Kenya, (Xinhua) ---
The World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF)
has captured 2,161 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2011 from the
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from its operations in office and
trips out of the office in Nairobi.
ICRAF said late on Monday that it
made the achievements from its staff official travels by air and
road, hotel stays, electricity consumption and individual local
is an indication that the center is set to becoming a
carbon-neutral institution in the world,” said Dr. Audrey
Chenevoy, the consultant with ICRAF’s Climate Change Unit
responsible for carrying out the organization’s carbon
footprint assessment told Xinhua in Nairobi.
Chenevoy said that the credits
belong to the Kasigau Corridor REDD (deforestation and
degradation) project in Kenya that protects over 500,000 acres
of forest and also safeguarding the highly threatened wildlife
migration corridor between two of Kenya’s largest national parks
(Tsavo East and Tsavo West), and brings diverse benefits to
surrounding rural communities.
The project, run by wildlife work
is the world’s first REDD project to be validated and verified
under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and holds Gold Level
status under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB).
In December 2012, ICRAF
headquarters bought carbon credits to offset its GHG emissions
for the next two years, through an institution called The Carbon
The latter recognizes the
exceptional environmental and social benefits the project
provides – including job creation, education, and the provision
of direct financial benefits from carbon to over 100,000 local
He revealed that ICRAF
headquarters in Nairobi is officially carbon neutral hence
setting an example that it hopes other offices and institutions
will follow in addressing the challenge of climate change.
Prior to offsetting its
emissions, ICRAF headquarters published a detailed account of
its 2011 carbon footprint.
The findings of this assessment,
the first in the Center’s history, are already informing actions
to reduce carbon emissions at the headquarters, with the
ultimate goal of achieving carbon- neutrality for its operation
around the world.
According to ICRAF Director
General Tony Simons, the Nairobi office will aim to remain
carbon neutral and assess its carbon footprint annually and will
be sharing the information on their website.
have extended the assessment process to our regional offices
with the aim of becoming a carbon neutral institution,” he
He revealed that ICRAF is simply
walking the talk and hope that donors and the public see this
commitment to sustainable practices.
ICRAF headquarters is already
implementing actions to reduce its carbon footprint over the
long term, which will be important in balancing emissions as the
organization grows.The Nairobi office has developed a new
recycling system and switched, wherever possible, to
Simons revealed that plans to
update the video conferencing system to increase collaboration
over the internet and cut down on travel are underway.
The institution is also in the
process of introducing actions towards carbon-neutrality and
purchasing carbon credits.
climate change affects everyone—from rural smallholder farmers
to urban dwellers, we all have to do our part to keep
emissions to the minimum, at the individual, community and
institutional level,” Chenevoy said.
The move makes ICRAF as the first
Consultative Group in International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
center to rigorously assess its carbon emissions worldwide.
has taken some ground-breaking step this past year, but a lot
of work lies ahead if we want to be truly sustainable,” Dr.
Henry Neufeldt, head of ICRAF’s Climate Change Unit and leader
of the carbon footprint initiative noted.
He said that as an organization
at the leading edge of climate change adaptation and mitigation
research in agriculture, achieving carbon neutrality represents
not only a challenge, but also an opportunity for ICRAF to
demonstrate its credibility as a 21st
The Kasigau Corridor REDD project
covers 200,000 hectares of dry forest land in southern Kenya an
area that is under intense threat from slash and burn
agriculture practiced by the local communities that continue
encroaching the parks.
Nearly 150,000 people are already
benefiting from the revenues emanating from the sale of carbon
from the project.
The project is the first ever to
be issued with Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VERs) for REDD
under both Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate
Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB).
These are the two most
comprehensive carbon accounting standards among projects issuing
credits in voluntary markets.