Thailand inaugurated its forest carbon credits trading in Khon Kaen province, heralding a new era of environmental stewardship and economic opportunity, local daily The Nation reported Friday.
The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) spearheaded the initiative by purchasing credits equivalent to 400 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), valued at some $33,400 (1.2 million baht), from the Ban Thalee and Ban Daeng tree bank communities.
The credits were acquired on Wednesday under the BAAC Carbon Credit project at a rate of $83.5 per ton.
This endeavor not only benefits businesses seeking to offset their carbon footprint but also supports Thailand’s efforts to combat climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, The Nation said.
Aligned with the Thailand Voluntary Emission Reduction Program (T-VER), the initiative encourages various sectors to engage in activities such as tree planting, renewable energy adoption, and transport management to mitigate emissions.
To amplify its impact, BAAC plans to expand the project across its 6,814 tree bank communities, targeting the cultivation of 108,000 trees annually and the generation of credits corresponding to 510,000 tons of CO2 within five years.
The bank’s President, Chatchai Sirilai, emphasized the project’s dual benefit of income generation for tree growers and environmental conservation.
The simple formula used in the BAAC Carbon Credit project – with one tree generating carbon credits equivalent to 20.1 lb (9.5 kg) of CO2 annually – facilitates community participation, enabling the Ban Thalee tree bank community to make estimates before submitting data for evaluation by relevant authorities.
Despite challenges such as procurement costs and the lengthy evaluation process, community members like 64-year-old Phimonchai Thabutr commend the project for enhancing their quality of life.
Beyond financial gains, participation allows individuals to contribute to environmental preservation while reaping benefits from wood and carbon credit sales, the resident was quoted as saying.