The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) will now earn hundreds of millions of shillings in carbon credit for offsetting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere after it inked a deal with BDO, a global audit and accounting firm.
The firm said that it will pay KFS and the East African Wildlife Society (EAWS) $15 (Sh1,703.25) for one tonne of carbon removed from the atmosphere through trees.
BDO East Africa Regional chief executive officer (CEO) Sandeep Khapre said that the firm will provide both the EAWS and the KFS on carbon offsets expertise.
“So, for instance, if we have planted 6,000 trees, there is 22Kgs of carbon which can be offset. So, we have axed 150 tonnes of carbon...
“Each tonne of carbon is one carbon credit and one carbon credit can give you $15 (Sh1,703.25) in the market approximately. So that can be the revenue generated to the EAWS and the forestry services,” the CEO said.
A carbon credit is a kind of permit that represents one tonne of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere.
They can be purchased by an individual or, more commonly, a company to make up for carbon dioxide emissions that come from industrial production, delivery vehicles or travel.
Carbon credits are most often created through agricultural or forestry practices, although a credit can be made by nearly any project that reduces, avoids, destroys or captures emissions.
“Our idea is not just to give money, plant trees, go home, do a CSR activity to that extent but to provide continuing value added to the KFS and EAWS so that many more players can come in and generate revenue for them and they can also offset their own carbon footprints because after COP26 many companies decided to become net-zero or carbon-neutral in their operations,” he said.
According to the National Environment and Management Authority (Nema), Kenya has a forest cover of 7.4 percent, which is 3.6 percent short of the constitutionally accepted 10 percent forest cover, blamed on environmental destruction of trees through charcoal burning.
However, the KFS is seeking to increase forestry cover through planting of more trees across the Country.
Recently, KFS and 8 billion Trees, a carbon offset company that runs a large-scale planting operation in the Amazon Forest launched a carbon offset project in Kenze Hills by planting trees in Makueni County in Eastern Kenya, to remove carbon emissions while rebuilding habitats and restoring local ecosystems.