CBFF-Sankuru Community "Fair Trade" Carbon Initiative. Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI)


Overview

  • Reference: P-Z1-C00-021
  • Approval date: 07/04/2010
  • Start date: 10/03/2011
  • Appraisal Date: 15/09/2009
  • Status: OngoingOnGo
  • Implementing Agency: BONOBO CONSERVATION INITIATIVE (BCI)
  • Location: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Description

Partnering with the DRC's parks authority, ICCN, and the DRC conservation NGO ACOPRIK, BCI successfully advocated for the official designation* of the Reserve Naturelle du Sankuru (RNSA) to protect its unique biodiversity, including DRC's endemic flagship species, the bonobo, okapi and Congo peacock, as well as its significant watershed function.

The 30,570 km2 reserve of rainforest is larger than Belgium, making it one of the largest protected areas in Africa. The RNSA is also the first large community-based, multi-zoned protected area in the DRC. As the ICCN designated* official reserve manager, ACOPRIK has designated* BCI as the lead international coordinator. BCI currently has the only full mandate* from ICCN to work in RNSA, and has been supporting ICCN, ACOPRIK,and communities within the reserve with training, capacity building, and oversight. BCI is also developing the Site Coordination Committee (CoCoSi), a coalition of international organizations (Table 20) that will offer RNSA additional technical support with management, monitoring and strategic planning.

This 36-month development project, managed by BCI but implemented largely by local partners, will focus on establishing baselines and initiating pilot management activity within a 700,000 ha focal area in the eastern portion of the reserve, to be replicated throughout the RSNA in further project iterations. The overall objective is simultaneously to prevent deforestation, protect biodiversity and increase incomes in the focal zone, based on a BCI model used in previous projects in Equateur Province. The project will support local stakeholders to develop a practical framework for participatory reserve management; build local natural resource management capacity to collect baseline data, conduct ecological monitoring, zoning, and enforcement, and plan sustainable development, poverty alleviation, and alternative livelihood programs to address poverty in the region. The project will also build upon existing legal contractual agreements to operationalize the reserve. This will also position the reserve for multiple types of long-term financing, most notably from 'fair trade' carbon that will contribute to poverty alleviation and ensure significant livelihood benefits to RNSA residents. With the support of MGM International, the project will provide permanent, verifiable, registered carbon credits via a world recognized voluntary carbon offset protocol. Carbon financing facilitated through this Project could provide RNSA and its residents with an annual income of approximately $12.5 million, which will cover conservation expenses and fund the project's Sustainable Rural Enterprise Development and Sustainable Community Development Funds. This support will allow local partners to provide maximum protection of the reserve's biodiversity, watershed, and natural resources while ensuring for the wellbeing of reserve residents. BCI has already received a commitment to purchase the carbon credits upon registration and for additional development funding from private investors.

The expected results are: 1. To increase the protection of biodiversity through community-based management, affirmed through community accords and supported by a monitoring program to establish baselines for evaluation of management effectiveness and with support of BCI and CoCoSi partners. 2. To prevent deforestation in the RNSA through a management system including a forest resource inventory, land-use planning and tools and techniques to control forest clearance through the reserve. 3. To develop a conservation finance strategy that will enable the reserve to qualify for carbon benefits and associated biodiversity and antipoverty credits central to the 'fair trade' project approach. 4. To improve the quality of life for residents in the RNSA through increased opportunities for income identified through needs assessments, inventories, and strengthening of cooperatives within the reserve. 5. To foster a new model of partnership and institutional synergy through community management of the reserve for the twin objectives of biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihoods.

These results match well with the CBFF thematic areas and COMIFAC Convergence Plan strategic areas 2, 6, & 9. As most are long-term targets, the project will further prioritize establishing local monitoring systems and developing baselines in order to fully measure future performance.Establishing a strong monitoring framework, support network, and local capacity will ensure the project meets its goals of protecting Sankuru's forests, biodiversity, and ecosystem services while addressing the needs of forest-dependent communities through innovative long-term financing mechanisms.


