World’s first bamboo carbon offset credits issued under the VCS
The Food & Trees for Africa’s (FTFA) Bamboo for Africa programme has been certified under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)—the first VCS accreditation for bamboo in the world.
The VCS is the most highly regarded international certification standard for carbon reduction projects and is one of the most widely used quality assurance standards for accounting credits in the voluntary carbon market. Its criteria for validating, measuring and monitoring carbon offset projects are based on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol.
This watershed moment – the ability of the Bamboo for Africa programme to comply with the strict VCS standards — demonstrates that bamboo is officially recognized as a functioning carbon sink and storage, and that the methodology is globally accepted.
FTFA is a South African social enterprise working to address climate change and sustainable development through climate change action, food security, greening and natural resource management programmes. Their innovative Bamboo for Africa programme introduces bamboo cultivation and income generation activities to low-income communities with plantings at public schools and on open government or tribal land. Bamboo for Africa was launched in September 2010 and already has more than 80 hectares of bamboo. As the programme enriches communities by creating sustainable livelihoods for previously unemployed and mostly destitute individuals, it also offers cost-effective carbon offsets. The proceeds from the carbon offsets are then utilized to support further community development programmes for the value adding process of renewable building materials and community based renewable energy solutions. You can watch a video on one of FTFA’s planting sites here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1FUk9-BUvU
INBAR supported FTFA’s VCS application process, providing data and methodological assistance. The success of Bamboo for Africa’s application is positive proof that bamboo can play a viable role in CDM or other carbon sequestration projects around the globe. Building on the momentum of the Bamboo for Africa project, INBAR, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University (ZAFU) and China Green Carbon Foundation (CGCF) are working in concert to develop a carbon accounting methodology for bamboo with fewer requirements than that of VCS, in an effort to expand the options for global stakeholders interested in generating carbon credits from bamboo.