Saving forests, protecting wildlife, and changing lives
Following decades of political and economic turbulence, the people of Zimbabwe are now feeling the effects of a changing, more unpredictable climate. With limited economic opportunities, some communities are delving deeper into the country's forests to meet their basic needs, clearing land for subsistence farming and fuelwood. More than a third of Zimbabwe's majestic forests have been lost. The Kariba project protects remaining swathes along the Zimbabwe-Zambia border while equipping the local communities with the necessary resources and skills to protect their future.
income generated from beekeeping, moringa tree and community garden sales
are increasing food security
supported with safe drinking water
attending 430 workshops on project-related activities, such as nutritional gardening and beekeeping to date
have access to safe drinking water, thanks to 147 boreholes being repaired
created thanks to the project
on supporting health clinics and schools
mitigated on average each year since the project started in 2011
of forest protected
between local communities, national and international organisations and carbon experts to deliver sustainable, long-term benefits.
The Kariba project is one of the largest registered REDD+ projects worldwide, it is a community-based project, administered by the four local Rural District Councils (RDCs) of Binga, Nyaminyami, Hurungwe, and Mbire. Through these councils, communities can highlight when and where they particularly need support. Investments in the project go towards a range of activities that promote the independence and wellbeing of these communities. Improved health clinics provide better healthcare, infrastructure including new roads, boreholes, biodigesters improve daily life, and school subsidies are offered to the poorest quartile of the population. Project activities in conservation agriculture, community gardens, beekeeping training, fire management, and ecotourism create jobs, and facilitate sustainable incomes, benefit the entire region.
Otilla Makanjera, Farmer at the Kariba project
Sitting on the shores of Lake Kariba, the project forms a giant wildlife corridor that connects four national parks: the Chizarira, Matusadona, and Mana Pools National Parks (also a World Heritage Site), and Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park, with eight safari reserves! Within this, an expansive forest is home to numerous vulnerable and endangered species – including the African elephant, lion, hippo, lappet-faced vulture, and southern ground hornbill. Since its launch in 2011, the Kariba project has protected nearly 785,000 hectares from deforestation and degradation, preventing 3.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere on average every year. While supporting regional sustainable development and the independence and wellbeing of local communities.
Luke Kalavina, Chief of Hurungwe Rural District Council
The community-led forest protection project is set up in 2011 to protect this incredible swathe of miombo and mopane forest by empowering communities to become more resilient to the effects of a changing climate.
Three years after launch, the Kariba project is recognised as a finalist in the 2014 UNCCD's Land for Life Award and UNDP's Equator Prize 2014. These are very positive signs so early in the project.
What motivates you at work? For us it's seeing the tangible changes our projects are creating together with local communities in the face of a changing climate that is bringing severe drought to already vulnerable regions.
The Kariba project completes it's 4th successful verification under one of the world's leading carbon standard, Verified Carbon Standards (VCS) and CCBS Gold Level accreditations, Climate Change Adaptation Benefits and Exceptional Biodiversity benefits! Every 2-3 years the project and its impacts are audited by an independent third-party.
Global temperatures soared and emissions continued to rise, despite the pandemic. Yet, commitment to tackle climate change gained momentum. Not only have the communities survived the pandemic, they have thrived. See the 2020 impact report.
Protecting two globally recognised ecosystems of exceptional biodiversityRead more
Protecting the rainforest ecosystems of the Congo Basin and enriching local communitiesRead more