Carbon offset projects
July 29, 2021
Earth Overshoot Day and the urgency for more climate action
Earth Overshoot Day marks the point in time when we have used up all the annual natural resources that our planet provides. In 2021, that date is 29th July. It confirms the trend that was already visible before the pandemic: we are living beyond our means and using up our natural resources too quickly. This makes it all the more important to take measures to conserve these resources, and thus also to take climate action. Our carbon offset project for sustainable bamboo reforestation in Nicaragua shows how both can be combined.
The "perfect storm" of climate change and resource scarcity
The historical data of Earth Overshoot Day, calculated by the Global Footprint Network, shows: since 1970, humanity has been consuming beyond its means, currently amounting to 74 percent above planetary boundaries this year alone. If this trend continues unchecked, this additional consumption could lead to a situation that various climate experts have called the "perfect storm". Extreme weather, species extinction, even the pandemic - these are all facets of the combination of climate change and resource scarcity. The answer must be to curb the overconsumption of finite resources. We need to define our lifestyle and prosperity within the boundaries that the world gives us. Earth Overshoot Day urges us to take action in this direction, which can range from climate-friendly consumption decisions by individuals, to corporate investments in nature-based climate action solutions.
Climate action and resource conservation through bamboo cultivation
One example of such measures is our bamboo reforestation project on the Río Kama in Nicaragua, which we are currently developing with local partners. As a first step, we planted more than 1 million plants of a native species of giant bamboo on almost 2,400 hectares of land. The long-term goal is that some of these plants, once fully grown, will be harvested and used as a substitute raw material for conventional, slower-growing wood.
Since only parts of the bamboo plant are removed during harvesting, (the plant itself remains alive and new parts grow back) bamboo plants store the absorbed CO2 in the long term. If, on the other hand, trees were used for the same purpose, all of their CO2 storage capacity would be lost once they are felled. Products made from bamboo as a raw material therefore contribute to a low-emission and resource-efficient economy. At the same time, they strengthen the economic prospects of the local population.
Further advantages of bamboo:
Our project in eastern Nicaragua is already certified by the VCS, and covers almost 2,400 hectares, with an additional 1,000 hectares of old forest as a protected zone. This means that it already saves an average of 37,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, and will produce around 200,000 tonnes of bamboo for further use in the future. This carbon offset project is one of many solutions for a climate-friendly life and economy on earth.
Further information on our project is available at https://climatepartner.com/1216.