A first-of-its-kind initiative in Hawai‘i to use carbon offset credits for reforestation and recovery of Hawai‘i Island pastureland is moving forward with the release of a Request for Proposals, according to a news release from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The program involves planting of native tree species such as koa and mamane, restoration of the watershed on the north slopes of Mauna Kea, and habitat restoration for the endangered native bird, the palila. The initiative will generate revenues for all the activities through the sale of carbon offset credits.
One “carbon offset credit” certifies the storage of one metric ton of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in plants and other organic material. Carbon offset credits are used to offset carbon emissions, often referred to as greenhouse gas emissions, from transportation, commercial activities, and other carbon emitting activities. Offsetting carbon emissions is recognized as an important way to reduce the impact of climate change. The market for voluntary carbon offset credits has been growing worldwide for many years spurred by individuals and corporations that wish to reduce their carbon footprint. By making the Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area available for a forest carbon project, DLNR is creating opportunities to generate carbon credits locally.
“Our goal is to give companies and individuals a transparent and measurable way to contribute to the protection of Hawai‘i’s watersheds and forests for future generations. We are noticing that the local business community is increasingly making the conservation of our natural resources such as beautiful, healthy reefs, stunning mountain forests, and clean freshwater a part of their kuleana,” said Philipp LaHaela Walter, State Resource and Survey Forester in the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife. “We are excited to provide opportunities to contribute and to help continue the State’s national leadership in building sustainable communities through this innovative approach.”
Proposals in response to the RFP are due Aug. 31. A site visit at the Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area was held Aug. 1 for entities interested in submitting a proposal.
If you drive a car, fly in a plane, use air-conditioning to cool your home, or engage in any activity that creates greenhouse gas emissions, you’ll soon have a way to offset your emissions locally. The Board of Land and Natural Resources approved this first state carbon offset project in early July.