Man-made global warming threatens the basis of life, foremost it is threatening the poorest countries, and increasingly it threatens the standard of living in the industrialized world. Market based mechanisms are a strong and proven tool, beyond energy efficiency and savings, for the fight against climate change. For every ton of avoided greenhouse gas emissions, achieved by reducing deforestation and degradation, the Kariba REDD+ project is receiving carbon credits which can be sold to companies and institutions with a voluntary or compliance carbon reduction strategy. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is a mechanism that has been under negotiation by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2005, with the objective of mitigating climate change through reducing net emissions of greenhouse gases through enhanced forest management in developing countries. In the last two decades, various studies estimate that land use change, including deforestation and forest degradation, accounts for 12-29% of global greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, the inclusion of reducing emissions from land use change is considered essential to achieve the objectives of the UNFCCC. Due to poor resources and knowledge, communities are cutting down vast tracts of forest in order to clear fields to plant their staple crops such as maize, sorghum etc. Forest fires are a major driver behind decreasing biomass density and deforestation. Forest fires are a natural phenomenon that cannot be prevented entirely however they can be controlled to a large degree. Much deforestation is caused by casual logging activities within the communities, much of which is used as firewood for cooking and heating purposes and clearing more land for subsistence agriculture. The Kariba REDD+ Project is a forest conservation project aimed at providing sustainable livelihood opportunities for poor communities in Northern Zimbabwe, a region now suffering heavily from deforestation, poverty, and drought. The Kariba REDD+ Project involves the preservation of a vast and vital ecosystem surrounding the southern shorelines of Lake Kariba and its surrounding forests and communities. The Kariba REDD+ Project aims to reduce deforestation and at the same time improve community livelihoods through implementation of activities aimed at addressing the agents and drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. The upliftment of livelihoods comes from the sales of carbon offsets generated as a result of reduced deforestation. The Kariba REDD+ Project has been running for the past 4 years and has been successfully implementing community projects such as Conservation agriculture, Nutritional gardening and Beekeeping. Communities have also benefited from borehole resuscitation, educational material and basic medical supplies all of which would otherwise not have been possible without the revenue generated by the project.
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