure co-existence between humans and nature, and this project is an exemplary conservation success story, because not only will this be achieved, but both will truly thrive. We laud Eni for stepping up to join a partnership that is leading the way in making an impact at a scale that is vital to help mitigate climate change and maintain biodiversity.”
 
According to Dr. Hassan Sachedina, BCP CEO: “Successful community-based conservation efforts to reduce deforestation requires sustainable incentives.  Signing a 20 year partnership agreement de-risks our community partners and resonates deeply with BCP’s mission of making conservation of wildlife habitat valuable to people.  In 2020, direct payments to 12 communities will be $2.6 million (38 Million Zambian Kwacha).”

In 2018, Peace Parks facilitated a historic seven-year offset purchase agreement for BCP’s forest carbon work with luxury goods company, Richemont. Richemont’s commitment to reduce their company emissions through BCP offset purchases also support ongoing forest conservation and social impact projects in Zambia.

Eni

Eni is a global integrated energy company operating in 67 Countries. We concretely support a just energy transition, with the objective of preserving our planet and promoting an efficient and sustainable access to energy for all. Our work is based on passion and innovation, on our unique strengths and skills, on the equal dignity of each person, recognizing diversity as a key value for human development, on the responsibility, integrity and transparency of our actions. We believe in the value of long term partnerships with the countries and communities where we operate, bringing long-lasting prosperity for all. Our path to decarbonization aims to make the Company carbon neutral in the long term, developing an integrated energy transition plan, leveraging efficiency maximization and direct emission reduction, promoting an energy mix with a low carbon impact, developing circular economy and offset initiatives through forestry projects development. Finally, a key role will be played by new technologies use for the capture and use of CO2 emitted.

BCP

BCP (BioCarbon Partners) is a Zambian-based social enterprise, which develops and manages long term forest carbon projects in Zambia. We are a leading African, carbon offset development company that partners with local communities to create environmental awareness and improve the quality of life for local communities. The current focus of BCP is on implementing and extending REDD+ projects in the greater Zambezi-Luangwa ecosystem with plans to extend our projects in the Kafue ecosystem in Zambia. BCP has certified two successful REDD+ projects in Zambia; The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) and The Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP), combining an area of almost 1 million hectares. Both projects have been validated to Community, Climate and Biodiversity (CCB) triple gold standards (validation) and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) verification; The LCFP is the largest REDD+ Project in Africa and to the best of our knowledge, the largest REDD+ project in the World in terms of quantified social beneficiaries at approximately 173,000 beneficiaries.  www.biocarbonpartners.com

Peace Parks
 
The Peace Parks dream is to reconnect Africa’s wild spaces to create a future for man in harmony with nature. In order to achieve this vision the Foundation works to renew and preserve large, functional ecosystems that stretch across international boundaries. Peace Parks engages with governments to secure protected land, and channel investment into development of transboundary conservation areas.  The organisation plans and implements innovative strategies that revitalise habitat integrity, restore ecological functionality, and protect biodiversity. The Foundation develops nature-based tourism and enterprise opportunities to ensure the long-term sustainability of protected areas. At the same time, it focuses on communities living in and around these wild spaces –capacitating them in the sustainable use of natural resources and unlocking opportunities for them to derive equitable benefits from conservation.

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