Finance deal expands pioneering REDD+ project in Kenya that protects forest, wildlife and delivers local economic development at landscape scale across the Tsavo Conservation Area
Mill Valley, California – February 18, 2014 – Wildlife Works Carbon LLC, the carbon market’s leading REDD+ project development and management company, announced today that is has signed a $10M financing deal with the Althelia Climate Fund to launch the Taita Hills Conservation and Sustainable Land Use Project in south-eastern Kenya.
The project aims to protect approximately 200,000 hectares of threatened natural forest and savannah grassland ecosystems and bring vital economic development benefits to local communities.
Wildlife Works will implement the project utilizing the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) mechanism, an essential climate change mitigation strategy originated by the United Nations, designed to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests.
The program addresses the causes of deforestation by creating sustainable economic alternatives that value standing forests as “natural capital” and incentivize local landowners and the broader community to protect their forest for the long term.
Mike Korchinsky, Founder and CEO of Wildlife Works, said, “With the Althelia Climate Fund’s support for the Taita Hills Project, the community has a chance to have their broad development needs addressed including education, health, jobs, housing, food and water, and security. Althelia’s investment enables us to deliver tangible economic benefits on day one, allowing the community to choose to shift their lifestyle towards a green development path.”
The Taita Hills REDD+ Project aims to reduce 30M tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the 30-year life of the project through the avoidance of deforestation and forest degradation. The project will also facilitate the regeneration of already degraded areas.
This is the first in a series of planned investments by the Luxembourg based Althelia Climate Fund, an asset management platform dedicated to finance transition towards sustainable land use and ecosystems conservation. Althelia is backed by notable institutions including EIB, FMO, Finnfund and the Church of Sweden.
“We are inspired by Wildlife Works’ innovative conservation and community engagement know-how. We have seen proof that their model works to stop deforestation and transform a community by engaging and enabling local people to directly solve their own problems. We are delighted to have the opportunity to help this leading-edge company scale their successful model,” said Christian del Valle, Managing Partner at the Althelia Climate Fund.
The Taita Hills Project will build upon the success of Wildlife Works’ well-known Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project, the first REDD+ project in the world that in 2010 received verification and issuance of REDD+ Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), also known as offsets or carbon credits, under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB).