Carbon Offset Grant Program

What is carbon offsetting? Carbon offsetting is simply a way for individuals or organizations, in this case travelers to BirdsCaribbean’s international conference, to “neutralize” their proportion of an aircraft’s carbon emissions on a particular journey by investing in projects that reduce carbon emissions.

The 2019 Carbon Offsetting Project has been awarded to:

The Golconde Swamp Forest Restoration Project in Guadeloupe

The Parc National de la Guadeloupe has taken the initiative to rebuild the Golconde Swamp Forest in Les Abymes, Guadeloupe. The Swamp Forest has suffered from global warming, clearing for agriculture, bovine grazing, and sugar plantations.

Two departments of the National Park work together on this project: Heritage and Area adherence departments, with the University of Les Antilles and Les Abymes’s municipalities. The reforestation encompasses 18ha of National Park land, with 2ha used for experimentation.

The project is based on an experimentation realized by the University of Les Antilles in the context of Interreg IV programs (cooperation program) and also as a part of Action Eco 1 (Take part in reforestation projects) in the coastal management plan of Les Abymes.

Two characteristic tree species of the Swamp Forest are targeted for replanting: Blood Wood-Mangle Medal (Mangle Médaille) (Pterocarpus officinalis) and Pond Apple (Cachiman cochon) (Annona glabra).

Project Overview:

1) Identify the most appropriate areas for nursery and replanting

2) Seedling preparation piloted by the National Park; in which seeds are collected on site and then grown in an on-site nursery for 12 months

3) Field preparation for replanting

4) Replanting the trees

Short and long terms goals:

In the long term, the Swamp Forest is expected to maintain itself and its ecological functions, along with the limitation of the invasive species Thypha dominigensis. Throughout the duration of the project, National Park rangers and scientists monitor and collect data on the survival and recruitment of the reforested species in order to ensure that succession is occurring, particularly the health of the trees and whether it is necessary to replant any lost seedlings.

The National Park works with two schools on this project:

- a secondary school of Les Abymes, on an educational project

- an agricultural high school, through an internship to prepare them for their High School Diploma and make them conscious of Guadeloupe's forest ecology

The Call for Carbon Offset Projects is now Closed

BirdsCaribbean Carbon Offset Project Guidelines

For each confernce, BirdsCaribbean requests that the host-country's Local Organizing Committee assist us in finding a local carbon reduction project to support using the criteria and guidelines provided below. The conference Scientific Committee then selects the project that best fulfills its commitment to a conference carbon travel offset program.

Criteria and Guidelines:

1. Projects that create habitat that sequester carbon while also serving biodiversity conservation. Planting of native forest trees, mangroves, and wetland restoration projects qualify. Tree-planting programs that use trees showing allelopathic effects (such as Eucalyptus or Blighia sapida) or that have negative effects on understory or epiphytic organisms (such as non-native species of pines), would not qualify for funding under this program.

2. Projects that have a high potential to positively impact the preservation of habitat under imminent threat of destruction. These are projects that will carry out concrete actions aimed at preventing the imminent destruction of forest or mangrove habitat, such as advocacy and awareness campaigns, working with decision makers and developers, and other interventions.

3. Projects that support the conservation of native organisms while providing opportunities for “social innovation.” Projects should support the public good and produce benefits to the wider society/communities (e.g., sustainable livelihoods arising from conservation actions) rather than to specific private individuals. Projects which benefit private commercial purposes (e.g., purchasing or offering for sale personal products or services) would not be eligible.

4. Measurable/Quantifiable impact. Projects which demonstrate that they will have a measurable impact (e.g., number of trees planted or number of hectares saved from destruction) should be selected over those whose impact cannot be measured.

5. Project that support both climate change mitigation* and adaptation** effects simultaneously will be favored, for example the planting of mangroves is both.

6. The local organization selected to receive the project funding should already have a track record of positive results related to similar projects. Well-designed, ongoing projects will be prioritized above projects that are in an “idea phase” or that would need to be developed to fulfill this offset requirement.

*Climate change mitigation consists of actions to limit the magnitude or rate of long-term climate change, such as reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and increasing the capacity of carbon sinks, e.g., through reforestation.

**Climate change adaptation involves taking practical actions to manage risks from climate impacts, protect communities and strengthen the resilience of the economy.