Objectives

This 36-month development project, managed by BCI but implemented largely by local partners, will focus on establishing baselines and initiating pilot management activity within a 700,000 ha focal area in the eastern portion of the reserve, to be replicated throughout the RSNA in further project iterations. The overall objective is simultaneously to prevent deforestation, protect biodiversity and increase incomes in the focal zone, based on a BCI model used in previous projects in Equateur Province. The project will support local stakeholders to develop a practical framework for participatory reserve management; build local natural resource management capacity to collect baseline data, conduct ecological monitoring, zoning, and enforcement, and plan sustainable development, poverty alleviation, and alternative livelihood programs to address poverty in the region. The project will also build upon existing legal contractual agreements to operationalize the reserve. This will also position the reserve for multiple types of long-term financing, most notably from 'fair trade' carbon that will contribute to poverty alleviation and ensure significant livelihood benefits to RNSA residents. With the support of MGM International, the project will provide permanent, verifiable, registered carbon credits via a world recognized voluntary carbon offset protocol. Carbon financing facilitated through this Project could provide RNSA and its residents with an annual income of approximately $12.5 million, which will cover conservation expenses and fund the project's Sustainable Rural Enterprise Development and Sustainable Community Development Funds. This support will allow local partners to provide maximum protection of the reserve's biodiversity, watershed, and natural resources while ensuring for the wellbeing of reserve residents. BCI has already received a commitment to purchase the carbon credits upon registration and for additional development funding from private investors.


Rationale

CONFORMITY WITH THE COMIFAC CONVERGENCE PLAN

How this project proposal conforms

No.2: Knowledge of the Resource

The project will perform biological inventories and surveys and reinforce national and local capacity to participate in these processes. We shall collect baseline data on local deforestation & forest degradation rates and information about populations and ranges of bonobos and okapi. We will provide technical expertise to calculate carbon volumes.

No.6: Alternative and Improved Livelihoods

Local stakeholders directly involved in the pilot will receive incomes. The pilot project will provide alternatives to hunting and develop livelihood alternatives and conservation enterprise programs. The project is designed so communities can access carbon financing, which will be invested back into community projects, as described elsewhere in this proposal.

No.9: Development of Funding Mechanisms.

The project will establish one of the first carbon finance mechanisms in Central Africa, linking community development funds to conservation outcomes and brining together local resource holders and international carbon investors. It will capitalize on the expanding voluntary carbon market and will prepare for anticipated, future REDD policies.

No.4: Biodiversity conservation.

Sankuru harbors a globally important rainforest and is the only protected area with DRC's three endemic flagship species: bonobo, okapi, and Congo peacock. A primary project goal is to protect and monitor this unique biodiversity.

No. 5: Sustainable Use of Forest Resources

As the first community-based, mixed-use zoned Reserve in DRC, the project will link community development funding and sustainable use of forest resources, incentivizing sustainable use of forest resources.

No.7: Capacity development and training.

The project is based on stakeholder participation and on local partner demands for greater external support. Much of the project targets capacity building for community groups, conservation NGOs and regional authorities. The project has planned training and workshops on topics from field surveys to designing a carbon project.

COORDINATION WITH EXISTING INITIATIVES

ACOPRIK invited BCI to help its longstanding ongoing work at Sankuru; BCI then brought in survey teams from DRC's CREF and ICCN, which catalyzed the gazettement of the reserve and led to further coordination of roles with ICCN, which will be expanded on with the ICCN administered Comite de Coordination du Site (CoCoSi), in which this project will participate with RNSA communities and other partners including CI, Rainforest Foundation, and potentially FFI and others.

The project will coordinate with BCI's other DRC partners, Vie Sauvage and PERSE, and the Coalition for the Community Conservation of Bonobos (CCCB), to benefit from and reciprocally reinforce community governance and common challenges. It will do the same with ICCN's Community Conservation Strategy. BCI is an invited participant observer in USAID's CARPE. The project will share bonobo data with the APES database et al, and coordinate with CoCoCongo, CBFP, the Bonobo Working Group, et al. The carbon sequestration portion of the project will coordinate with other carbon efforts in the Congo Basin and worldwide, as well as collaborating with leading researchers to further work on REDD as well as fundamental methodology for forest managers and researchers in other projects in the region.

