Kariba Forest Protection

Saving forests, protecting wildlife, and changing lives

Zimbabwe
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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.

Location
Zimbabwe
Type
Avoided Deforestation
Registry
Standards
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Sustainable Development Goals

1. No Poverty

USD 249,000+

income generated from beekeeping, moringa tree and community garden sales

2. Zero Hunger

18 Nutritional gardens

are increasing food security

3. Good Health and Well-Being

14 Health clinics

supported with safe drinking water

4. Quality Education

18,000+ people

attending 430 workshops on project-related activities, such as nutritional gardening and beekeeping to date

6. Clean Water and Sanitation

37,000 people

have access to safe drinking water, thanks to 147 boreholes being repaired

8. Decent work and economic growth

22 Permanent jobs

created thanks to the project

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

USD 57,000+ spent

on supporting health clinics and schools

13. Climate Action

3,620,000 tonnes of CO2e

mitigated on average each year since the project started in 2011

15. Life on land

784,987 hectares

of forest protected

17. Partnerships for the goals

International partnerships

between local communities, national and international organisations and carbon experts to deliver sustainable, long-term benefits.

The Solution

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.

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"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

The project teaches conservation farming to community members to increase food security, profitability and resilience to unpredictable weather.

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Forest-friendly beekeeping allows people to earn money from selling their honey, allowing them away from other activities that may harm the forest!

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Africa is known for some of the most impressive and awe-inspiring wilife migrations in the world – Kariba provides a safe wildlife corridor between safari and nature reserves.

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Elephants migrate through the project area to Mozambique. While wildlife is a welcome sight, to keep it at a safe distance, local people use strings of chilis or prickly knob thorn to deter elephants from coming into the crop fields.

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The whole Kariba project protects over 780,00 hectares of forest – that's more than 3x the size of Luxembourg!

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Givas Chisaka, part of the Carbon Green Africa Project Monitoring Team, is carrying out a plot monitoring field visit in Nyaminyami RDC

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The Impact

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.

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"So far so good, communities highly appreciated the Kariba programme."

Luke Kalavina, Chief of Hurungwe Rural District Council

Project progress

2011
2014
2016
2019
2020
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Project progress

Fresh hope for communities in northern Zimbabwe

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.

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Project progress

Award season!

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.

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Project progress

Why I get out of bed in the morning

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.

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Project progress

An important milestone

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.

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Project progress

Overcoming a challenging year

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.

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