Reforesting and protecting 91ha of indigenous forest in Golden Bay, New Zealand. A community-based forest carbon project combined with public tracks for human-powered recreation. Situated on the slopes towering above the Takaka Valley, Project Rameka is restoring indigenous forest on marginal farmland.
The revegetation of marginal farmland in native species is being done through a combination of active tree planting and passive regeneration - especially in the wetter gullies. There is also an area of pine forest that is being used as a nursery for native regeneration and will now not be felled. Instead it creates a micro-environment for native trees to return under the cover of a pine canopy, as well as shelter for native plantings in the surrounding area.
The core project is located on land purchased by Jonathan Kennett and Bronwen Wall, who wanted to do something practical about climate change by reforesting a corner of NZ and soaking up some atmospheric CO2 into forest. They then established a community project on the land, to restore the native forest and build tracks for the public to enjoy. They subsequently purchased a neighboring property with the help of 62 crowd funding supporters, and grew the project to its current size.
Bronwen and Jonathan have established a community organisation (Project Rameka) to manage and maintain the covenanted area. Accordingly, the project is enthusiastically supported by regular volunteer days and weekends, track building, tree planting, pest control, and weeding.
The Rameka Forest Carbon Project is being undertaken under the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative - a subset of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. The project issues New Zealand Units (NZUs) based on New Zealand government rules for carbon sequestration rates by indigenous forest.
Once the NZUs are sold to a carbon offset buyer, they are cancelled in the New Zealand carbon unit registry, so they cannot be used by (or sold to) anyone else.
Follow The Money
At Ekos we believe that trust is built on transparency. This is why we open our books to buyers and sellers alike. The projects we support cost money. The main costs are:
Conservation management costs, including new plantings, and pest and weed control (via volunteer labour).
Carbon project reporting and registration costs,
Sales & marketing costs needed to monetize carbon offset units.
The Rameka Forest Carbon Project sells its credits to customers via the Ekos retail platform of carbon neutrality and carbon offsetting services. Rameka charges a wholesale price of $23 to cover the costs of conservation management and project reporting and registration, and Ekos charges a $7 retail margin bringing the retail carbon price to $30/tCO2e. The retail margin is used to cover the costs of sales effort, operating community carbon neutrality campaigns, and helping businesses go carbon neutral. This includes CO2 footprint measurement, emission reduction, offsetting, and carbon certification compliant with the NZ Commerce Commission guidelines on carbon claims. Both Ekos (retailer) and the Rameka Forest Carbon Project (wholesaler) are not-for-profit organisations.