Kariba REDD+ is a forest protection project, located in the northern part of Zimbabwe, on the shores of lake Kariba. REDD+ stands for Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Since its launch in 2011, the Kariba REDD+ project has protected nearly 785,000 hectares from deforestation and land degradation, preventing more than 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions being released into the atmosphere. The project continues to support regional sustainable development and the independence and wellbeing of local communities. If it weren’t for the project, it would have been more profitable to cut the forest down. If the forest would be logged, the stored carbon would have been released into the atmosphere. So by preventing the logging, the project also prevents the carbon from being released.
The project’s social effects
The Kariba project has positive environmental and social effects as well. One of the largest registered REDD+ projects by area, it sits between the Chizarira, Matusadona and Mana Pools National Parks (also a World Heritage Site), and Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park. The project connects these four national parks and eight safari reserves, forming a giant biodiversity corridor that protects both the forest area and many vulnerable species, including the African elephant, lion, hippo, lappet-faced vulture and southern ground hornbill. In this way, forest protection projects support biodiversity and the protection of wildlife. Kariba REDD+ is a community-based project, administered by the four local Rural District Councils (RDCs) of Binga, Nyaminyami, Hurungwe and Mbire. As such, the project supports a range of activities beyond environmental protection, promoting the independence and wellbeing of these communities alongside with several sustainable development goals.
The project alone support 19 health clinics and provides food for the poor from its 35 community gardens. The 241 boreholes of the area also provide more than 60 000 people with drinking water. Kariba also offers job training, such as beekeeping and improved agriculture.
Photo credit: Katri Kallio-Koski / Compensate
The project supports regional sustainable development and the independence and wellbeing of local communities.