Vitalideas in direct partnership with the beneficiary communities and the Amazonian Rainforest, offer carbon offset opportunites via CO2 sequestration projects, using the rainforest. It means creating carbon sinks through reforestation.
The choice of Vitalideas is to establish two types of reforestation programs:
|Reforestation by planting native and short cycle species|
Reforestation for reconstitution of primary forest and conservation of biodiversity
Reforestation can achieve several goals: in addition to CO2 fixation, it has other environmental and socio-economic capital benefits:
- Limit deforestation and biodiversity loss
- Protection against soil erosion
- Regulation of water flow
- Organic improvement of soils and restoration of fertility to degraded land
- Ensure a sustainable and organized management to forest areas
- Provide to communities a sustainable economic alternative
- Boost the local economy and community training
Forests play a crucial role in mitigating climate change. They also conserve biodiversity, soil and water resources and, when managed sustainably, can strengthen local and national economies and promote the well-being of present and future generations.
Ecuador is considered as one of the most diverse countries in the world. Approximately 11 billions of hectares are covered by forests, which represents almost 40% of the total area of the country. 80% of forests are to be found in the Amazon region, 13% on the littoral zone and 7% in the mountainous region. Unfortunately, Ecuador has one of the highest deforestation rates in Latin America: a 1.7% annual rate. (See the deforestation situation in Ecuador)
The estimates indicate that for about 200,000 hectares deforested each year, only 7. 500 hectares are replanted.
In view of this situation, Vitalideas is starting a regeneration project of the vegetational cover of areas affected by wood exploitation, agriculture and pasture in the Amazon Jungle. The reforestation activities are held with communities living near the project area. It thus provides a source of income related to planting and maintenance areas to reforest and the advisability of vocational training.
The main objectives of this project are to recuperate ecosystems and eroded sites, to preserve water resources and create employment sources for communities living in the project area. Prior to actions of reforestation with local communities, awareness raising activities in environmental topics will take place through participatory workshops enabling us to reach positive results not only in reforestation programs but also in the conservation of ecosystems.
Vitalideas' objective is to make these projects "sustainable", facing the local context and economic realities; the sale of wood and agriculture or livestock is very tempting for the owners. Vitalideas must propose alternative methods of economy as "attractive" and realistic, but also accepted by local communities.
Communication campaigns and awareness are therefore also part of the tools used by Vitalideas.
The reforestation of native short cycle trees in order to use their benefits meets several needs:
- Planting seedlings and growing trees in short-term cycles allows optimum absorption of CO2 (more than a mature forest stabilized)
- In addition to revenues related to planting and maintaining trees in the early years (see additionality), reforestation allows creating economic resources for the owner and the community engaged in the project. The operation is then performed according to criteria of good management conditions and ecological forestry. It is verified that the timber will not be used as “wood energy”, which would represent a return of carbon to the atmosphere, making it ineffective compensation.
Vitalideas's ambition is first to propose a method of sustainable and replicable forest management , and show that sustainable forest management and local economic development are compatible.
- Economic and tourism opportunities related to the use of the trees can be used by communities: traditional use of trees (fruit, seeds, wood) for food, the manufacture of traditional items and handicrafts, medicinal uses, dyes ...
Such reforestation will allow absorption of a smaller quantity of CO2 than with reforestation with short cycle trees (as in perpetuity rapid growth phase) but will provide a carbon sink on long term.
The secondary objective is firstly to help maintain or development of biodiversity, and also to save the wooded areas against deforestation projects or other harmful practices.
The site chosen for this project can be tertiary forest (highly damaged) or secondary forest (damaged).
The choice of replanted species is made according to the objectives of preserving biodiversity (see also page conservation of natural resources).
In the case of the reforestation for conservation should be on the grounds of a private owner, this one must agree to waive any productive activity. (financial compensation can be supported by the purchase of carbon credits). Vitalideas will then verify that the same owner does not go up for its "loss of business" by deforesting another field. This would be a "leakage of CO2” in the sense that the carbon removed from one side would be lost on the other, making the overall transaction offset zero.
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