The Wildlife Works Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project protects over 500,000 acres of dryland forest in southeastern Kenya, securing the wildlife migration corridor between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. This area was part of the East African Safari Rally Classic route in both 2013 and 2015, and will be again in 2017.
REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) is a climate change mitigation mechanism originated by the United Nations, designed to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests. Prior to the REDD+ project implementation in Kenya’s Kasigau Corridor, the area was under intense threat from slash-and-burn agriculture and charcoal production. Through the REDD+ project’s improvement of alternative livelihoods and sustainable community development, these threats have been significantly reduced.
The Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project benefits over 100,000 rural Kenyans, including 4,000 local community landowners, through the distribution of carbon revenue, providing a low-carbon, sustainable development pathway for the project area’s rural communities. Job creation is the core conservation strategy, so the project employs over 300 local citizens in jobs including forest and wildlife rangers, plot sampling staff, horticulturists, eco-factory workers, construction workers, mechanics and administrative personnel.
Some of the current employees previously had to destroy their environment just to survive, yet Wildlife Works’ has offered them an alternative livelihood. Additionally, the project has created regional development of education, water access, women’s empowerment, and small enterprise business opportunities, while agricultural intensification methods stop the expansion of slash-and-burn agriculture and enhance food security.
The Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project has also achieved tremendous results in biodiversity preservation, and is credited with the resurgent regional populations of endangered species including the African elephant, Grevy’s zebra, cheetah, and lion.
The Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project generates Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), otherwise known as carbon offsets, where each VER represents the avoidance of one ton of carbon being released into the atmosphere. VERs are purchased by corporations and individuals who voluntarily elect to reduce their unavoidable emissions. Proceeds from Wildlife Works’ VER sales are reinvested in green economic development for the local community, thus removing the threat to the forest.
The conservation of the project area relies on the voluntary offset of emissions by corporations, NGOs and individuals. The East African Safari Classic Rally teams and their sponsors are invited to join some of the world’s leading corporations including Kenya Airways, Allianz, Kering, BNP Paribas, Microsoft, Barclays Bank, and Marks & Spencer in offsetting unavoidable carbon emissions and protecting primary Kenyan forest by supporting Wildlife Works’ Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project.
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