‘Carbon Credits’ in Forbes India

Oct 9th, 2012 | By | Category: Featured Stories

Deepa Krishnan first published Carbon Credits to Conserve Uganda in Forbes India.  Krishnan was a visiting scholar with the Africa Reporting Project in 2009-2010. She has over eight years of experience as a financial reporter in Mumbai, India. She has worked in print and TV and has been producing freelance work since 2010.

Carbon Credits to Conserve Uganda

In the peak afternoon sun, a pickup truck rumbles through the dirt track flanked on either side by rolling hills of neatly lined pine trees as far as the eye can see. At a clearing in the middle of the pine forest, the truck comes to a halt, raising a cloud of dust. It is the only irritant to the fresh smell of pine. This isn’t a temperate coniferous forest in North America. It’s the heart of equatorial Africa, Uganda. And these alien, fast-growing, Caribbean pines are gaining popularity as the solution to reforest degraded land.

“We have reached the carbon project area,” says Lemmy Kasimbazi, forest supervisor, National Forestry Authority (NFA), as he gets out of the truck. A nondescript signboard hanging on a shrub reads, “RECPA Carbon Project Area — funded by World Bank”.

NFA is the Ugandan government body partnering with World Bank to establish the Nile Basin Reforestation project — 2,015 hectares of pine forests — that will earn carbon credits under United Nation’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). RECPA, or Rwoho Environmental Conservation and Protection Association, is the local community group that will manage 17% of the project area as part of a collaborative forest management plan.

This World Bank initiative aims to provide a new financing mechanism to help countries like Uganda restore degraded forests, allowing local communities to benefit from the CDM. The basic idea is that trees trap carbon dioxide and hence planting more trees is an effective offset against carbon emissions. One tree in a tropical forest could potentially trap one tonne of “carbon dioxide equivalent” over a lifetime of 50 years.

If the Uganda experiment succeeds, it could hold valuable lessons for developing countries like India.

To read more of  “Carbon Credits to Conserve Uganda” go the article in Forbes, India.  Beth Hoffman, a fellow in the Africa Reporting Project in 2009-2010, also reported on this story for Living on Earth.

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