SUSTAINABILITY Carbon credit financing, a key element of the project, will ensure a longitudinal revenue stream. Carbon stocks will be measured, verified, registered internationally, and insured against natural hazards. One-time start up costs will be well outweighed by income. This project's enhancement of community autonomy is the best guarantor of the reserve's sustainability. The project will use performance monitoring to learn from and adapt and adjust to changing conditions. Collective learning and other shared efforts will deepen mutual appreciation and trust of collaborating parties and help overcome barriers to success. Locally developed and appropriate governance and zoning will be robust over time. Results monitoring will also enhance the approach's replicability throughout the RNSA and later, using the project area as a demonstration site, by other community conservation initiatives in the region. At the conclusion of the project, the first phase of the RNSA will be evaluated at a small on-site workshop that will include participants, donors, and to the extent practicable, relevant external experts. The purpose of the evaluation will be to identify next steps, the most important lessons from the experience of the first phase, and the best options to achieve results based upon those needs


Benefits

CONFORMITY WITH THE COMIFAC CONVERGENCE PLAN

No.2: Knowledge of the Resource The project will perform biological inventories and surveys and reinforce national and local capacity to participate in these processes. We shall collect baseline data on local deforestation & forest degradation rates and information about populations and ranges of bonobos and okapi. We will provide technical expertise to calculate carbon volumes.

No.6: Alternative and Improved Livelihoods Local stakeholders directly involved in the pilot will receive incomes. The pilot project will provide alternatives to hunting and develop livelihood alternatives and conservation enterprise programs. The project is designed so communities can access carbon financing, which will be invested back into community projects, as described elsewhere in this proposal.

No.9: Development of Funding Mechanisms.

The project will establish one of the first carbon finance mechanisms in Central Africa, linking community development funds to conservation outcomes and brining together local resource holders and international carbon investors. It will capitalize on the expanding voluntary carbon market and will prepare for anticipated, future REDD policies.

No.4: Biodiversity conservation. Sankuru harbors a globally important rainforest and is the only protected area with DRC's three endemic flagship species:bonobo, okapi, and Congo peacock. A primary project goal is to protect and monitor this unique biodiversity.

No. 5: Sustainable Use of Forest Resources As the first community-based, mixed-use zoned Reserve in DRC, the project will link community development funding and sustainable use of forest resources, incentivizing sustainable use of forest resources. No.7: Capacity development and training.

The project is based on stakeholder participation and on local partner demands for greater external support. Much of the project targets capacity building for community groups, conservation NGOs and regional authorities. The project has planned training and workshops on topics from field surveys to designing a carbon project.

COORDINATION WITH EXISTING INITIATIVES

ACOPRIK invited BCI to help its longstanding ongoing work at Sankuru; BCI then brought in survey teams from DRC's CREF and ICCN, which catalyzed the gazettement of the reserve and led to further coordination of roles with ICCN, which will be expanded on with the ICCN administered Comite de Coordination du Site (CoCoSi), in which this project will participate with RNSA communities and other partners including CI, Rainforest Foundation, and potentially FFI and others.

The project will coordinate with BCI's other DRC partners, Vie Sauvage and PERSE, and the Coalition for the Community Conservation of Bonobos (CCCB), to benefit from and reciprocally reinforce community governance and common challenges. It will do the same with ICCN's Community Conservation Strategy. BCI is an invited participant observer in USAID's CARPE. The project will share bonobo data with the APES database et al, and coordinate with CoCoCongo, CBFP, the Bonobo Working Group, et al. The carbon sequestration portion of the project will coordinate with other carbon efforts in the Congo Basin and worldwide, as well as collaborating with leading researchers to further work on REDD as well as fundamental methodology for forest managers and researchers in other projects in the region.

SUSTAINABILITY

Carbon credit financing, a key element of the project, will ensure a longitudinal revenue stream. Carbon stocks will be measured, verified, registered internationally, and insured against natural hazards. One-time start up costs will be well outweighed by income. This project's enhancement of community autonomy is the best guarantor of the reserve's sustainability. The project will use performance monitoring to learn from and adapt and adjust to changing conditions. Collective learning and other shared efforts will deepen mutual appreciation and trust of collaborating parties and help overcome barriers to success. Locally developed and appropriate governance and zoning will be robust over time. Results monitoring will also enhance the approach's replicability throughout the RNSA and later, using the project area as a demonstration site, by other community conservation initiatives in the region. At the conclusion of the project, the first phase of the RNSA will be evaluated at a small on-site workshop that will include participants, donors, and to the extent practicable, relevant external experts.

The purpose of the evaluation will be to identify next steps, the most important lessons from the experience of the first phase, and the best options to achieve results based upon those needs.


Key contacts

NGUINDA Pierre - CBFF


Costs

Finance source Amount
Co-financierEUR 1,216,683
DeltaEUR 5
TotalEUR 1,216,688