’By Caroline Spencer
Durrell are calling on their supporters to invest in a new carbon offsetting programme. ‘Rewild Carbon’ offers businesses the opportunity to balance their carbon footprint by supporting Durrell’s conservation work in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil.
The initiative was launched at Government House on 30 June in front of an audience of invited guests.
Dr Lesley Dickie, Durrell’s CEO said: ‘The world needs us all to take immediate action if we are to avert worst case scenarios of both biodiversity loss and climate change. These issues are two sides of the same coin, we solve both or we solve neither. Rewild Carbon offers an impactful, nature-based climate solution to businesses that has so much more to it than some traditional offsetting programmes.
‘Investing in Rewild Carbon means that your business will restore a precious rainforest. You will be contributing to a rich and vibrant ecosystem, and we know that species-rich forests sequester up to 40 times more carbon than monocultures.’
Durrell say that their approach to carbon offsetting is science-driven. Working with local partners, with whom they have long-standing relationships, their projects are designed together with local communities to benefit sustainable livelihoods.
The Atlantic Forest is one of the richest, most biodiverse and threatened habitats on the planet. It holds seven per cent of the world’s species, of which 55% are found only there. Just six per cent of the interior rainforest now remains and is in isolated fragments.
Durrell is working with local partners IPE (Instituto de Pesquisas Ecologicas), with whom they have partnered for many years, to restore 5,000 hectares of new forest through forest corridors and agroforestry. They aim to plant seven million trees, from more than 100 different native species. The tree corridors provide lifelines for threatened wildlife including black lion tamarins, jaguars and ocelots.
Andrew Mitchell, an international thought leader on natural capital finance, spoke on the importance of nature-based solutions for tackling climate change alongside biodiversity loss and mitigating pandemic risk.
Rewild Carbon credits are available to purchase, each of which will sequester 1 tonne of CO2e, which a customer can buy to balance their carbon emissions. Rewild Carbon Credits are sold at £25 per tonne of CO2e.
95% of someone’s investment goes directly to restoring nature.
‘We have been sequestering carbon for a long time,’ Dr Dickie said. ‘We just didn’t call it that.’
She added that it’s about more than just carbon. It’s carbon and livelihoods and biodiversity and ecosystem services. It’s a one-stop shop for all your ESG needs.
‘We are entering a world where mandatory climate disclosures by companies will be a matter of regulation, as is already happening in countries like New Zealand. In the near future, company balance sheets will include climate, biodiversity and community, measuring profit and loss in not only pounds sterling and dollars.’
Rewild Carbon is sponsored by Quilter Cheviot, who say that there is a growing interest among investors to align their investments with their ethical values. An investor can play a pivotal role in implementing positive change, they said.
Rewild Carbon is initially available to businesses, but Durrell plans to launch it to individuals wishing to offset their carbon footprint in 2022.
More information is available at www.durrell.org/rewildcarbon.
*1,000 endangered black lion tamarins will be protected.
*250 local families will be employed.
*800 locals will be trained in seedling production and forest restoration.
*Habitat will be restored for more than 100 mammal species, 439 bird species and 30 amphibian species.