An organization in Tsavo is helping the local community earn from carbon offsetting.

In Tsavo Kenya, there is a high level of rural poverty. This has seen the local population turn to unsustainable practices to gain income, having a large effect on tree populations and the biodiversity. Long dry spells mean that the local community lack water for agriculture and have to find alternative means of survival. There is a need for conservation.

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Wildlife Works employs 350 community members in various areas, all as a part of environmental conservation “We started out at wildlife works with half a dozen rangers and now we have nearly 100. Their job is to stop human-wildlife conflict.” – Rob Dodson, VP of African Field Operations, Wildlife Works. Wildlife works is working with the local community to provide an alternative using the international carbon market through carbon offsetting. “Carbon credits isn’t a bubble that’s going to burst. It is a good viable way of protecting forests and empowering people in developing countries to look after their environment by rewarding them for their actions.” – Rob Dodson.

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A Wildlife Works conservation ranger searches for poachers and charcoal burners in a Kenyan forest.

This is how carbon offsetting works:

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The carbon on a piece of land is measured. This is done by measuring the amount of trees, shrubs and grass. The carbon contained in this vegetation and the below-ground carbon in roots is also measured. This is weighed against land that is already destroyed. This will give you the amount of carbon being taken out of the air by the plants. An organization anywhere in the world will then fund the conservation project to offset their own carbon footprint by buying credits through the carbon market. This works to cancel off global emissions. The revenue generated from this is divided by wildlife works and split among the community, benefiting them, for their conservation efforts.

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Wildlife Works runs the carbon offset through the Kasigau corridor project which was certified and  validated in 2010. The achievement of the organization and the community in conservation and reduction of unsustainable practices are evident in the local ecosystem.

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