Wilderness, Carbon Ark and the Zambian Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a carbon storage and sequestration project protecting millions of hectares of Game Management Areas around Kafue National Park, with an explicit focus on local community job creation and upliftment.
The Government of the Republic of Zambia, through the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, Wilderness, and Carbon Ark have committed to working towards a large-scale carbon reduction and removal project in several Game Management Areas bordering 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.
This groundbreaking partnership forms part of Wilderness’ exciting Carbon Strategy, which is a crucial part of its Wilderness Landscapes business to help the company achieve its long-term conservation goals, and to double the amount of land it helps protect by 2030.
Carbon Ark is a carbon storage and sequestration company dedicated to partnering with governments and local communities to develop a new standard of top-quality, nature-based carbon offsets, specifically focused both on restoring areas that have lost habitat and wildlife, as well as on community empowerment. Carbon Ark anticipates that the project will deploy over USD500 million in operational investments and create over 1,000 community jobs. The project is also supported by US impact investing firm, and one of Wilderness’ shareholders, TPG Rise, as well as the Bank of America and Jet Blue Ventures through Rubicon Carbon.
“We are proud to match our 40-year track record of success, building community partnerships for conservation, with the carbon expertise of Carbon Ark”, noted Wilderness CEO, Keith Vincent. “As like-minded companies we are both dedicated to developing high-integrity carbon offsets particularly aimed at community empowerment, wildlife preservation, and technology innovation”.
Ministry of Green Economy and Environment Permanent Secretary Eng. John Msimuko said the purpose of the MOU is to formalise the intention of the parties to work together towards implementing a world-class project that aims at reducing deforestation and forest degradation. He added that the project will promote restoration (afforestation, reforestation and natural regeneration), and 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 today’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 – and to do so in a way that is both community-led and ensures that local communities meaningfully benefit from the protection of their land.
“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”, she said.
“Zambia leading the way in Africa in terms of Green growth is a sense of pride for us. Wilderness and Carbon Ark share that vision and look forward to partnering with the Ministry to build a world-class project which will benefit all Zambians, as well as the world”, concluded Keith.