from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – ZAMBIA’S Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) has won the Best Individual Offsetting Project in the 2023 Voluntary Carbon Market Rankings and Environmental Finance Awards.
The awards are dubbed the Oscars of global climate finance.
BioCarbon Partners (BCP), which manages the project, also won the award for Best Project Developer, Biodiversity and scooped the Best Monitoring Report award for the third year in a row.
“As a community we are deeply proud of this award,” Senior Chief Luembe, Patron of the LCFP, said.
The traditional leader said protecting the world’s forests is crucial for addressing the global climate crisis, but preventing deforestation is an especially difficult challenge in Africa, where forests are also a critical source of income for local communities, and for biodiversity which rely on forests for their existence.
“The LCFP shows that there are solutions which are yielding significant positive results, not only for the environment and biodiversity, but also for our communities,” Luembe said.
LCFP is the largest REDD+ project in Africa by size, and the largest in the world by quantified social impact.
It comprises over 1 million hectares.
REDD+ integrates forest conservation, carbon credits, and community involvement to combat deforestation.
Recognized under the UN Framework, REDD+ assigns financial value to forest carbon, driving investments in forest protection.
LCFP has directly benefited over 220 000 people in the community, resulting in a 220 percent increase in household average income between 2016, prior to the project’s implementation, and 2022.
The benefit sharing mechanism includes cash distribution, forest protection, livelihood activities, capacity building and employment creation.
“These awards show that our long-term strategy of delivering climate impact at scale with indigenous communities at the forefront is valuable and working for communities and the environment,” said Nicholas Mudaly, CEO of BCP.
– CAJ News