It’s an early morning wake-up call for Peace Parks Foundation’s Chief Investment Officer Colin Porteous, who is partaking in an important translocation in Zambia’s Simalaha Community Conservancy. Unlike the previous translocations where he assisted in capturing feisty black rhinos, this one is somewhat…unusual. Today, Colin and Peace Parks’ newly appointed financial controller Samuel are translocating the mighty mattress, 15 of them in fact, from Livingstone to Simalaha. Yes, you read that right..mattresses!
Never A Dull Moment
When working for Peace Parks, a field trip is never just business as usual, and today is no exception. Colin and Samuel’s pressing business-related tasks will have to wait just a little while longer because 15 new mattresses need to get from Livingstone to the newly constructed Mwandi headquarters in Simalaha. As Colin and Samuel were already planning to drive that route, they thought it would be best to lend a helping hand and kill two birds with one stone.
A Successful Mattress Release
Although their journey is only 90 kilometres long, the drive takes the pair a lot longer to complete because of the terrible road conditions. On several stretches, the potholes are so large that the road is completely gone, leaving drivers navigating deep trenches. With regular pitstops to ensure their precious cargo is still safely tied down, Colin and Samuel make it to Mwandi, where they can finally offload the mattresses to their new home.
The Other Reason
Although taking part in mattress ‘translocation operations’ such as these is important, the main reason for Colin’s trip to Zambia is to meet BioCarbon Partners (BCP) to discuss the REDD+ project.
Following the global concern surrounding deforestation and climate change, the United Nations created Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). This is aimed at reducing the emissions released from deforestation as the carbon stored in trees gets released when they are cut and increasing forest degradation throughout the world. You can read more about how that is being implemented here.
Trips to the field are important for Peace Parks’ staff to gain a better understanding of the situation on the ground and, of course, help out wherever they can to lighten the load for their colleagues in the field.