AfriCarbon vision: To transform vast areas in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces of South Africa from a highly degraded state to its former pristine state with a dense, luxuriant growth of indigenous trees and shrubs.
AfriCarbon plays the role of catalyser, facilitator, advisor, and participant in the restoration of degraded thicket and the generation of carbon credits, depending on the needs of the restoration project concerned.
The conservation and business opportunity
Overstocking with goats has transformed vast areas of the dense, forest-like, thicket vegetation of the Eastern Cape and Western Cape into an open, desert-like system, and in the process more than 100 tonnes of carbon per hectare has been lost to the atmosphere.
Fortunately, restoration of the desertified land and the recapturing of the carbon can be achieved in a highly cost-effective manner by planting cuttings of the common indigenous tree Portulacaria afra known as spekboom. This has been fully substantiated by scientific evidence from planting trials during the past 50 years.
Spekboom uses very little water to capture large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and takes root from cuttings, thereby avoiding all nursery costs normally associated with restoration. It is also drought-resistant, fire-resistant and does not need irrigation to establish.
More than a million hectares of desertified land in the Eastern Cape are suitable for restoration using spekboom cuttings. Given that each hectare of land on average is likely to generate more than 300 carbon credits over a 30-year period, more than half a billion carbon credits could conceivably be generated if all spekboom-rich thicket were restored. Planting spekboom cuttings is labour intensive and restoration at this scale would create several thousand jobs for more than a decade.
Large-scale restoration would achieve myriad benefits by:
Realising the opportunity through AfriCarbon
Generating carbon credits by planting spekboom cuttings requires considerable expertise in:
This is because:
AfriCarbon has the appropriate scientific and financial expertise for facilitating large-scale restoration of degraded thicket and the generation/sale of large volumes of carbon credits.