Mining for Zambia focuses on our work to regenerate land and generate power from our trees.

In what is an environmental world-first, a unique species of tree from India that can produce diesel fuel and other valuable by-products has been successfully planted on an area of disused mine-land outside the Copperbelt town of Chingola.

It’s the first stage of a $7.5 million project driven by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), in partnership with land regeneration experts BetterWorld Energy Zambia. The project, which is being funded in partnership with donor agencies and other financial institutions, will see the planting of 400 000 of the trees over the next three years.

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We dream, we do. Bringing new life back to the Copperbelt.

BetterWorld Energy partnering with MUSIKA and KCM have pioneered the use of elite Pongamia pinnata (VayuSap TM) to revegetate KCM, Nkana mine disused copper tailings dump facilities in Chingola, Zambia. This project will not only help improve the quality of life for people living near the mine, but create long-term sustainable jobs for a post-mining community, producing bioenergy, bio-pesticides and bio-pharmaceuticals.

Learn about our strategic funding partners MUSIKA here.

Training Women in Tree Care, seeking to raise $5000

BetterWorld Energy is regenerating degraded and polluted landscapes in Zambia. We regenerate landscapes by planting trees that produce bio-energy, fertiliser for food crops and bio-pesticides. 

We want to train a group of local ladies - mothers, single mothers, orphans and widows - in tree planting and care. To enable them to participate we need to provide a stipend to enable them to support their families.  We hope that after 6 months we will have obtained project finance and these ladies will be fully-employed in a much bigger tree planting project.

Learn about our strategic funding partners MUSIKA here.

Showcasing the Pongamia value chain in India to Zambian Government Representatives

To secure permits for import of elite Pongamia pinnata from India to Zambia BetterWorld followed a rigorous plant quarantine and phytosanitary checks. We took representatives from the Forestry Department and Plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Services (PQPS) from the Government of Zambia to India to inspect the VayuGrid sapling nursery , tree plantations, post-harvesting processing and end-use.

Visiting the VayuGrid plantation at JSW in Karnataka

Visiting the VayuGrid plantation at JSW in Karnataka

Seed processing involves pressing dried de-hulled pongamia seeds.

Pressing Pongamia seeds

Pressing Pongamia seeds

Pressing produces a clear pure oil, which can be used in simple generators and smelters or further processed into biodiesel for blended use in modern cars, trucks or machinery.

Dr Prasad with fresh pressed pongamia oil

Dr Prasad with fresh pressed pongamia oil

Which can be put directly into a generator to provide low cost off-grid power.

Pure 100% Pongamia oil used in a generator

Linking women from India to Zambia in South-South technology transfer

BetterWorld has developed a unique South-South technology transfer which links women in India and Zambia. Our #VayuSap elite Pongamia pinnata saplings start their journey in Southern India, where they are deleafed, desoiled and fumigated before their long trip to Zambia. 

Ladies cleaning soil from sapling roots

Ladies cleaning soil from sapling roots

Pongamia pinnata VayuSap TM saplings are prepared by the VayuGrid ladies before repacking, and fumigation ready for shipment to Zambia. 

Ready for fumigation and shipment

Ready for fumigation and shipment

Arrival of VayuSap at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Zambia

Arrival of VayuSap at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Zambia

Once the saplings arrive, we unpack, repot and acclimatize them.

VayuSap nursery in Zambia

VayuSap nursery in Zambia

They are then cared for by our team of ladies here.

Ladies caring for the VayuSap

Ladies caring for the VayuSap

World's first - BetterWorld Energy Prepares African Mine Site Regeneration with Pongamia

For the first time, elite Pongamia pinnata will be planted in Sub-Saharan Africa to bring life to a post-mining landscape in Zambia. Copper tailings are produced after copper bearing rocks are crushed and leached with sulphuric acid. The copper concentrate is removed and the resulting sediments are pumped into a tailings storage facility. These are then reprocessed to remove any remaining copper, and the storage facility is left abandoned, ready for rehabilitation.

Preparing Pongamia Salpings

BetterWorld Energy has a unique strategy to revegetation that makes good environmental sense, but also good economic sense. Our approach creates a whole new post-mining economy, jobs that last beyond the revegetation activities, through the production of bioenergy, bio-pesticides, high value bio-pharmaceuticals and organic fertilisers and animal feeds from Elite Pongamia pinnata (VayuSap TM).

jobs for the future

For the first time, ladies from the local community are provided with the chance to envision a future of stable employment in a healthy environment. The new skills they have learnt, planting and caring for the new saplings, will be of considerable value as we seek to scale our ecosystem regeneration activities to a much larger area.

BetterWorld provides first assessment of Zambia's Forest Ecosystem Services

BetterWorld provides first assessment of Zambia's Forest Ecosystem Services

The aim of this study was to undertake a rapid assessment of the value and role of forests in the Zambian economy based on available information in order to inform policy decisions on forest management and the implementation of REDD+ activities in Zambia. The study is part of the country’s National UN-REDD Programme. REDD+ 1 is a financial mechanism designed to reward developing countries for their verified reductions or removals of forest carbon emissions compared to a forest reference (emission) level that complies with the relevant safeguards. Forests are an important component of Zambia’s natural capital and provide benefits that are critical for rural populations, urban areas, the national economy and the global community. Out of Zambia’s total land area of 75.3 million ha, estimates of remaining forest range from 39 million ha (CSO 2013) to 50 million ha (Kalinda et al. 2008) or 53 million ha (ZFD 2000). Estimates of deforestation rates range from 113,000 ha in 2012 by Global Forest Watch 2 to 167,000 ha per year in FAO’s Global Forest Resource Assessment (FAO 2010) and 250,000 ha per year (ILUA study) to even over 850,000 ha per year (FAO 2001, in Jumbe et al. 2008; GRZ 2006a). Zambia has the second highest per capita deforestation rate in Africa and the fifth highest in the world (Aongola et al. 2009). The main direct drivers of deforestation are charcoal production, agricultural and human-settlement expansion and illegal exploitation of timber. The study assessed the values of forests in the form of wood production (for timber, fuel wood and charcoal) and nonwood forest products, such as wild foods and medicines. In addition, regulating and cultural services were included, such as the economic value of nature-related tourism, regulation of the climate through carbon sequestration, the retention of sediment for erosion control, the regulation of water flow and water quality, and support for agricultural production through pest control and pollination. The study assesses the critical role that forest ecosystems play in sus - taining and supporting the stocks and flow of ecosystem services to various economic sectors and human well-be - ing in Zambia, as well as addressing potential opportunities that forests offer with respect to transitioning to a green economy, particularly the role of REDD+ in achieving this transformation. It is envisioned that this study will help to elevate the importance of sustainable forest management and conservation in national policy, for example through the national REDD+ strategy.

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