Empowering Environmental Sustainability through Carbon Projects

From Left: Director of Research and Innovation, Dr. Shem Kuyah, Boomitra, East Africa Project Lead, Ms. Ann Maina and Unique Land Use, Natural Climate Solution Manager, Dr. John Nyaga during the webinar

The Directorate of Research and Innovation at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) hosted a webinar centered on the theme of ‘Unlocking Carbon Finance’, October 4, 2023.

The primary objective of the webinar was to provide participants with a deeper understanding of carbon projects and the methods for generating carbon credits from such projects.

Unique Land Use, Natural Climate Solution Manager, Dr. John Nyaga, elucidated the fundamentals of carbon projects, the critical considerations in their development, and the procedures for obtaining carbon credits from these initiatives.

“To initiate a carbon project, two key aspects must be considered: firstly, one must identify stakeholders interested in establishing a carbon project, and secondly, the project’s underlying purpose,” explained Dr. Nyaga.

He said, while the ultimate aim of carbon projects is to mitigate carbon emissions into the atmosphere, many individuals place a significant emphasis on the carbon credits they can earn.

“A typical scenario involves a company seeking to meet emissions reduction targets by engaging in carbon offsets. This constitutes an investment aimed at reducing emissions, culminating in the issuance of a certificate that serves as an asset, or a carbon credit,” said Dr. Nyaga.

Dr. Nyaga further delineated that a carbon project can fall into one of three categories: reduction projects, which focus on controlling the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere; avoidance projects, where no carbon emissions occur; and removal projects, such as tree planting, where carbon is absorbed during photosynthesis.

He also stressed the importance of aligning carbon projects with broader sustainable development goals and ensuring their real-world impact.

Moreover, he elaborated on the meticulous procedures required for the development of a carbon project. Dr. Nyaga emphasized that each step in this process is crucial, with particular attention needed during the monitoring stage, which is both engaging and labor-intensive.

This phase allows for the tracking of project progress and necessitates the submission of a standardized report for verification, ultimately leading to the issuance of carbon credits.

Boomitra, East Africa Project Lead, Ms. Ann Maina, expounded on their role in bringing carbon credits closer to farmers. Boomitra collaborates with organizations working with farmers, conducting soil carbon assessments that generate carbon credits for these agricultural stakeholders.

“Soil carbon involves sequestering carbon in the soil and enhancing soil quality. It also assists in monitoring soil moisture and nutrient levels, contributing to the implementation of improved farming practices and decision-making,” ,” explained Ms. Maina.

Ms. Maina presented a case study highlighting their collaboration with a farmer in Makueni, Kenya, where increased productivity, enhanced resilience, and reduced emissions have been achieved through sustainable farming practices.

She attributed these positive outcomes to the integration of technology, particularly a mobile app that provides valuable insights to farmers, enabling them to make informed improvements.

The webinar also saw a presentation from Ms. Ruth Kerubo, an Advocate and Environmental law expert, on the regulatory framework on carbon financing in Kenya.

Director of Research and Innovation, Dr. Shem Kuyah, said the webinar provided a comprehensive understanding of carbon projects, their significance in mitigating emissions, and the critical role they play in sustainable development.

“I trust participants gained valuable insights into the world of carbon finance and its potential to drive positive change in environmental and agricultural practices,” said Dr. Kuyah who moderated the webinar.

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