Kenya has signed its first carbon deal to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD).
Yesterday San Francisco-based Wildlife Works Carbon and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) announced a plan to protect the 80,000-acre Rukinga forest reserve in southeastern Kenya. The project will be funded by sales of carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market. The credits will be certified under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS).
Wildlife Works Carbon says the project will create a wildlife corridor that links two of Kenya’s largest protected areas — Tsavo East and Tsavo West. The area had previously been under threat from overgrazing, poaching and deforestation.
Courtesy of Wildlife Works
Mike Korchinsky, Founder and President of Wildlife Works, says forest conservation is a compelling way for consumers to reduce their carbon footprint.
“If you had a choice between carbon credits generated when a commercial factory pig farm reduces it’s toxic methane emissions, or carbon credits from a threatened natural forest that brings with them protection of elephants, lions, cheetah, giraffe and 54 other large mammal species which one would you prefer?”
“Wildlife Works calls this Consumer Powered Conservation,” added Colin Wiel, co-Founder of Wildlife Works Carbon.
The project is funding construction of new schools, free health programs, and organic farming and agroforestry initiatives for local communities.
Kenya was one of 14 countries to receive funds in the first round of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, a scheme to kick-start REDD projects in developing nations. REDD is widely seen as an attractive way to reducing greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously conserving forests and sustaining rural livelihoods. Globally deforestation accounts for nearly one-fifth of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions — more than all the world’s cars, trucks, ships, and airplanes combined.