Business

Carbon Offset Credit Sales to Support Mauna Kea Restoration

August 7, 2017, 11:57 AM HST
* Updated August 12, 1:17 PM
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A first-of-its-kind initiative in Hawai‘i to use carbon offset credits for reforestation and recovery of Hawai‘i Island pasture land is moving forward with the release of a Request for Proposals.

The program involves planting of native tree species such as koa and mamane, restoration of the watershed on the north slopes of Mauna Kea, and habitat restoration for the the palila, an endangered native bird. The initiative will generate revenues for all the activities through the sale of carbon offset credits.

One “carbon offset credit” certifies the storage of one metric ton of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in plants and other organic material. Carbon offset credits are used to offset carbon emissions, often referred to as greenhouse gas emissions, from transportation, commercial activities and other carbon emitting activities.

Offsetting carbon emissions is recognized as an important way to reduce the impact of climate change. The market for voluntary carbon offset credits has been growing worldwide for many years spurred by individuals and corporations that wish to reduce their carbon footprint.

By making the Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area available for a forest carbon project, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is creating opportunities to generate carbon credits locally.

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“Our goal is to give companies and individuals a transparent and measurable way to contribute to the protection of Hawai‘i’s watersheds and forests for future generations,” said Philipp LaHaela Walter, state resource and survey forester in the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). “We are noticing that the local business community is increasingly making the conservation of our natural resources such as beautiful, healthy reefs, stunning mountain forests and clean freshwater a part of their kuleana. We are excited to provide opportunities to contribute and to help continue the state’s national leadership in building sustainable communities through this innovative approach.”

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Proposals in response to the RFP will be due on Aug. 31, 2017.

A site visit at the Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area was held on Aug. 1 for entities interested in submitting a proposal.

If you drive a car, fly in a plane, use air-conditioning to cool your home or engage in any activity that creates greenhouse gas emissions, you’ll soon have a way to offset your emissions locally.

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The Board of Land and Natural Resources approved this first state carbon offset project in early July.

For more information, visit the Pu‘u Mali Forest Carbon Project website.

A site visit at Mauna Kea’s Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area was held on Aug. 1 for entities interested in submitting a proposal for reforestation and recovery, which will be funded by the sale of carbon offset credits. Image courtesy: Hawai‘i DLNR

A site visit at Mauna Kea’s Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area was held on Aug. 1 for entities interested in submitting a proposal for reforestation and recovery, which will be funded by the sale of carbon offset credits. Image courtesy: Hawai‘i DLNR

A site visit at Mauna Kea’s Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area was held on Aug. 1 for entities interested in submitting a proposal for reforestation and recovery, which will be funded by the sale of carbon offset credits. Image courtesy: Hawai‘i DLNR

A site visit at Mauna Kea’s Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area was held on Aug. 1 for entities interested in submitting a proposal for reforestation and recovery, which will be funded by the sale of carbon offset credits. Image courtesy: Hawai‘i DLNR

A site visit at Mauna Kea’s Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area was held on Aug. 1 for entities interested in submitting a proposal for reforestation and recovery, which will be funded by the sale of carbon offset credits. Image courtesy: Hawai‘i DLNR

A site visit at Mauna Kea’s Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area was held on Aug. 1 for entities interested in submitting a proposal for reforestation and recovery, which will be funded by the sale of carbon offset credits. Image courtesy: Hawai‘i DLNR

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