Kariba REDD+ Project in Zimbabwe

This forest conservation project is aimed at providing sustainable livelihood opportunities for poor communities in Northern Zimbabwe, a region now suffering heavily from deforestation, poverty, and drought.

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The collapse of Zimbabwe’s agricultural production, as well as population growth, has led to significant forest degradation. This has impacted strongly on native ecosystems, which could no longer be managed sustainably. About 3% of Northern Zimbabwe’s forest cover has been lost per year and wildlife populations have partially collapsed. On the other hand, Zimbabwe now has one of the world’s lowest Human Development Index scores – which made the starting point for the Kariba project.

Its aim is to reduce deforestation and forest degradation through a range of activities proposed by local communities and financed by project supporters. These include the establishment of nutritional gardens, conservation agriculture, promotion of efficent cookstoves, forest fire prevention and management, and enhanced wildlife conservation. There is also direct support in the provision of basic equipment needed for the administration and management of the project, such as computers, printers, uniforms for community guards and bridge repairs.

Locals are supported in setting up their own sustainable businesses that allow a living in line with conservational requirements. This includes low-emissions brick making, native fruit tree cultivation and establishment of beekeeping, with honey sales contributing to family incomes.

How this project improves lives

  • Conservation farming and other non-destructive farming approaches are taught in the project’s agricultural classes which has led to greater food security and has generated an increase of 20-30% in harvests. This also entails to enhanced climate change awareness and adaptation capabilities of the community.
  • Several healthcare centres have been supplied with medicine, and building repairs are under planning.
  • More than ten schools have already been provided with new roofing and furniture.
  • One bridge and several roads across the project area with a total length of more than 1.200 km have been repaired.
  • New boreholes are being drilled or refurbished in order to improve irrigation of the fields.
  • 11 community nutrition gardens have been established, and 50 more are being planned, enhancing food security for local families.
  • School fee subsidies are available through the project for the poorest quarter of the local population.
  • Direct employment opportunities have been generated for about 88 local people for project operations such as scouting, fire prevention measures, nutritional garden establishment and water pump maintenance.
  • Assistance is given for the establishment of family-based microbusinesses such as honey production.
  • The project helps preserve biodiversity corridors between 3 national reserve parks (one of them is a Unesco World Heritage Site), which are crucial for endangered or vulnerable species such as the elephant, lion, zebra, buffalo, African wild dog and Southern ground hornbill.
  • Such positive impact has been confirmed by a wildlife monitoring in 2014.
  • Game scouts will help to reduce wildlife poaching; this will also reduce the occurrence of wildfires, which are often caused by poaching activities.
  • Through the introduction of conservation agriculture with techniques such as anti-erosion terracing, soil degradation is avoided.
  • Crop rotation delivers a stable and diverse food supply, preserves nutrients in the soil and increases biodiversity.
  • Forest fires can be avoided and tamed through education and training on fire prevention and fire fighting.

benefit from the project


total CO2 reduction over the 30 years of the project


of protected forest until 2041


The Kariba REDD+ project is located at Lake Kariba in Northern Zimbabwe, connecting several National Parks and Game Reserves such as Chizarira, Matusadona and Mana Pools National Park (which is also a World Heritage Site), and Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia.

Key facts of the project

Additionality and permanence: according to the rules of the CCBS and VCS
3rd party validated: by Environmental Services Inc
Transparency: provided by Markit Environmental Registry

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