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UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2022
In partnership with local communities in Zambia, BCP uses the REDD+ mechanism to create a sustainable model where communities receive performance-based, Forest Carbon Fees for any activities that protect their forests and the wildlife inhabiting these forests. BCP reduces social and economic risk through the monetization of carbon and other livelihood interventions.
BCP, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, has been working with farmers in an effort to address food security challenges through the farmer to farmer extension model. In an effort to respond to the country’s vulnerability to climate change challenges, which directly affects food security in the country, BCP has invested in Climate-Smart Agriculture technologies. With agriculture expansion as such a major threat to the forests, Climate-Smart Agriculture helps to provide food security and a sustainable future for some of Zambia’s most nutrition insecure families.
Forest Carbon Fees generated from the sale of BCP’s verified carbon offsets are invested into community development projects that will support the upliftment of the community as a whole. Health care facilities such as clinics have been built to support our community partners to allow for easier access to necessary healthcare when required. Community partners have also been supported with the procurement of boats for easier access to health care as well as the installation of WASH (Water and Sanitation) projects that support the health and well-being of the community.
Forest Carbon Fees generated from the sale of BCP’s verified carbon offsets are invested into community development projects that will support upliftment of the community as a whole. Educational facilities such as schools and teachers’ houses have been built to support our community partners to allow for easier access to education. Building teachers’ houses is necessary to attract and retain good quality and qualified teachers to support educational needs. BCP also supports the upliftment of community partners through the training, equipping and compensation of BCP supported community scouts. This provides community partners with skills development and the opportunity to support higher education for financial success of our community partners.
Gender equality is at the forefront of BCP’s project and company goals. At the Community Forest Management Group (CFMG) planning level, meetings are run in a way that women are properly included in the decision making process. Despite cultural norms that make resource protection predominantly a male role, BCP’s projects are managing to attract women into community scout roles. A large part of the role of the community scouts will be to engage local communities in biodiversity conservation issues. We believe that female community scouts will have a better understanding of the needs of local women and the factors governing their decision making. Women will be better at engaging other local women within their communities.
The REDD+ benefit-sharing mechanism is designed to give women equal rights and equal access to economic resources. More than half of the beneficiaries are currently women. Elections of the Community Forest Management Group (CFMG) members (The CFMG is the institution to which Forest Carbon Fees are directly transferred to) are democratic. According to the Zambian Constitution, a minimum number of women are to be included on any committee or board ensuring the women will be represented.
Since inception, revenue from Forest Carbon Fees has helped Community Resource Groups across the 13 Chiefdoms that we partner with to implement 66 WASH projects.Forest Carbon Fees generated from the sale of verified carbon offsets are used to fund Community development projects supporting sanitation and access to clean water. BCP’s project zones safeguard two vital river systems, namely the Luangwa and Zambezi watersheds which protect and feed their respective ecosystems. By protecting the forests that support these rivers, we are supporting these critical water-related ecosystems.
Only 28% of Zambians have access to electricity, leaving charcoal as the source of cooking and heat. Charcoal production is also one of the primary income sources for many rural Zambians. BCP created Eco-Charcoal in response to the clear need to create a legal, sustainable alternative product for the Zambian market. Eco-Charcoal is sustainably produced to protect Zambian forests. It is 100% pure and natural and burns 20% longer than regular charcoal. It is produced using a modern method that reduces harmful smoke and emissions during use, which reduces the risk of harmful inhalation by its users. Eco-Charcoal has trained community producers we call “Charpreneurs” in a bid to provide fair and safe employment for rural Zambians. Forest carbon fees generated from the sale of verified carbon offsets fund solar installation for community beneficiaries, particularly for educational facilities.
BCP is creating jobs at a community level to support increases in household income and economic growth. Community jobs are created for positions such as BCP-supported Community Scouts, members of the Forest Monitoring Team and community teacher positions. Community Scouts currently represent roughly 50% of the people on BCP’s payroll, which means that 65% of our payroll comes from our partner communities. We are proud to be supporting local communities to provide skilled employment and safeguard habitat in this way. Together, with the Community Scouts from our partners , BCP will be helping to support a total of 273 Community Scouts in Zambia under REDD+.
The REDD+ mechanism used to develop BCP’s carbon offsetting projects is designed as an innovative solution to help rural community members in Zambia see and realize tangible value from keeping their forests alive. BCP pioneered REDD+ in Zambia with the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project being the first REDD+ project in Zambia. BCP also supported the first communities in Zambia to gain access to their carbon rights and to benefit from the carbon trade. The additional aspect of the REDD+ model adds further value to the mechanism through supporting social and environmental/conservation benefits.
Audited and verified standards include VCS, CCB, and BCorp. Although not externally audited, other international project standards that BCP aligns with are IFC and ISO 14001. BCP also has astringent internal audit system that tracks Environmental and Social Management. Forest carbon science innovation supports technology and industry development within developing countries such as Zambia and supports rural communities gaining access to global markets through various livelihood initiatives such as beekeeping and Eco-Charcoal.
