SERENGETI BALLOONS GO CARBON NEUTRAL(Article rebroadcast with permission of Mr. John Corse of Serengeti Balloon Safaris)
(Posted 20th February 2020)
As we all begin to understand our responsibilities for the environment that we depend on, we are developing ways to mitigate our activities. Here at Serengeti Balloon Safaris, we’ve been working on a Sustainability Policy, and though it isn’t ready yet, one of the key elements is to offset the carbon that we consume. So we haven’t wasted any time, we selected Carbon Tanzania (https://www.carbontanzania.com) as a well-respected, local organisation to provide the offsetting for us.
What is Carbon Offsetting about? Here’s what Carbon Tanzania’s Jo Anderson says about it;
‘Offsetting has received some high-profile attention recently, especially in the light of Greta Thunberg’s calls for actions to address climate change, and the demand for carbon offsets by both individuals and companies is soaring. The airline and oil and gas industries have committed to invest in nature-based solutions by buying or creating land-based offsets. If you want to find out more about the ins and outs of this issue, a recent blog from our friends at Ecosystem Marketplace is a good place to start:
"It is important to purchase offsets from reputable, high-quality projects that most importantly are internationally certified by a third-party verifier."
The main critique of offsetting is that is does not lead to genuine carbon emission reductions, or that it is hard to know where the money paid for the offset credit is being spent. It is true that not all projects that aim to reduce emissions, or to sequester carbon, are equal. So it is important to purchase offsets from reputable, high-quality projects that most importantly are internationally certified by a third-party verifier. There are a few very robust international standards these days that ensure that projects are having the effects and impacts that they claim to have, including the Gold Standard, Verra’s VCS-CCB and the Plan VivoFoundation. All are strongly founded in science and guarantee that the projects are monitored and measured in rigorous and accountable ways. The process of verifying a project is very thorough and means that the project developer is forced to scrutinise their plans and processes in detail, thereby promoting only those projects that are implementing well thought out activities that lead to genuine carbon reductions.
Reducing and replacing the carbon impacts from your lifestyle, or your company operations, is still very much the first and most crucial step in moving towards a low or zero-carbon economy. But in the meantime, offsetting these emissions that we all make with impactful land-based projects is the best way to ensure that natural forests are a healthy carbon sink now and into the future, and can continue to play their critical role in stabilising the global climate and so providing a life-support system for all human societies.’
We are proud to announce that our entire carbon consumption for 2019 is now being offset by the Carbon Tanzania team, so that we can ensure that the offsetting is implemented, right here in Africa.
How are they going to do this? Over to Sarah Borman from Carbon Tanzania; ‘You will provide the protection of 1,125Ha of the wildlife rich Hadza homelands and another 2,625Ha of natural habitat across the ecosystem. You will be keeping one local community forest scout in the field for a year and a half by paying their salary, and helping them to support their family as well as keeping 675 beautiful umbrella thorn acacia trees in the ground for another year. Your support will also be paying for 300 residents of Yaeda Valley to receive regular (twice yearly) mobile health clinic screening and treatment for TB, trachoma and common ailments.’
So, to all our wonderful 2019 and future guests, you can rest assured that your activities with us are supporting this great work, as well as the national parks themselves and their surrounding communities.