Rainforests as a basis of existence
Our carbon offset project in April Salumei in Papua New Guinea
Conserving the forest in April Salumei, Papua New Guinea
Since time immemorial, the people in the primeval forest of April Salumei, Papua New Guinea, have lived in harmony with nature. Until the government approved its area for industrial use and deforestation, that is. The basis of their own existence was facing destruction. The indigenous people joined forces and fought on behalf of their forest. Today, they protect a vast area of pristine rainforest, with countless species of birds, exotic animals and plants. They thus maintain an important CO2 sink.
The project brings other benefits for them: today, the children go to school, learn to read, and have prospects for the future. Adults are able to find work in small businesses. Anyone who falls ill can be treated in a health centre in the next village. All this is new and only made possible through the financing arising from the carbon offset project.
Contribution to the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs)
Construction of community health centres to improve health care accessibility
Improvement of literacy and general education of children and youth
More than 1 000 solar lamps were distributed in schools, hospitals, churches and homes. For many people in this area it is the first electric light ever in their lives.
Development of small enterprises to generate alternative sources of income
Conservation of an important global carbon sink: 600 000 hectares of rainforest
Protection of a highly diverse virgin tropical rainforest as a habitat for numerous species
How does climate protection through a forest conservation project work?
Trees store CO2 – and the tree species in tropical forests in particular store quite a lot of it. This is why, among other things, rainforests are so important to the climate. When it comes to recognised Carbon offset projects, there are three ways such CO2 sinks can be created or maintained:
- Afforestation and reforestation: Trees are planted to create new areas of forest. This increases the amount of carbon dioxide that can be stored on this plot of land.
- Sustainable forest management: Only as much wood as can regrow in a certain period of time is actually harvested. The forest thus regenerates itself, and its CO2 storage capacity is maintained.
- REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. This method is intended to create a financial incentive to protect forests as carbon sinks. The greenhouse gas stored is assigned a monetary value, so that forests have a higher financial weighting when it comes to economic decision-making processes.
For forest protection to be recognised in international climate protection, what is crucial is for how long the storage of the CO2 is guaranteed. The project developer has to ensure that the areas are not felled again.