United States Commits $25 Million to Reduce Deforestation in Zambia

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Charcoal being sold on the side of the road in Lusaka.
Charcoal being sold on the side of the road in Lusaka.
Taylor Yess for USAID/Zambia

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Chando Mapoma

LUSAKA - Zambia’s forests are home to abundant wildlife and serve as a natural defense against climate change.  Due to the illegal production of charcoal, however, the nation’s forests are facing unprecedented stress and are rapidly shrinking.  Under the newly awarded Alternatives to Charcoal project provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. government will work with the local private sector companies and the Zambian government to promote commercially viable alternative fuels to charcoal, curb charcoal-related deforestation, and provide alternative livelihoods for charcoal-producing communities.

“This project represents the flagship investment by USAID/Zambia to counter climate change and contribute towards our goal of poverty reduction through a market-driven approach that encourages the sustainable management of forest resources,” said USAID/Zambia Deputy Mission Director Thomas Crubaugh.

USAID awarded Tetra Tech ARD the five-year, ZMW 525 million ($25 million) contract to increase the adoption of renewable energy technologies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Zambia, with the goal of reducing charcoal energy consumption by 25 percent and reducing deforestation directly attributable to charcoal production by almost seven percent.

“Tetra Tech has supported USAID to promote renewable energy and manage natural resources in Africa for 40 years,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech Chairman and CEO.  “We are pleased to continue using our Leading with Science approach to promote alternative technology solutions to address the impacts of climate change in developing countries.”

USAID’s Alternatives to Charcoal project will take a market-driven approach to reducing charcoal consumption and partner with the Zambian government to create a facilitative business environment that encourages the private sector to provide affordable and more forest-friendly cooking fuels for Zambian households.

For more information about this press release, please contact the U.S. Embassy Zambia Press Office at ZambiaPress@state.gov.

Last updated: August 17, 2021

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