With thanks to the BioCarbon and the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project, Lower Zambezi National Park has become the world's first national park to achieve a carbon neutral status.
BioCarbon's project REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is a project that helps farming communities in Zambia improve their livelihoods, protect disappearing forests and create a sanctuary for globally threatened wildlife. The Lower Zambezi Community Forestry Project currently protects 100,000 acres of Miombo forest. Every camp within the national park is part of the project – including lodges on the outskirts.
Chiawa Camp & Old Mondoro Bush Camp purchased carbon credits from the Lower Zambezi REDD+ project, using internationally accepted values for fossil fuel use, to offset the carbon emissions both properties produce. The project shares a massive boundary and the same eco-system of Lower Zambezi, therefore they are not only offsetting their carbon emissions; they are also protecting trees, wildlife and habitat of the national park.
Chiawa Camp & Old Mondoro also offer guests the opportunity to offset their own carbon emissions from their associated air travel via the website Stand For Trees where they can select the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project at the following page: standfortrees.org
By offsetting 1,200 tonnes of carbon emissions, Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro are protecting an estimated 403 hectares of Zambian forest (approximately 3,228 trees), and removing enough CO2 from the atmosphere to be equivalent to taking 215 cars off the road for a year.
Tourism is the world's largest service sector industry, with significant energy, fuel and food production needs, the success of this project makes it a shining light for Africa's sustainable tourism.
(Above : BCP Managing Director and Technical Team Coordinator during a visit to Chiawa camp, celebrating its trend-setting carbon neutrality!)
The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project has been validated and verified to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).
Evidencing its exceptional local benefits, the project has been validated to the Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB), Edition X, and has earned been awarded triple-gold status for its project design in climate change adaptation, community benefits, and biodiversity.
Grant Cummings, owner of Chiawa and Old Mondoro commented,
"Tourism can have a positive impact on the world's natural environment. We're committed to providing an amazing Zambia for future generations to enjoy."