London, England, 13 October 2009 -- (BUSINESS WIRE) --The CarbonNeutral Company, a world-leading carbon offset and carbon management company, has exclusively secured carbon credits from a reforestation project in the southern highlands of Tanzania. The Uchindile-Mapanda reforestation project is the first Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) project in Africa to be validated and registered, providing a guarantee of quality, credibility, and permanence to the use of forestry in the carbon markets.
The VCS validation enables the Uchindile-Mapanda reforestation project to combine an approved clean development mechanism (CDM) methodology providing technical integrity, with a VCS buffer, which addresses the risk of nonpermanence and gives an essential guarantee of delivery. This approach means the project has achieved the following:
- Created a reserve of 40% of the total number of carbon credits available to cover any nondelivery;
- Made ex-post forestry carbon credits available for sales based on confirmed verification, when the independent third party DOE confirms how many metric tons have actually been sequestered;
- Set aside 39 per cent of the project area for the conservation of local wildlife and indigenous species.
Jonathan Shopley, managing director, The CarbonNeutral Company said, “Since land use, forestry and agricultural activities make up between 20 to 25% of human induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; this is an essential area for us to be involved in to reduce the impact of climate change. Due to the investment of Green Resources AS in Uchindile and Mapanda, and the commitment of VCS in establishing a rigorous verification standard, it is now possible for us to offer clients high quality, verified VCS AFOLU carbon credits. This credible, permanent offsetting solution is a historic milestone for us, for the carbon marketplace and for forestry.”
Michael Jenkins, president and CEO, Forest Trends, commented, “We are very pleased to see The CarbonNeutral Company taking this important step in ensuring forestry carbon credits are available to the market once again. The VCS AFOLU standard is providing the essential guarantee that forestry can provide high quality, credible emissions reductions which should inspire confidence in the market to increase demand for more projects like this.”
The Uchindile-Mapanda reforestation project takes degraded grassland and converts it into sustainably harvested forests, which sequester carbon emissions from the atmosphere and generate carbon credits. The development of a sustainable operation in a community reliant on subsistence farming has given important economic benefits to the local area. Ten percent of the carbon credit revenues are committed to investment in the community, including the building of school classrooms, teachers’ houses, dispensaries and roads. Approximately 200 local people are employed at the forests and more than 200 km in roads have been built. In addition, wood lots have been created throughout the area for local villagers to run and maintain themselves.
“We firmly believe at Green Resources, that the development of sustainably harvested forests in Africa which combine the sequestration of carbon with the development of wood products for sale, is the ideal way to both fight climate change and support local communities,“ said Mads Asprem, founder and managing director, Green Resources, AS. “That is the philosophy of our company and we are hoping to have the same success throughout our operations in Mozambique and Uganda.”
Filipo Juma Lubia, village executive officer, Mapanda and Chogo, explained the importance of this contract, “A big benefit to the villages of Mapanda and Chogo from Green Resources Limited (GRL) is the provision of tree seedlings to the villages. Another thing is the construction of classrooms, a teacher’s house and the roads that are built surrounding the forests that are a big support to the villages. The collaboration between GRL and these villages has been supporting many things and we also expect 10% of the carbon revenues which GRL has agreed.”
The forests of eucalyptus and pine will be sustainably harvested and the wood will go to the local Sao Hill sawmill, also owned by Green Resources, for the manufacture of transmission poles, doors, and other wood products.
Caroline Kitana Chipeta, head of Chancery, Tanzania High Commission, said “Africa contributes less than 1% of the CO2 emissions that are threatening our planet; however, it is one of the regions most at risk from the effects of global warming. The Uchindile-Mapanda forest project presents an ideal opportunity for the local community to benefit from the combination of sustainable harvesting and carbon finance. Not only will the project reduce carbon emissions of companies, but it also enables the development of local employment, income, knowledge, and expertise.”
Based in the southern highlands of Tanzania, the Uchindile-Mapanda reforestation project establishes forest plantations across the Uchindile and Mapanda districts. Four varieties of trees will be planted – two each of eucalyptus and pine - covering 7,252 hectares at Uchindile and 3,562 hectares at Mapanda. In July 2009, this became the first Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU) project to be validated under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS).
The CarbonNeutral Company (www.carbonneutral.com) is a world leading carbon offset and carbon management business, working with more than 300 major businesses and thousands of small and medium sized companies. Over the last 10 years, it has purchased carbon credits from more than 200 projects across six continents. The CarbonNeutral Company has two regional operating headquarters in New York, New York, USA, and London, UK, and an office in Singapore, and a network of affiliates in Japan, Canada, France and the UAE. The CarbonNeutral Company is a founding member of The International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA), which provides leadership and a unified voice advocating for rigorous industry standards.