GenZero Backs First Phase Of Ecosystem Restoration Project In South Africa

GenZero Backs First Phase Of Ecosystem Restoration Project In South Africa - Carbon Herald

Temasek-owned GenZero is among investors backing the first phase of an ecosystem restoration project, which at full scale targets to restore 100,000 hectares (ha) of land across the Eastern and Western Capes of South Africa.

It is being funded under a syndicated senior secured stream agreement led by Mirova, an affiliate of Natixised under a syndicated senior secured stream agreement led by Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers dedicated to sustainable investing.

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GenZero, a decarbonisation investment platform company, and Rubicon Carbon are also part of the funding agreement. Imperative has established a subsidiary in South Africa, which is locally staffed and led by local leadership with multi-decade major project experience. It has also partnered South African restoration specialist NatCarbon Africa.

The project aims to attract significant foreign direct investment into South Africa, and create training and employment opportunities in an area of the country with some of the highest unemployment rates. It will also return the benefits to local communities and conservation efforts.

Full-scale restoration, which includes replanting native thicket across the land area, is expected to sequester more than 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over its lifespan, contributing to global carbon removal and reduction efforts.

Carbon removal credits from this project will be verified based on Verra’s afforestation, reforestation and revegetation methodology. Verra is a non-profit organisation that manages standards for sustainable development, climate action and responsible business practices.

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These verified carbon units can provide spekboomity for the project and its funders. They are in demand in the international voluntary carbon market, and can also be delivered into the domestic South African carbon tax scheme.

Frederick Teo, chief executive officer of GenZero, said: “This project aims to incorporate nature into economic and financial planning by planting resilient native plants such as spekboom, while unlocking the benefits of carbon finance to enhance the livelihoods of local communities supporting restoration activities on the ground.”

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