Kulera Landscape REDD+ Program in Malawi was developed as part of the Kulera Biodiversity Project, and initially funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Program area encompasses three key protected areas and the surrounding villages in central and northern Malawi. The protected areas are the Nyika National Park, Vwaza Wildlife Reserve, and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
These three areas protected by this initiative comprise 217,000 ha and prevent the emission of 7.3 million tons of CO2 over the lifetime of the project.
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), which manages these protected areas, has limited resources for governance and the areas are under increasing pressure from local populations, which have intensified and expanded their exploitation of forest resources to unsustainable levels. Increasing rates of deforestation and degradation along the borders of the protected zones threaten remaining forests and the valuable climate, community and biodiversity services they provide.
The mission of the Program is to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in these protected areas while improving the neighboring community’s livelihoods by managing natural resources as an asset base, creating long- term sustainable alternative livelihoods, improving biodiversity and increasing food security. The Program promotes financial empowerment through supporting communities in building new sources of income through the development of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) including honey, mushrooms, and other high value crops and small livestock animals. In order to minimise the harvest of wood from protected forests, the initiative distributes fuel-efficient woodstoves and established sustainable fuel woodlots. Finally a system of micro-finance was created to implement solar electrification in the project area.
Project developer: Terra Global Capital