Kenya Carbon Removal Project That Sold Credits To Meta, Netflix Opposed By Local Activists

Kenya Carbon Removal Project That Sold Credits To Meta, Netflix Opposed By Local Activists - Carbon Herald
Source: RAUF.ISMIKHAN via Shutterstock

Communities in Kenya are engaged in a contentious battle with managers of the Northern Kenya Rangelands Carbon Project (NKRCP), highlighting the potential negative ramifications of international demands for carbon credits on local livelihoods, global news platform Semafor reported Tuesday.

The NKRCP, advertised as the world’s largest soil carbon removal initiative, has garnered support from major corporations like Meta, Netflix, and UK bank NatWest by selling carbon credits.

Operating across 4.7 million acres, the project restores grasslands to absorb carbon, offering credits for purchase to offset greenhouse gas emissions.

However, the project faces firm opposition from affected Maasai pastoralist communities in Baringo, Narok, and Kajiado counties.

Locals argue that the project disrupts traditional lifestyles, restricts access to ancestral lands, and exposes women to hazardous working conditions.

Furthermore, community activists decry the lack of proper consultation and education regarding the project’s implications.

They allege that the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), which oversees the project, has not obtained informed consent as legally required, despite claiming otherwise.

Relevant: Kenya Seeks To Tap Saudi Arabia’s Oil Wealth Through Carbon Credits

An activist working in Narok and Kajiado, who remained unnamed to protect her identity, highlights disruptions to grazing practices and land encroachment issues.

She stresses the importance of respecting indigenous knowledge and ensuring adequate protection for female workers engaged in grassland regeneration efforts.

While the project channels proceeds to community projects and conservancies, concerns persist over its long-term impact, according to Martin K.N Siele, East Africa Correspondent at Semafor.

In a comment to Semafor Africa, Amos Wemanya of Power Shift Africa warns of conflicts over land use and suggests alternative climate finance solutions to mitigate adverse effects on African communities.

Despite assertions from NKRCP about increased income and social impact, dissent remains within affected communities.

The contentious dynamics underscore the necessity of prioritizing local perspectives and ensuring transparent engagement in carbon offset initiatives to avoid exacerbating existing inequalities.

Read more: A New Report Shows Huge Issues With Carbon Credits Project In Kenya

1 comment
  1. I have read Semafor article and disagree with their claims on the following grounds.

    Northern Kenya Rangelands Carbon Project is in a portion of Marsabit, Laikipia, Samburu, and Isiolo counties of Northern Kenya. It is not operating in Kajiado, Narok as claimed by Semafor. How cann
    Someone in Kajiado or Narok participating in Northern Kenya Rangelands Carbon Project discussion. Semafor claims are incorrect, and can’t match any outlets and speak to discredited claims.

    All in the project area known is the positive impact of Northern Kenya Rangelands Carbon Project and facilitating pastoralism beyond any one would ever imagined. Millions of pastoralists rely on the project benefits and we work closely with project partners, and Semafor is presenting wild allegations.

    Best maybe is Semafor visiting the project area, Walk the project area, walk internet and learn so much transitions Northern Kenya Rangelands Carbon Project is delivering to the promises.

    Every year several hundreds or thousands area engaged in community assemblies, consultations to proceed with the project such a huge scalable effort ensuring Inclusion of youth, women, pwd, elsers, right groups, leaders and etc.

    It is most rewarding project to herders’ efforts and performance. All are superb and delivering to the trip gold standard accreditation (climate, community and biodiversity)

    People differ in opinions but have ways to resolve and I am sure Semafor can’t sustentiate their claims and won’t come to the project area. Laikipiak Masai are present, and are linked to all masai in the world, and speaking of daily life of Laikipiak Masaai, it is worthwhile listening to the horsemouth than interview 1000 km away residents.

    Imagine distance between project area in Northern and Narok or Kajiado, it is two far ends of Kenya. Semafor is misleading audience lacking local experience, their critical audience. I am sure local audience and ones that are well oriented on the local situation easily discredit Semafor claims.

    I love to compare notes before and after project visit by Semafor I am sure it is gonna balanced especially in their visit of the project area.

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