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Govt signs deal with Wilderness and Carbon Ark to expand habitat for wildlife


Government, Wilderness and Carbon Ark have entered into an agreement to launch a Carbon storage and sequestration project protecting millions of hectares in Game Management Areas around the Kafue.

The agreement will have an explicit focus on local community job creation, upliftment and seek to empower local communities and expand habitat for wildlife through the implementation of a high-integrity carbon storage and sequestration project.

Read more: Green economy gets boost, as Zambia develops interim guidelines on Carbon Market and Trading

Carbon Ark anticipates that this project will deploy over US$500 million in operational investments and create over 1,000 community jobs.

The partnership is also supported by U.S. impact investing firm TPG Rise, Bank of America and Jet Blue Ventures through Rubicon Carbon.

Government through the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, Wilderness, and Carbon Ark are committing to work towards a large-scale carbon reduction and removal project in several Game Management Areas bordering the Kafue National Park, widely lauded as among the world’s most important natural heritage sites.

The areas have been meaningfully degraded by logging for charcoal production, as well as burning for farming and hunting.

The project will combine Wilderness’ nearly 40-year track record of success building community partnerships for conservation with the carbon expertise of Carbon Ark.

Wilderness and Carbon Ark are dedicated to developing high integrity carbon offsets, with an explicit focus on community empowerment, wildlife preservation, and technology innovation.

Ministry of Green Economy and Environment Permanent Secretary, John Msimuko, said the purpose of the agreement is to formalize the intention of the parties to work together towards implementing a world-class project that aims at reducing deforestation and forest degradation.

Msimuko said this during the signing of the agreement in Lusaka on Friday.

He said the project will promote restoration, enhance biodiversity conservation and management resulting in carbon storage and sequestration in the project area.

“These benefits are expected to contribute to meaningful and measurable positive impacts on the climate and communities living in and around the project area,” he said.

Carbon Ark Co-Founder, Karen Brooks, said Friday’s signing represents over a year of intense collaboration to design and refine what is believed will be a groundbreaking partnership to protect and restore millions of acres of forest affected by human activity through a large scale carbon storage and sequestration project.

“Having worked in many countries and with many governments, it is refreshing to work with a Ministry explicitly mandated to focus not only on the environment but on the green economy – it makes a big difference in their ability to think and act strategically, so President Hichilema should be commended for his vision in creating this Ministry and be applauded for his leadership in carrying that mandate forward,” she said.

Wilderness Chief Executive Officer, Keith Vincent, said Zambia leading the way in Africa in terms of Green growth is a sense of pride.

“Wilderness and Carbon Ark share that vision and look forward to partnering with the Ministry to build a world class project of which all Zambians will benefit,” Vincent said.

Contributed by Augustine Sichula

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