Last week at our 3rd Annual Offsetter Event we celebrated 4 years of generating certified forest carbon offsets with our customers some who have been active supporters from day one, while others are new to the benefits of offsetting.
This year the event evolved from a small gathering of offsetters receiving their awards to include an afternoon panel discussion led by some of the industry’s most respected experts. The discussions explored the importance of land rights and resource ownership to the conservation of landscapes as well as the business case for engaging in conservation and Responsible Tourism.
What became clear from the discussion was the motivation from Tanzanian tour operators to minimise their environmental impact. Employees from large lodges to small owner/operator tour companies shared ideas on how to minimise their impact without stretching the budget and that it makes business sense to do so.
In 2010 Carbon Tanzania started selling the carbon offsets generated from the newly developed REDD+ project in the Yaeda Valley. At the time The Map’s Edge, a local tour operator with a strong emphasis on responsible tourism, was looking at multiple ways to reduce their environmental impact. The company ethos is that every little effort helps and they engage in both small activities such as minimising paper use in the office as well as activities that have a larger impact such as reducing the number of plastic bottles used on safaris and offsetting carbon emissions. When they discovered they could offset their emissions and support local forest conservation and the forest communities, they quickly became Carbon Tanzania offsetters. Now 6 years later they not only led the discussion on the business case for responsible tourism but also won the 2015 Carbon Tanzania Offsetter Award for their continued dedication to protecting both the local and global environment. It is the support of such companies that ensure the continued protection of some of Tanzania’s most threatened forests and has allowed Carbon Tanzania to expand the pilot project from 20,790 hectares to over 32,000 hectares of protected land.
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