SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 21, February 2017 - Page 80

The actual Kariba REDD+ project promotes low-carbon growth and empowers local people in sub-Saharan Africa, using the carbon market as one of several sources of main revenue. The quantifiable project activities all work towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Up until now, the project has achieved GHG emission reductions of >10 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e), and is expected to protect the atmosphere from the emission of another 44 million (tCO2e over the next 25 years from reduced emissions associated with deforestation. The project furthermore contributes to the conservation of >7’800 km2 of pristine forests and endemic wildlife and supports community resilience via school infrastructure renovations and school for pupils. To date, more than 20’000 people are reached and positively affected by the anti-hunger & anti-poverty project activities of improved agriculture and alternative income: the introduction and support for conservation agriculture, honey production and fire prevention measures directly attribute a financial value to standing, living trees; increased agricultural productivity; and alternative cash flows. The driving forces behind the project activities are the local communities in Binga, NyamiNyami, Hurungwe and Mbire, on the Southern shore of Lake Kariba. Their work has led the project to be recognised as a finalist in the 2014 UNCCD’s “Land for Life Award” and UNDP‘s Equator Prize 2014.

Are there plans to further improve your example of tourism supporting conservation in the future?

We plan to work together with LT&C throughout 2017 to engage key stakeholders, and encourage in particular tour operators and individual travellers to address their travel carbon footprint through the Kariba REDD+ project. The Kariba REDD+ Project is the only REDD+ project in Zimbabwe and was the first REDD+ project on community land verified in Africa. Zimbabwe is a Sub-Saharan country with grossly insufficient levels of development aid and ailing private sector engagement. Despite these challenges, the Kariba REDD+ project has managed to become an example on how communities and the private sector can work together, creating real impacts on a large scale within Africa’s poorest communities: it directly supports the Sustainable Development Goals by, among others, protecting the environment, improving infrastructure, ensuring healthier lives, and empowering women by creating livelihood opportunities for them in agriculture, education and project management.

How could your example be transferred to another protected area and how could your experience be shared with others?

With sufficient finance and recognition, the Kariba REDD+ project activity can be replicated in and outside of Zimbabwe. There are many regions where communities and sustainability professionals could work together on the sustainable management of forests for green growth and eradication of hunger and poverty. The project has the ability to integrate into subnational, national or even international REDD+ and Payment for Environmental Services schemes, once it receives sufficient economic backing.

This LT&C-Example is authorised by Alexander Quarles van Ufford, Carbon & Renewable Energy Manager, South Pole Group. For more information contact him, explore the website of the Kariba project or look at the Kariba REDD+ project fact sheet: Project_Information-990

February 2017 - Sustainable Travel