First In Pacific; Vanuatu Project To Save Forest, Store Carbon

Kole community manages 400 hectares of previously logged forest; sells 3,500 tonnes of carbon credits

By Anita Roberts

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 16, 2017) – A project established at Kole, a remote village on east Santo, was highlighted as the first of its kind in the pacific region to save forest and store carbon.

Loru Forest Carbon Project, the name of the project, is an example of how locals can unite to manage their forest sustainably.

A non-government organization (NGO), Live & Learn, is supporting Kole community to manage an area of around 400 hectares which was previously logged forest.

The idea is to stop the people from logging and help them protect their existing forests while still providing for their local needs.

It is the first registered protected area in Vanuatu.

Divided into three zoning; ago-forestry, forest protection and forest regeneration, Loru Forest Carbon Project is a solution to degradation and a victory to climate change.

It allows the community to benefit from their forest.

Glarinda Andre from the Department of Environment who was talking about the carbon project to an audience of mostly school students during the National Environment Week in Port Vila said the project sold out 3,500 tonnes of carbon credits last year.

“Works are underway to sell out another 4,000 tonnes,” she added.

It is understood that at the moment the buyers are only locals.

It’s not only about protecting and preserving wildlife, it’s also about understanding the important role to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by sinking and storing carbon.

Forests stand as an important buffer against climate change. However, every year agriculture and deforestation are lowering the amount of forest cover available to do so.

This example of how people can unite to manage their forest while benefiting from can be applied in other islands in Vanuatu.

It’s in the interest of each community to follow suit.

Interested locals and communities are encouraged to visit or contact the Department of Environment Conservation and Protection (DECP).

Loru Forest Carbon Project is established as a community conservation area under the Environment Unit.

The Swedish Government is providing funds for the Loru project.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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