Projects Forest Management

Kariba REDD+ Community development protects forests

Objective: Since the Kariba REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) project launched in 2011, more than 18 million tonnes of CO2 have been prevented from entering the atmosphere. The project has also supported the independence and wellbeing of local communities.

The Context

Zimbabwe has been torn apart by war, civil unrest, economic collapse and population growth. Over the past twenty years, desperate communities have delved deeper into the forests, clearing for farming and fuel for their rudimentary homes. As a result, more than a third of Zimbabwe's majestic forests are now gone.

The Project

The Kariba project ensures that 784,987 hectares of forest and wildlife on the southern shores of Zimbabwe's Lake Kariba are now protected. As one of the largest registered REDD+ project by area, it sits between the Chizarira, Matusadona and Mana Pools National Park (which is also a World Heritage Site), and Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia. By connecting these four national parks and eight safari reserves, this project area forms a giant biodiversity corridor, ensuring the protection of an expansive rainforest and numerous vulnerable and endangered species, including: the African elephant, lion, common hippo, lappet-faced vulture and southern ground hornbill.

The Benefits

Beyond protecting the environment, a range of activities support the independence and wellbeing of local communities. Better health care is implemented through improving clinic amenities, infrastructural development such as new roads and new boreholes improve daily life, while school subsidies are made available for the poorest quartile of the population. Project activities such as conservation agriculture, community gardens, beekeeping training, fire management and ecotourism create jobs and facilitate sustainable incomes that benefit the entire community.

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