Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve Association (Nawira) chairperson James Sadalaka has said Nawira and fellow wildlife reserve associations in Nyika and Vwaza are protecting their environment through joint carbon trading under the Kulera Project.
Carbon trading allows companies which emit less than their allowances to sell the right to emit carbon dioxide to other companies.
Sadalaka said their sales are managed by Terra Global in America, which serves as fiscal manager, but approval is from Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and the three associations prior to the sales.
He said: “We have completed two sales under Kulera. The first sale took place in January 2015 and we got net proceeds of $241 350 [about K138 million] after selling 34 000 verified carbon standards [VCS] to Microsoft Company.”
He said the proceeds were used for capacity building in improved communication and law enforcement surrounding the protected areas.
Said Sadalaka: “We also conducted training in anti-poaching patrolling, maintaining park boundaries and demarcation of resource zones, but the proceeds were not enough to register our company which will be called Redd+.”
He said the second sale took place in June 2015 involving the same buyer and they got $268 584(about K153 million) after selling 50 000 VCS.
Said Sadalaka: “We intend to install three to five kilowatts solar panels in schools and clinics and we are targetting 100 classrooms and 40 clinics. For households, we intend to install three to 80 watts solar panels and we are targeting 46 000 households.”
He said their vision is to increase wildlife in and around the reserves for the benefit of the border communities through raising awareness on the impact of poaching and encroachment as well as by promoting income generating activities (IGAs) for the communities.
Nkhotakota district youth officer Oscar Mulenga said the IGAs should also target the youths involved in poaching so that the malpractice should stop.