Anabezi Camp, one of our favorite properties in Lower Zambezi National Park, is now Carbon Neutral! They have achieved their Carbon Neutral status by purchasing Carbon Credits from the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project which plays a vital role in protecting the habitat and boundary in the northern part of the LZNP.
What is REDD+?
REDD stands for: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and it is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce or reverse deforestation and emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. REDD+ projects are often referred to as “avoided deforestation” projects, because they are designed to prevent the destruction of areas of intact forest that would otherwise—in the absence of carbon financing—be degraded or deforested. REDD+" goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Read more from UN-REDD+ website and BioCarbon Partners.
What is Lower Zambezi REDD+?
The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project is the first REDD+ project in Zambia. The Project Area encompasses approximately 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) of primary Miombo forest directly adjacent to Lower Zambezi National Park (4,092 km sq.). Known as the Rufunsa Conservancy. The area strategically protects 60 kilometers of the National Park’s boundary by providing a buffer zone between the park and the communal areas, which have a growing human population and a thriving charcoal trade along the Great East Road, a major thoroughfare from Lusaka to Malawi and Mozambique.
The Project Zone for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project, which includes stakeholder communities, encompasses approximately 120,000 hectares of peri-urban community land in Lusaka Province, home to about 1,200 households, 8,300 residents. Deforestation rates in the Project Zone are calculated to be 11 times higher than Zambia’s national deforestation rate, and approximately 53 percent of Lusaka’s annual charcoal supply comes through the project’s location. The poverty rate within the project zone is estimated to be as high as 88 percent, contributing to a high rate of dependency upon charcoal production among rural-poor households that possess few income-generating alternatives. On average, almost 70 percent of total household incomes among producers is derived from charcoal production.
The Lower Zambezi REDD+ project is run by BioCarbon Partners which works with community members to identify and launch projects that address the drivers of deforestation in the areas. The goal of these project is to improve livelihoods opportunities for income generation other than charcoal and reduce local residents dependence on charcoal for income. The Lower Zambezi REDD+ is VCS verified, the only such verified project in Zambia. The hope is that Lower Zambezi REDD+ will serve as a model for additional community-based REDD+ projects and the close partnership between these projects and the safari industry.
Shaun Davy of Anabezi on the decision to purchase carbon credits and the Anabezi team's excitement about the camp's new carbon neutral status:
“Huge areas of Zambia are under constant pressure from commercial charcoal burners, and no where is this threat more apparent then on the northern boundary of the Lower Zambezi National Park due to its relatively close proximity to the capital Lusaka. Anabezi has partnered with BCP because beyond trying to limit the impact of our carbon footprint from operations in the park, we also believe there is a tangible positive impact in conserving a large area of pristine flora. We are excited about the initiative and hope it goes a little further in protecting this beautiful part of Africa”
Anabezi Joins the Team!
Anabezi joins Chiawa and Ol Mondoro, two family-run properties owned by Grant Cumings, also in Lower Zambezi NP who went carbon neutral in June of 2015 With Anabezi on board, it means that 50% of the total operators in the LZNP are now carbon-neutral from operations in 2015 through purchase of verified forest carbon offsets!