A New Development Plan For Rainforest Project To Provide Long-Term Community Benefits

A New Development Plan For Rainforest Project To Provide Long-Term Community Benefits - Carbon Herald

Leading Asia-Pacific carbon offsetting solutions provider, TEM, and Pacific Forest Alliance have launched an innovative new five-year Sustainable Development Plan for the April Salumei rainforest conservation project in Papua New Guinea to provide long-term community benefits.

The April Salumei Project is the largest rainforest conservation project in the Pacific region. The launch of the new plan coincides with World Rainforest Day this week, which highlights rainforests and their critical role in safeguarding our future on the planet. 

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The Plan for the rainforest project builds on existing short-term project plans and will systematically invest carbon finance into structured, long-term social development programs with a commitment to providing lasting community benefits. 

Managed by Tasman Environmental Markets (TEM) and the Pacific Forest Alliance, the April Salumei REDD+ project in the East Sepik province of Papua New Guinea conserves and sustainably manages over 600,000 hectares of globally significant virgin rainforest that was originally planned to be logged.

The project will not only avoid 22.8 m tonnes of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere over its lifetime, but also protects habitat for many endangered animals. It also channels climate finance by a benefit sharing agreement that provides 60% of the revenue from sale of offsets to traditional landholders and community members, helping reduce poverty and enhance the wellbeing of local communities.  

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“The Sustainable Development Plan is about promoting inclusive, sustainable community development that benefits people and the planet,” said Adrian Enright, CEO of TEM. “The plan is set to improve the livelihoods of the local communities in the April Salumei project area for the long-term.”  

This plan was informed by community and landowner consultation, including speaking with women and young people, community group discussions, focus groups and interviews. 

TEM and Pacific Forest Alliance partnered with development consultants, SMEC, to design the holistic implementation framework for the Plan. Following extensive community and landowner engagement, key priorities have been determined and activities will be completed in a phased approach over the next five years.  

Contributing to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4, 7, 8, 13, 15 and 17, the implementation framework will focus on initiatives including:  

  • Community capacity building: through the development and implementation of community training programs. The Plan will establish six Community Implementation Committees, made up of a cross-section of traditional landholders, and will be trained to support the implementation of activities. This will build on local experience to strengthen resourcing strategies, leading to long-term livelihood improvements 
  • Improving access to education: by providing adequate learning materials for established schools, and ensuring all schools have access to basic facilities such as power, clean water and sanitation 
  • Improving health outcomes: in particular the reduction of waterborne diseases and increasing access to vaccinations to reduce preventable death and suffering from diseases such as measles, polio, diphtheria, whooping cough and more. 

Phase one of the framework – focusing on implementing activities to support health and education, capacity building, and economic development – is currently underway with the rollout of short-term improvement projects over the next two years. 

April Salumei project carbon credits are currently available for spot purchase and forward vintages of credits (out to 2030) are available via offtake agreements by arrangement.

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