Forest protection near the Kariba lake, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has been heavingly damaged by civil war, economic collapse, huge population growth and political turmoil. Over the last 20 years, this has resulted in more than one-third of Zimbabwe’s forests being cut down.
The Kariba project protects a forest area along the shores of the Kariba Lake. Nearly 800,000 hectares of forest are protected, forming a huge biodiversity corridor between Chizarira, Matusadona and Mana Pools National Park (a World Heritage Site) and Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia.
The area is larger than all the forest areas in Denmark – combined! The project ensures that additional forest is not cut down and prevents forest fires by building “fire protection”.
The side effects of Kariba
A large area of rainforest is protected together with several endangered animals, including the black rhino, the African elephant, the cheetah, the lion, the lion, the eagle and several others. These animals are protected indirectly because their habitat is not transformed into agriculture and directly through the Park Rangers who fight poachers.
In addition to protecting the forest and animals, the project also has some social benefits. 40% of the participants in the project are women, and the project builds new roads and wells in the local areas, improving the conditions in local hospitals and grants school education for the poorest 25%. Together with the locals, they also teach better farming practices, community gardens, bee farming, forest fire prevention and “eco-tourism”.
As the first forest protection project, it received recognition from NCOS (National Carbon Offset Standard), and is the only one approved for purchase by companies in Australia. It is both verified by VCS (Verified Carbon Standard) and CCBA (Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance) at the “Gold level” (highest level).
This means that the project is continuously monitored to ensure that the forest is protected and preserved, and that everything is as it should be.
The project was developed by South Pole Carbon, who has won the “Best Project Developer” award at Environmental Finance 7 out of 9 times and won the title again this year, along with numerous other awards.
Read more on their website here.