Environmental and carbon benefits occur when REDD+ prevents loss or degradation of forests, or even improves their condition. These benefits include biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and provide tangible, ongoing environmental benefits.
REDD projects are foremost a climate change mitigation strategy. This means that they are initially based upon reducing or avoiding the carbon emissions that would occur if deforestation or forest degradation was to occur. Maintaining the forest ecosystems is essential in meeting the objectives of REDD. This is due to the highly important role that intact forests play in the global carbon cycle, as they hold substantial carbon stocks, and also contribute to the regulation of the atmosphere as well as providing numerous ecosystem services that are crucial for human wellbeing.
The Celestial Green Ventures REDD project carbon benefit activities are based upon reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of existing forest carbon stocks.
Deforestation and forest degradation cause carbon stocks to be lost and the emissions from these activities are released back into the atmosphere thereby further contributing to the devastating effects of climate change on the planet.
The carbon mitigation activities of the Celestial Green Ventures projects aim to reduce the carbon emissions by avoiding or capturing the emissions before they are released into the atmosphere, or sequestering the carbon emissions already in the atmosphere.
Through protecting this at-risk area of natural forest, the Celestial Green Ventures project also protects the abundant and vital biodiversity that is present within the area. This biodiversity is both significant and valuable. Being in the tropical forest ecoregion, the project area has high ecological significance. Because of this, the biodiversity management element of the project is vital in ensuring the project has a positive impact, since we need to guarantee that there is 'no net loss of biodiversity' arising from the project's existence, in comparison with a baseline situation without the project.
To achieve this, monitoring projects are required to allow us to study what species of endemic flora & fauna are present, their specific location, and their threats. Only once these aspects are studied will it be possible to develop proper mitigation activities that maintain, and even improve, the conditions of those species. To do this, it is important to assess and quantify the habitat quality of the project area.
Social and Community Benefits
The Celestial Green Ventures project also brings valuable and important socio-economic benefits to the many people who live within the project area. The benefits that the communities can receive include building and renovating schools and community centres, access to healthcare facilities, providing clean drinking water, renewable energy supply, and environmental education.
Members of the communities are also encouraged to take active involvement in the project activities, such as conducting environmental workshops and education, and monitoring areas identified for on-the-ground analysis. They also take an active role in assisting in the construction and installation of community centres, clean drinking water systems, energy supply and other practical tasks. Through their involvement with the Celestial Green Ventures project, its activities and objectives, the members of the communities obtain a sense of ownership of the project and take additional pride in protecting their surroundings.