Saving forests, protecting wildlife and changing lives
In recent decades, Zimbabwe has suffered from political and economic turbulence. With limited economic opportunities, desperate communities have delved deeper into the forests, clearing it for subsistence farming and fuelwood. More than a third of Zimbabwe’s majestic forests have been lost. Creating further instability for people with already precarious livelihoods.
in conservation farming and community gardening since the project started
are increasing food security in the project area up to date
with safe drinking water
have benefited from trainings/workshops on project-related activities, such as nutritional gardening and beekeeping to date
have access to safe drinking water, thanks to boreholes being repaired
have been created thanks to the project
on supporting health clinics and schools since the project start
reduced on average each year since the project started in 2011
and 17 vulnerable and endangered species protected
between local communities, national and international organisations and carbon experts to deliver sustainable, long-term benefits.
The Kariba Project protects almost 785,000 hectares of forests and wildlife on the southern shores of Lake Kariba, near the Zimbabwe-Zambia border. One of the largest registered REDD+ projects by the area, it connects four national parks and eight safari reserves, forming a giant biodiversity corridor that protects an expansive forest and numerous vulnerable and endangered species – including the African elephant, lion, hippo, lappet-faced vulture, and southern ground hornbill. As well as this, the project implements numerous community-focused initiatives detailed below.
By using the conservation farming method, our community members are able to earn an income from the sunflower seeds and there's no waste: the stalks are used as fences around the homesteads.
Otilla Makanjera, Farmer at the Kariba project
Kariba is a community-based project, administered by the four local Rural District Councils (RDCs) of Binga, Nyaminyami, Hurungwe and Mbire. As such, the project supports a range of activities beyond environmental protection, promoting the independence and wellbeing of these communities. Improved clinic amenities provide better healthcare, infrastructure including new roads and boreholes 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, benefiting the entire region.
So far so good, communities highly appreciated the Kariba programme.
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 its 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.
Even with the pandemic griding much of the global economy to a halt, temperatures in certain parts of the world soared. Yet, commitment to tackle climate change also gained momentum. For the communities living in Kariba, conditions continue to be challenging, but hard work persisted: see for yourself in the 2020 impact report.
The end of 2021 brought with it an exciting milestone in the Kariba Forest Protection project's lifetime… Its 10th birthday! A decade of protecting forests, reducing emissions, preserving biodiversity and empowering local communities deserves to be celebrated. Read the project's 10 year anniversary report here to learn more about what has made it such a success.
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