Through planting Mangroves, Starboard supports vulnerable coastal communities around our parks and promotes sustainable development for all. Hereby, our Blue Carbon climate action is designed to maximize impact in the local area. Check out some of our awesome livelihood projects below.
When we offset the emissions produced for one board, we don’t just consider the emissions count alone. In every emissions reduction project, people are the most important factor. It is people who are planting mangroves, it is people who are measuring carbon, and it is people who are protecting the forest from predatory practices.
Worldview International Foundation (WIF), our mangrove planting partner, is focused on maximizing impact in the project areas. WIF is nurturing sustainable development through its tailor-made livelihood programs.
WIFs projects are certified for VCS carbon credits from carbon sequestered by the mangroves. Half of these are used to offset starboard’s emissions from board production, and the other half is sold in the voluntary carbon market, to generate revenue that is immediately re-invested in the local community through livelihoods programs.
WIF LIVELIHOOD PROJECTS
The projects WIF undertake are widespread and are tailor-made for each community they work with. Doing so ensures that the program undertaken can address the most important changes needed in that area.
WIF teams meet with local area planning committees and take community feedback on what livelihood projects would be most helpful in that area. Once selected, WIF selects individuals to engage with the program, often targeting those in the lowest income bracket.
Some of their projects include:
- Providing solar lamps to provide light after sunset for studying/working.
- Developing basic solar power networks for the community.
- Education on home gardening for additional food/income.
- Provision of, and education on, fuel-efficient stoves for cooking.
- Fishing equipment and education to boost income.
- Supporting schools with teachers’ incomes and providing supplies.
- Developing freshwater infrastructure for the community.
SOLAR AID PROJECT
The Solar Aid Project distributes solar-powered lights to all households in the local area. In addition, micro solar energy projects are provided to the community. These changes enable work to take place after sunset, vastly improving school performance and increasing the earning capabilities of parents. Furthermore, families save money as they no longer need to purchase expensive candle lights or kerosene lamps that pollute and increase the risk of fire.
In its pilot, the solar air project identified 35 of the poorest families with a village committee for the first distribution of lamps. This was extremely effective and both school performance and earning potential dramatically increased. With WIF’s help, the committee now offers solar lamp micro-credit schemes to families on a voluntary basis. This allows repayment within 6 months through the cost saved by the recipients from expensive candle lights. Further implementation of micro solar infrastructure for use in community buildings such as schools is also being investigated for future projects.
Myanmar has extremely low access to electricity for its population, and fluctuating prices can mean even if the infrastructure is in place, it can be largely unaffordable to these communities. This is why it is vastly important to help these communities access clean, renewable and cheap electricity. These projects are also supporting UN SDG-7: Affordable and clean energy.
FUEL EFFICIENT STOVES
Another key livelihood project for WIF has been the education and distribution of fuel-efficient stoves to communities for cooking. Prior to this many families would cook with open fires, using large and costly amounts of wood and fuel. When the WIF project started, individuals from the lowest income bracket were identified and invited to join a training session. The session focused on building, repairing, and selling their fuel-efficient stoves so that they could each provide this technology to their local communities. The dissemination of this technology brought individuals income and created cost savings for the wider community from the reduced quantities of fuel required for cooking. Furthermore, this technology reduces the risk of the mangrove forest being used as fuel for cooking, as the reduced demand ensures local resources are able to keep up with demand.
Whilst each community receives tailored livelihood projects to maximize impact, one element of the programs is consistent throughout. Education is provided to all community members around the reforestation projects about the importance of mangrove forests and the benefits of their restoration for the local area. Information about the ability of mangroves to replenish seafood stocks, provide protection from storms, and clean the local environment are all reasons why the community should help protect and restore these forests, increasing the chances of success for the restoration project.
If you want to find out more about Worldview International Foundation and its awesome impact-maximizing approach, learn more at their website here.
Starboard has now planted 2 million Mangroves with WIF in Myanmar. Learn more about the company’s relation to Mangroves on this page.