Carbon For Conservation

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For almost a decade Nikwax has been supporting World Land Trust (WLT) in safeguarding and restoring critically threatened habitats around the world through the Carbon Balanced programme. Nikwax’s approach to environmental sustainability is completely in line with the offsetting programme’s ethos of measure, reduce and then offset greenhouse gas emissions.

Launched in 2005, the Carbon Balanced programme works by conserving the world’s most biologically important areas. By protecting threatened habitats that would otherwise have been lost, we can avoid the release of stored carbon, as well as promoting absorption and storage through restoration of these habitats.

WorldLandTrust -- attribution to Alejandro Arteaga

WLT has long advocated the approach of measuring emissions year on year, in order to identify areas where you might reduce them.  As one of the programme’s longest running corporate supporters, Nikwax mirrors this approach, by tracking their primary carbon dioxide emissions annually and implementing policies to reduce their footprint. Where policies take time to take effect or residual emissions remain is when WLT believes ‘offsetting’ or ‘balancing’ comes in. WLT believes that offsetting should only be used in conjunction with reductions in emissions at source. Since 2007 Nikwax has calculated and then offset its emissions, plus an estimated figure for a pre-2007 year.

In this way, Nikwax has offset over 4,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions through the programme and by doing so has put over £69,000 into WLT’s conservation projects. Going one step further, Nikwax matches their Carbon Balanced contribution with an additional donation to WLT’s Action Fund, which allows WLT to place funding where it is most urgently needed, across all WLT projects.

Nikwax’s contributions to the Carbon Balanced Programme have supported a number of sites around Ecuador, from the wet Choco at the Río Canandé Reserve in the North, to the dry forests at Laipuna in the South. In Ecuador, Carbon Balanced is currently focussing on the forests of the Nangaritza valley. These are some of the last foothill rainforests that form the only intact natural corridor between the forests of the high Andes around the Podocarpus National Park in the West with the Cordillera del Cóndor mountain range in the East and the Amazon rainforests beyond in Peru. The forests of the Nangaritza valley along with those in the Cordillera del Cóndor mountain range are considered to be one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth.

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The forests here are under threat from conversion to land for agriculture, mining, logging or for infrastructure development. If this were allowed to happen, these forests, which store large amounts of carbon, would be destroyed or degraded and this carbon would be released into the atmosphere. The Carbon Balanced programme, by protecting these important areas of forest, prevents the release of this carbon or allows the forest to recover, creating an ‘offset’. Protecting these forests, with the support of companies such as Nikwax, safeguards the habitat of species such as the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and the Orange-throated Tanager (Wetmorethraupis sterrhopteron), a species restricted to the very edges of the Cordillera del Cóndor in Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador, and north Amazonas, Peru.

Nikwax’s level-headed and industry-leading approach to measuring, reducing and offsetting emissions has been invaluable to the Carbon Balanced Programme in conserving Ecuador’s threatened habitats and species.

More information on Carbon Balanced:
www.worldlandtrust.org/eco-services/offsetting

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