Native woodland restoration - Sofala, Mozambique

The Kukumuty project in Mozambique aims to restore around 400 hectares (in the first instance) of Miombo woodland near Chibabava, as well as establish agroforestry nurseries and systems in the area. The Miombo woodlands are a tropical woodland system that cover 10% of Africa and are increasingly endangered due to rapid climatic changes and increased economic pressure. By restoring this crucial ecosystem, and developing agroforestry systems to reduce pressure on the native woodland, the Kukumuty project will effectively conserve and restore one of Africa’s most magnificent ecosystems.

Cost

$ 25.15 /tonne

CO2 Tonnes
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Project information

Sofala, Mozambique

The Kukumuty project is located near Chibabava, in Sofala Province, Mozambique. The area features a fragmented, degraded Miombo woodland habitat. The Miombo ecosystem covers 10% of Africa, harbors a high level of biodiversity and species endemicity. The system relies on human activity, but in recent decades it has been highly degraded through a combination of charcoal production, slash and burn agriculture, and timber harvesting. In addition, changing climate patterns and growing economic stress have increased the pressure on the resources found in the Miombo woodlands.

The project is addressing these issues through a combination of restoration of the native Miombo woodland and establishing agroforestry nurseries to improve the livelihoods of local communities and reduce pressure on the native ecosystem.

Sofala Mozambique location

Intervention

Agroforestry & woodland restoration

Location

Mozambique

Standards

Plan Vivo

Methodology

Plan Vivo v5

Sustainable Goals

  • no poverty
  • zero hunger
  • good health
  • quality education
  • gender equality
  • clean water
  • clean energy
  • economic growth
  • infrastructure
  • reduced inequality
  • sustainable cities
  • responsible consumption
  • climate action
  • life below water
  • life on land
  • peace justice
  • partnerships

Project performance

The Earthly rating

The Earthly rating is the industry-first holistic project assessment. Earthly researchers analyse 106 data points, aggregating information across the three vital pillars of carbon, biodiversity and people. Projects in Earthly's marketplace all exceed a minimum score of 5/10.

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Carbon

106,560

Tonnes of CO2 sequestered since the start of the project

Biodiversity

1500

Number of Miombo seedlings planted each year

Social

60%

Female participation in project activities

Project impact

Local impact

The forest changes observed within and around the project area are related to the natural fires within the Miombo ecosystem. All changes observed from 2023 onwards are the result of the project activities, indicating that the fires are now being more closely managed to ensure the health and sustainability of the ecosystem.

Dataset used: Hansen Global Forest Change (2012-2023) modified.

Project area: through time

The Kukumuty project focuses on enriching woodlands by integrating soil and fire management with the planting of local Miombo species from community and project-run nurseries. Fire is a natural part of the Miombo ecosystem, essential for maintaining ecological balance. Research, including from Ribeiro et al. (2020), shows that fire, climate variability, and soil nutrients are crucial to this ecosystem.

While traditional practices like slash-and-burn agriculture haven't significantly depleted biomass, uncontrolled fires remain a risk. Therefore, this project’s approach isn't to ban fire entirely, which would be detrimental, but to manage it effectively. According to Ribeiro et al. (2021), a managed fire return interval of three to five years is ideal for the ecosystem's health.

The Kukumuty project establishes community-managed mulching zones and fire breaks to protect against uncontrolled fires. By creating experimental plots to study the impact of fire frequency and intensity on biomass, the project is creating firebreaks and enhancing its management practices for sustainable fire use in Miombo woodlands.

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Positive for people

The Miombo woodlands are considered a socioecological ecosystem in that they have been formed and maintained by human activity for at least 12,000 years. As such, managing human activities and livelihoods within the Miombo woodlands are crucial for their success. To do that, the project will promote the sustainable collection of livestock feed, honey and fruit from within the Miombo woodlands.

However, in recent decades, excessive human activities in the Miombo have degraded it. To address this, the project is establishing agroforestry nurseries and plots to reduce local reliance on the native Miombo ecosystem. They will also plant extra trees to compensate communities for lost timber and charcoal production. 

As with all nature-based solutions, the effectiveness of the project relies on community participation. The Kukumuty project performs exceptionally when it comes to community engagement and equity. In addition to employing local people, 60% of the carbon credit revenue goes to the communities through social and environmental investments. These benefits are dispersed by local subcommittees to ensure community needs are being met. They also ensure that there is at least 50% female participation in decision-making activities, including making sure that all investments from carbon credit revenue are “gender-balanced”.

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Good for earth

The Miombo ecosystem covers around 10% of Africa. It also contains over 8,500 floral species, over half of which are endemic. In addition, it helps support the livelihoods of millions of people. As such, conserving and restoring this ecosystem is crucial not only for biodiversity but also for people.

The project is planting native Miombo species from seeds collected by local community members. It is also establishing agroforestry nurseries to plant trees in agroforestry plots. These plots will produce food, timber and charcoal for the local communities and reduce the pressure they put on the forests. Lastly, the project is also constructing water-retaining swales and other soil and water conservation measures. These activities will improve water retention, minimise soil erosion and help mitigate the impacts of droughts, floods and storms.

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