Communities living on the coastline will soon be earning cash from the global carbon emissions trade thanks to a pilot project by the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute.
It targets those living near mangrove forests and will involve imparting skills on how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that capture, store, analyse, manage, and present data linked to a particular location.
The trainees are drawn from Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.
The Sh15 million project covers 700 hectares of forest at Gazi in Msambweni- South Coast that is estimated to have a population of one million mangrove trees and is expected to boost efforts to protect the trees providing over 70 per cent of wood required in the region.
Scientists at the institute say the trade will encourage communities to plant more mangrove trees to replenish the declining stock of aquatic life.
Global carbon offset is a new concept intended to tackle global warming.
Though it dates back to 1989, it only took shape as a market after the Kyoto Protocol on global warming was signed and came into force in February 2005.
The Protocol requires industrialised countries to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by an average 5.2 per cent compared to 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.
Rather than force the reduction of emissions country-by-country, carbon emission trade creates a choice where huge polluters can spend the money to cover the costs of cutting pollution or else continue polluting and pay someone else to cut their pollution, which is what the East African countries now wants to cash in on.
A global market for carbon emission trade, which according to World Bank was estimated at $64 billion in 2007 has not benefited African countries, according to Dr James Kairo, the project coordinator and marine scientists at KMFRI.
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