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A leading Australian forest carbon credit investor is painting Vietnam’s environment greener.
Voluntary Credits Company’s representative David Bonnell said: “Voluntary Credits will do its best to cultivate and pursue more forest carbon credit projects in Vietnam.”
He said besides its existing Reduced Emission from Deforestation in Developing Countries (REDD) projects in Vietnam, Voluntary Credits is carrying out similar pilot projects in northern Vietnam.
“We are working well with owners of such forests via recovering the natural forests by reforestation of natural local trees. These projects have big prospects and are also well supported by local authorities,” he said.
The firm is cooperating with Hanoi-based Vietnam Carbon Exchange (VCE) to effectively implement three carbon-capture forest projects under REDD in Bach Ma National Park situated in central Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam provinces, and in northern Tam Dao National Park situated in Thai Nguyen, Vinh Phuc and Tuyen Quang provinces, and in northern Cao Bang province.
The 30-year-long Bach Ma project is benefiting some 63,000 local inhabitants whose lives largely depend on forest and deforestation and helping protect thousands of animal and plant species in the Bach Ma park. It can absorb 15,535 tonnes of biomass each year. Meanwhile, the Tam Dao-based 30 year project can absorb 50,000-60,000 tonnes of biomass and 40,000-50,000 tonnes of carbon each year. In total, this forest will be able to absorb 1.2-1.5 million tonnes of carbon. It is benefiting nearly 200,000 local inhabitants. These REDD projects are the first carried out by a local private company.
Bonnell said the world’s uncertain economy meant Voluntary Credits’ REDD activities in Vietnam were “of great significance” because “they benefit the global environment and allow Australian enterprises to give back to the environment as they prosper compared to the rest of the world economy. Australian businesses are fortunate right now and can use that good fortune to assist both the environment and the people of Vietnam.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam’s forests are ideal for carbon forest projects as they absorb carbon dioxide better than forests in other countries. Climate change’s potential big impacts on Vietnam mean it is in need of forest restoration and sustainable management of high biodiversity natural tropical forests.
Some major initiatives, such as World Bank REDD Programme, UN-REDD project, AusAid’s, GTZ’s and SNV’s have started in Vietnam. However, many projects are official development assistance supported and targeted to strengthen capacity and readiness for REDD, while in contrast no commercial REDD or REDD+ project has been initiated.
For example, the United Nations is piloting its UN-REDD project in the Central Highlands Lam Dong province’s Lam Ha and Di Linh districts. This programme’s first phase, financed by nearly $4.4 million from Norway’s government, kicked-off in September 2009 and is expected to be rounded off within 20 months.