BCP’s projects and the corresponding benefit-sharing mechanisms are designed to allow equal opportunities and reduce inequality for all community partners. Beneficiaries are incentivized both directly and indirectly through the community value creation package for activities that support the protection of forests and wildlife. BCP’s projects are supporting increased household income, infrastructure development, and foreign investment into developing countries in Africa such as Zambia.
Through the mobilization of Forest Carbon Fees generated from the sale of verified carbon offsets from BCP’s projects, communities are able to develop infrastructure and support livelihood initiatives that make community settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Climate-Smart Agricultural techniques passed on to community partners helps to reduce environmental impact as well as support an oversupply of the crop for market entry.
REDD+ is a mechanism designed to “Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest degradation”. This offsetting model is designed to promote sustainability and the preservation of natural resources. BCP sells verified carbon offsets generated from REDD+ projects that we directly develop to buyers in the voluntary carbon market. BCP directly supports sustainable practices through its core business by selling carbon offsets verified against international standards to buyers in order to support the end user’s sustainability goals. BCP’s projects span over 1 Million Hectares of protected, African dryland forest and together with our community and Government partners, have reduced over 7 million tons of carbon from being released into the environment since inception in 2012. As a company, we have led by example and promoted sustainability by being one of the first companies globally to offset more carbon than emitted since the company’s formation. BCP has been Climate Positive for 7 years.
Forest carbon offers one of the most significant and cost-effective solutions for climate action in the coming decade. Research indicates that forests and other natural climate solutions (NCS) are capable of providing up to one-third of climate mitigation needed by 2030″ (2021 State of the forest carbon finance). BCP’s projects are directly addressing climate change through REDD+. The model is replicable and scalable and our projects have been verified through international auditors and against international standards to be reducing approximately 1.7 Million Tonnes of carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere on an annual basis. At a project level, community partners are educated and sensitized on the importance of climate action and our projects support climate-smart agricultural techniques as well as other livelihood initiatives that involve the sustainable management and use of forest resources such as Eco-Charcoal and honey production.
In partnership with Government and community partners, BCP helps to protect over 1 Million hectares of contiguous wildlife corridor extending from the Luangwa to Lower Zambezi ecosystems. The LCFP acts as an important protective buffer to the South Luangwa, North Luangwa, Luambe, Lower Zambezi, and Lukusuzi National Parks, providing safe habitat and protected migration paths for wildlife. This important stretch of land is home to threatened species such as lions, wild dogs, and elephants.
BCP will only choose to operate in zones that hold high ecological value and are considered to be legacy landscapes in terms of threatened biodiversity. As much as social benefits are important to BCP’s mission, conservation of wildlife strongholds are equally as important. In order to provide the security required to protect these zones, BCP-supported community scouts are deployed to address encroachment as well as wildlife crime. Scouts are also trained to identify wildlife and log this important data on handheld devices as part of their line of work. Aerial patrols are also conducted weekly in order to keep a lookout for encroachment and poachers from the skies.
The LCFP is a project in partnership with 12 Community Forest Management Groups (CFMGs). Through the LCFP, BCP supported the first communities in Zambia to access their rights to benefit from carbon trade. Funding from the sale of verified carbon offsets is paid directly to CFMGs. Building the capacity of these important institutions is critical and BCP has developed a strategy called “Strengthening of Local Institutions” or “SOLI” to support the development of CFMGs and their capacity to manage and expend their funding in a responsible and ethical way that benefits the community as a whole.
The SOLI calls for corruption free institutions through regular audits. The members of the CFMG’s are elected by the community at large to ensure that decision making is fair. BCP’s conservation team, through community scouts, work to combat organized poaching gangs in order to promote the rule of law and ensure equal access to justice.
The development of BCP’s projects has attracted foreign investment into Zambia, a developing country in Africa. The financial resources continue to be mobilized through the annual disbursement of Forest Carbon Fees from the sale of verified carbon offsets that uplift and develop rural communities in some of the most impoverished areas in Zambia. Community livelihood initiatives are intended to create a “beyond subsistence” mechanism that allows community beneficiaries to create income from sustainable sources that protect and conserve trees in their community forests. BCP helps connect these locally produced products such as honey and Eco-Charcoal to an international market of buyers to create value beyond subsistence.
BCP helps to remove these significant barriers to trade through this market connection. REDD+ is an innovative and sustainable technology that supports forest protection, community development, and the protection of threatened wildlife. The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project was the first REDD+ project in Zambia and pioneered and introduced this concept of forest carbon to Zambia. The LCFP followed the LZRP by becoming the largest REDD+ project in Africa by hectares and arguably, the largest in the World in terms of quantified social benefits as the project supports over 217,000 people. BCP partners closely with the Zambian Government, particularly the Forestry Department and Department of National Parks and Wildlife, to support the Zambian Government to achieve Zambia’s sustainability goals. REDD+ is paramount to achieving the necessary targets by 2030.
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