Target: Mike,Wildlife Works Carbon Co-Founder
Goal: Praise project that reduces deforestation and wildlife poaching while supporting the local community
In the Kasigau area of Southern Kenya, one of the few places where hundreds of elephants still roam, Wildlife Works Carbon’s pilot project seeks to halt both climate change and poaching of endangered elephants. In keeping with the concept of selling carbon credits, outlined in the United Nation’s 2005 Kyoto Protocol on global climate change, the project receives credits for conducting anti-climate change activities. Wildlife rangers monitor the 500,000 acres between East Tsavo and West Tsavo national parks to prevent poaching and illegal tree-cutting. Local villagers then count the trees in the corridor and calculate the carbon stored. After field audits, an external organization processes the information, awarding the project credits, which are sold to companies like Microsoft and Coca-Cola, according to an article in National Geographic News.
After a third of revenue goes to staff salaries and operating costs and another to local landowners for not exploiting natural resources for profit, the final third of the revenue is split with investors, allowing communities to fund much-needed water projects such as tanks and pipelines, so people do not have to walk miles transporting water to their homes. Focusing on education as well, the project has been able to award carbon-funded scholarships for secondary and university schooling to over 2,500 students. Some communities have used their funds to build new schools and supply them with desks and other learning materials. The project also expands economic opportunities for women, offering them training in crafting eco-responsible household materials like soap.
Despite the project’s small scale, it has achieved great success since its official validation in 2011, having earned 1.2 million carbon credits and nearly 7 billion dollars in revenue from the transactions. By signing the petition below, you can support this unique collaboration helping local communities and our global community at large live more sustainably.
I am writing to applaud your team’s efforts to halt climate change and wildlife poaching as part of the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). Your unique partnership with local communities to care for ecology and our global climate is inspiring and promising.
By simultaneously rewarding landowners for responsible use of natural resources and supporting educational and economic advancement for community members, your project offers an innovative way in which we may find a win-win situation for all involved. I hope your initiative may serve as a model for future projects to come, and I wish you the best of luck in the continuance of your project.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brian Snelson via Wikimedia Commons