The Kariba REDD+ Project, the largest registered REDD+ project by area, serves as a corridor between existing national parks, namely Mana Pools, Matusadona and Chizarira. By providing a corridor for wildlife, the project has a positive impact on biodiversity both within the project area and in the surrounding region. The project impacts include improved habitat for threatened species like the Black Rhinoceros, of which few individuals are left in the area.
This project is a crucial opportunity to create a successful example that can be replicated in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. The Kariba REDD+ project is the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, and follow‐up projects are already being considered. Zimbabwe’s protracted socio-economic crisis has taken a great toll on the country’s agricultural sector, its people and its wildlife. This exemplary REDD+ project is critical to reducing pressure on the country’s forests and providing sustainable means of livelihood.
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The project has generated more than 60 local jobs to help with project operations such as community scouts, staff for fire prevention measures, nutritional garden establishment, carrying out the project monitor requirements and maintaining technical equipment (e.g. water pumps). Additional jobs have been created for the establishment of sustainably-managed fuelwood plantations and household use as well as the implementation of the indigenous knowledge system for mapping areas with abundant non-timber forest products resources that the communities consider for income generation.
The project’s Community and Project Sustainability Fund is structured to benefit whole communities, specifically including the poorest members of society. The fund is used to improve health and education in the project area due to long term activities. The project is being undertaken on communal lands and as such it is imperative that the people within these communities can improve their livelihood security via the project. The project proponents feel that this aspect of the revenue distribution is of utmost importance.
Basic amenities are supplemented for targeted schools. Numbers, distribution, and salaries of teachers are adjusted where needed, ensuring an acceptable pupil/teacher ratio. These schools have an initiative to maximize pupil attendance by assisting with fees. Climate change and environmental conservation topics will be added to the curriculum and careers within the sector/project will be encouraged.
Targeted clinics have had improvements made, basic amenities improved, basic drugs and dressings stocked. Availability, quality, number, and salaries of healthcare practitioners per clinic is subsidized where needed. A Healthcare Officer will be appointed to monitor and manage clinic improvement initiative, and will report to the Board of the Community Fund.
The project serves as a corridor between existing national parks, resulting in a vast and contiguous wildlife area. An extensive biodiversity assessment found a total of 150 mammal, 504 bird, 133 reptiles and 274 butterfly species in the region. In addition, the natural resources in the project area provide crucial livelihoods- fruits are collected for food and homesteads are constructed exclusively from naturally available material. Several local trees, like the Baobab tree in which chiefs are traditionally buried, are important for cultural identity for the local communities.
The Kariba corridor has numerous threatened and endangered species, including:
- Black rhinoceros
- African elephant
- African painted dog
- Lappet-faced vulture
- Southern ground hornbill
The Kariba REDD+ Project is expected to generate nearly 52 million tonnes of carbon credits from reduced emissions over a 30 year time period. The first batch of 388,555 Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) was issued September of 2013.
Kariba REDD+ Project received approval by the NCOS (National Carbon Offset Standard) and as such, is currently the only international REDD+ project endorsed by the Australian government for use as voluntary offsets by Australian companies.
About the Project Developer
South Pole Group & Carbon Green Africa
South Pole Group is an international company that specializes in reducing greenhouse gases and developing innovative climate friendly solutions. In 2011 and 2012, the company was named “Best Project Developer” in Environmental Finance's Voluntary Carbon Market Survey. With eleven offices around the globe and operations in 25 countries, the company enables the implementation and operation of high-quality emission-reduction projects that address climate change and sustainable development. South Pole Group's portfolio includes, among others, projects that center on renewable energy, forestry, energy efficiency, waste management and methane avoidance. This project is also supported by local partner- Carbon Green Africa. Carbon Green Africa was established in 2011 by Carbon Green Investments (CGI) to facilitate the generation of Carbon Credits through validating REDD projects in Zimbabwe, through its local team and network of partners.