Kulera REDD+ Program Biomass and Biodiversity Training with Local Project Coordinators, Surrounding Communities
Terra Global completed its first field visit and in-person training for the Kulera REDD+ Program since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic. After two-and-a-half years, Terra Global team members Erica Meta Smith, Rachel Ross, and Holver Arango traveled to Malawi to meet with Terra’s Local Project Coordinator Team, Alphius Lipiya and Frank Chimpango.
During their visit, the team planned the onboarding of new employees for the Nyika-Vwaza Association (NVA), transferred hundreds of Solar lights to the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve Association (NAWIRA) for distribution, and presented at the Human/Wildlife Conflicts and Management workshop on protected area fence boundary upkeep. Additionally, the Terra Team held and attended local stakeholder meetings to discuss maintenance and expansion for the Kulera REDD+ Program. Stakeholders included NAWIRA, NVA, African Parks, and the Malawian Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and Forestry (DF).
Through these gatherings, the Terra Team not only discussed and planned meaningful advancements for the Kulera Program but also collected valuable field data, conducted biomass and biodiversity training, and engaged with local communities that participate in the Program. When visiting one of the project communities in Nkhotakota, community members provided positive feedback on the impacts of the Kulera REDD+ Program, citing the benefits of NAWIRA-distributed treadle water pumps on their local crop yield.
The long-awaited visit to Malawi by Terra Global signifies new beginnings after COVID-19. Further, it has catalyzed the expansion of the Kulera REDD+ Program and its overall program capacity to conserve biodiversity, improve the livelihoods of over 200,000 Malawians, and mitigate and adapt to global climate change.
The Kulera REDD+ Program for Co-Managed Protected Areas started in 2009 and received its first level of Verification and Validation in July 2014. Now, as one of the world’s few VCS-CCB Triple Gold Certified programs, the Kulera Program continues to expand its outreach and provide support for local communities with climate finance generated through livelihood improvements and community-based conservation throughout Malawi. The essential partnerships between stakeholders, local communities, and Terra Team members facilitate improved coordination and participation in the Kulera REDD+ Program. The successful engagement within the Program enhances project area protection and ensures that program benefits reach residents within the Kulera Program Area rapidly and equitably.