Carbon Green Africa (CGA) is a Zimbabwe based company established to facilitate the generation of Carbon Credits through validating REDD projects, through its local team and network of partners. CGA’s core competency is having the capability to enable successful conservation projects according to the rules of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Community, Climate and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS) at Gold Level, and whilst also being able to make the project financially viable for all parties involved. This is a new yet working model in the carbon management arena. CGA has established very good association with a variety of entities to ensure the model works.
CGA is developing REDD projects in areas within Zimbabwe most affected by deforestation. REDD is an acronym for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation. According to the United Nations REDD program, REDD is described as “an effort to create financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low carbon paths to sustainable development”. This is to be achieved with a focus on reducing deforestation and degradation of the forests through appropriate management. Africa has been targeted as a prime location in which to view the extent of deforestation and degradation of the world’s forests. This is in many ways due to the fact that Africans rely so heavily on wood as a source of fuel.
A recent study in Kenya showed just how severe the problem is and how reliant Africans are on wood for their every –day living. Kenya relies on wood as a source of 68% of all its energy requirements. Broken down, this amounts to, for example, the wood-fuel equivalent use of 53 trees per day on average per school, which translates to a loss of 183 million trees through secondary schools alone. Deforestation and the erosion of agricultural land are among the most serious of Zimbabwe’s environmental problems. 330,000 hectares of tress are being lost every year in Zimbabwe. Most of these trees are being indiscriminately cut down in order to provide a source of energy.
While in the past the cutting down of trees was confined to rural areas where there is no electricity, the practice has since spread to urban areas due to the load shedding by the power utility. A significant part of the country’s forests have also fallen victim to tobacco farmers who use the wood for curing the tobacco leaves and to agriculture in general.
Such deforestation can either be planned (e.g. an organized logging operation can be granted) or unplanned (e.g. casual logging or agricultural operation) and takes place in either mosaic (i.e. alongside population centres) or frontier landscapes (i.e. newly accessible forests). Essentially a baseline scenario of deforestation is established and if project activities are successfully implemented to reduce or mitigate such deforestation, the emissions, which would have been released can be quantified and sold as carbon credits.
With the projects and structures as outlined below and CGA’s associate partners; South Pole Carbon Asset Management Ltd (South Pole) www.southpolecarbon.com, we believe we have created a model that will work here in Zimbabwe and achieve our aims of both successful conservation projects and strong financial returns for all concerned, thus giving financial reward as well as contributing to the maintenance of the environment and community enrichment. Besides using the worldwide accepted VCS carbon quantification standard, CGA’s projects shall also be certified to the CCBS (Community, Climate and Biodiversity Standard) at Gold Level, which puts a particular emphasis on both the community, its role in the projects and the benefits the communities will see, and biodiversity conservation benefits. CGA highlights that without the involvement and compliance of the communities, the success of the projects will be limited.