Luangwa Valley Zambia

First Carbon Neutral Operator

January 2016

First Carbon Neutral Operator

PRESS RELEASE

11 January 2016

NORMAN CARR SAFARIS BECOMES THE FIRST CARBON NEUTRAL TOURISM OPERATOR IN SOUTH LUANGWA AND LIUWA PLAIN NATIONAL PARKS

Norman Carr Safaris (NCS), in partnership with BioCarbon Partners, is proud to announce that we are the first tour operator in both South Luangwa and Liuwa Plain National Parks to attain carbon neutral status from operations.  

This accomplishment follows upon Lower Zambezi National Park becoming the world’s first carbon neutral park from operations in 2015, through participation of eight tourism companies. We are working in partnership with the Lower Zambezi camps to make Zambia one of the first countries in the world with carbon neutral national parks. The ultimate goal is to establish a carbon neutral corridor between the two premiere national parks in Zambia (South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi).

Furthermore, our commitment to a low carbon future coincides with the historic Paris Climate Change Conference in December 2015, which highlighted the global priority and focus on reducing human-caused carbon impacts on the climate worldwide.

All seven of our camps are included in offsetting the NCS carbon footprint: Kapani, Luwi, Nsolo, Kakuli, Mchenja, and Chinzombo in the South Luangwa and Matamenene Camp in Liuwa Plain. The verified emission reductions were transacted to offset the camps’ unavoidable emissions, achieving BCP’s “BioCarbon Neutral” Copper Status in its reductions. We also invest in renewable energy to minimize our direct operational carbon footprint, with five of our seven camps run exclusively off solar power in 2015. In 2016, we will build four additional units for our bushcamps in the South Luangwa and begin construction on our permanent lodge in Liuwa, all of which will be powered by solar energy. The ‘unavoidable’ emissions reductions use internationally accepted values for fossil fuels to offset the carbon impact of energy use: diesel, gasoline, electricity, charcoal, food production emissions for staff and guests, and staff travel. Silver and gold levels include offsetting emissions from guests’ domestic and international travel. 

Over and above carbon neutrality, we are and always have been a pioneer of socially responsibly tourism in the Luangwa Valley. Following in the footsteps of Norman Carr himself, who revolutionized community-based conservation in Zambia and across southern Africa, we established our own education non-profit in the 1980s, the Kapani School Project, for local student sponsorships. We also levy all bed nights in order to support the South Luangwa Conservation Society, Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust, and the Zambian Carnivore Programme; and, as of 2015, NCS is one of the primary funders of the Time & Tide Foundation, an independent non-profit benefactor that supports sustainable development, conservation, and education in the areas covered by Time + Tide’s portfolio.  

In the Lower Zambezi, BioCarbon Partners has secured management of the 100,000 acre Rufunsa Conservancy, as part of the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project, which acts as a direct buffer zone to the vulnerable 60 kilometer boundary of the Lower Zambezi National Park. As such, the proceeds from emission reduction sales are reinvested into the conservancy through conservation security, land management (fire management, anti-poaching roads, radio network), carbon accounting (soils, biomass and GIS, which are annually verified by US based auditors), community-based livelihood projects, and support to the Zambia Wildlife Authority and the Forestry Department.

With the pilot project in Lower Zambezi generating meaningful impacts, BioCarbon Partners is actively developing new forest areas in the Luangwa ecosystem to verify and co-manage for long-term emissions reduction, poverty alleviation and conservation aims. These new forest sites adjacent to the national parks are expected to fall under improved conservation management schemes starting in late 2016 through the USAID-funded Community Forests Program.

Therefore, NCS and other operators that partner with BioCarbon not only offset their carbon emissions, but they also protect surrounding trees, wildlife and habitat through a project that is internationally audited with demonstrated success in reducing deforestation and improving conservation security and community well-being.

An increasing number of Zambian companies are showing climate change leadership and taking responsibility for their emissions by investing in low carbon futures. This commitment to the local environment raises the standards for environmentally and socially responsible business practices. With other operators following the Norman Carr Safaris lead, South Luangwa National Park is potentially on track to become one of the next carbon neutral national parks from operations in the world.

About Norman Carr Safaris: Established in 1950, South Luangwa’s Norman Carr Safaris is a pioneer in its field. At a time when safari was a track-and-hunt tradition, Norman Carr broke the mould and created conservation based tourism and was the pioneer of photographic and walking safaris in Zambia. Today, along with company staff homestead and operational headquarters, Kapani Lodge, Norman Carr Safaris operates six award winning camps in Zambia; wildly luxurious Chinzombo; Luwi, Nsolo, Kakuli and Mchenja Bushcamps; and Matamanene in Liuwa Plain. Marketed under the Time + Tide portfolio, Norman Carr Safaris is also sister company to Chongwe Safaris in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi and Miavana in Madagascar.

For further information please contact: Mindy Roberts, Sales and Marketing Director, Norman Carr Safaris. Tel: +260 216246025/15, mindy@normancarrsafaris.com

About BioCarbon Partners (BCP): BCP is an African-based and focused social enterprise, whose mission is to enhance livelihoods and conservation through verified forest conservation projects in Africa. BCP’s current focus is implementing REDD+ projects in the greater Zambezi-Luangwa ecosystem in Zambia. BCP has certified Zambia’s first pilot REDD+ demonstration project known as the ‘Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project’ (LZRP) to CCBA triple gold standards (validation) and VCS verification; the first project in Africa with these certifications. In addition, BCP is proud to partner with USAID in the implementation of the Community Forests Program (CFP). This innovative program targets the verification of minimum of 700,000 hectares of threatened forests across in Luangwa Valley ecosystem. BCP’s local presence, concentration on African dryland forests and intense focus on community livelihoods and conservation are the foundations of our operational strategy. www.biocarbonpartners.com

For further information or for companies wishing to purchase bulk REDD+ offsets from Zambia, please contact: Juraj Ujházy, Enterprise Development Coordinator, +260 979 225 811, juraj@biocarbonpartners.com

Individuals and small businesses can purchase Lower Zambezi offsets directly through the Stand For Trees website.