Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Kulera’s sale of Carbon Credits save forests in Africa


Kulera’s sale of carbon credits through an efficient carbon value chain system, has greatly helped protect 455,000 hectares of forests in Africa. Further, it has also strengthened rural economies and has helped more than 800 villages.

Malawi, Africa, saw its first ever sale of carbon credits under the Reduced Emissions for Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) program under the stewardship of Terra Global Capital. This sale of carbon credits by Terra Global to The CarbonNeutral Company, was done on behalf of Microsoft. Thanks to Microsoft, financial resources are now available to build and develop rural economies in Malawi and protect its resource rich forests.

Being one of the largest REDD+ programs in the whole of Africa, the project covers 455,000 hectares and benefit 325,000 people in 800 villages. So as to manage this huge expanse, Malawi’s Department of Parks and Wildlife has entered into a partnership with Nyika-Vwaza Community Associations and the Nkhotakota Wildlife. Together, they co-manage three key protected areas, such as  the Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, Nyika National Park and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, which are under significant risk of deforestation.

Kulera REDD+ project is one of the three programs that has been recognised and has received a triple gold medallion for its adaptation, social and biodiversity benefits under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard.

The program was initially funded by USAID, which developed its key components and formalised basic ground rules for co-management systems. USAID was also responsible for promotional activities as well as getting the affected communities to participate and collaborate in the reduction of deforestation, increase in biodiversity and strengthen their rural economies. 

“The success of the Kulera Project is a true testament to the power of partnership. It's very gratifying to see the project continuing to succeed even after the close-out of direct USAID support,” said USAID’s Malawi Environmental team Leader, David Chalmers. In the course of just 4 years, the program managed to successfully reduce 1 million tons of CO2e, which roughly amounts to removing more than 200,000 cars from our roads. 

Leslie Durschinger, the founder and Managing Director of Terra Global Capital chipped in saying, “This initial sale demonstrates how carbon value chains provide payments for environmentally, socially and financially sustainable land-use management." 

With the program moving from one phase to another, the donor funding phase has now come to a rest and the result-based model for the co-management of the protected area, has now set it. Partners will now receive financial assistance based on their measured success, which is a key component for improved governance to manage deforestation. This is where Microsoft’s technologies will kick in to monitor, vide various communication means, landscape management.

“These phones will help us achieve our goals of easing communication and will have an added benefit of reducing fuel costs by allowing us to share critical information with communities that are many kilometers away,” said James Sadalaki, Chairman of the Nkhotakota Community Association. He was very thankful to Microsoft for investing in his communities.

Zubair Zakir, The CarbonNeutral Company’s Sourcing Director was also “ thrilled “… thrilled to be partnering with the innovative landscape level Kulera REDD+ program, a first of its kind for the marketplace and Malawi, and delivering GHG reductions combined with essential sustainable impacts to both communities and biodiversity. In the run up to COP21 in Paris, we hope negotiators will take note of the leadership being demonstrated by corporate voluntary action and clients such as Microsoft in addressing deforestation." 

Having tasted success, the REDD+ program will continue to look for carbon buyers who value high quality emission reduction programs.