The elephant in the room
We wholeheartedly believe our trips have a positive impact on the people and places you visit that more than outweighs the carbon impact of getting you there. It’s why Niarra Travel exists.
We commit to constantly learning more, developing how we address this complex issue, and continuing to push best practices both within our trips and our own operations.
And as a business, we are constantly looking for carbon efficiencies and where reductions can be made, be it through creating trips that minimize flight legs and working with sustainable lodges, to switching our office to a 100% green energy supplier.
But it is an inescapable truth that international flights have a disproportionately sizeable carbon footprint. While we do not believe in simple offsetting as a zero-sum way to keep emitting, we think that contributing to the right projects that both draw carbon down from the atmosphere and protect the ecosystems that stop it from being released is necessary, and the right thing to do.
So, we have partnered with highly regarded organizations around the world, contributing 1% of the cost of each trip to the following region-specific projects that will more than offset international flights.
In Africa, we split the 1% equally between two projects, BioCarbon Partners in Zambia, which focuses on protection, and Tree’s for Global Benefits in Uganda whose work actively draws down and sequesters carbon.
BioCarbon Partners (BCP) is an African-headquartered and majority African-owned social enterprise that develops and manages long-term forest carbon projects in significant biodiverse landscapes in Africa certified to both Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) and Verified Carbon Standards (VCS).
In Zambia, deforestation is such that the protection of existing forests is a far more effective way of countering carbon emissions than planting new trees. Working with local communities and stakeholders, BCP is helping to create one of Africa's largest migration corridors, protecting one million hectares of habitat linking five national Parks in Zambia to conserve biodiversity connectivity for not only here but in neighbouring Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.
Trees for Global Benefits (TGB) is a carbon sequestration and community livelihood programme linking small-scale landholding farmers in Uganda to the voluntary carbon market. Part of C-Level's network, it delivers long-term, verifiable social and environmental benefits by recognizing and supporting small-scale community farmers who undertake sustainable, ecosystem focused forestry projects.
Ecosystems and carbon sequestration are enhanced as farmers are rewarded for pursuing practices such as indigenous tree planting and protection of wildlife corridors. The benefits are mutual – through diversification of crops and access to the carbon market, rural communities experience increased income, food and fuel security.
Europe presents a unique opportunity to restore degraded ecosystems in a way that both increases biodiversity and draws down carbon. So we have partnered with Mossy Earth to support their European projects which combine impactful landscape-scale rewilding, reforestation and conservation work.
At the heart of every Mossy Earth reforestation project is a simple but powerful goal – to grow native, wild forests that restore ecosystem services, conserve biodiversity, sequester carbon and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Projects are focused on improving the state of the ecosystem rather than purely optimizing carbon sequestration sometimes seen in monoculture tree planting. However, a diverse and resilient forest ecosystem becomes a stable carbon sink that will continue to sequester carbon for decades and centuries to come.
The award-winning CommuniTree is the largest reforestation project in Nicaragua combing effective draw down with numerous community benefits. By partnering with thousands of smallholder farmers, the project is creating long lasting indigenous forests and long-term income opportunities on underused parts of their land.
CommuniTree’s projects not only create forests that draw down carbon, they also provide security for farmers through higher and more reliable incomes. This is generated from direct payments over a 10-year period, large scale local employment to support the operations of the program and additional benefits such as protection from extreme weather events and growing sustainable shade-grown coffee.
Innovative technology means every farm reforested stays reforested, combining satellite imagery and on the ground reporting with predictive algorithms for unparalleled transparency and confidence in measuring environmental and social impacts.
Khasi Hills a C-Level affiliated project and India's first community-based REDD+ in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, one of the wettest places on earth and a global biodiversity hotspot.
There are long established traditions of community forest management, sacred groves and communal forests, however rapid deforestation is occurring at a rate of over 5% per year throughout the East Khasi Hills, threatening upland watersheds, household livelihoods, and wildlife while also releasing substantial quantities of carbon. The Khasi Hills project is working cooperatively with a federation of eleven indigenous kingdoms to protect and restore the forests by reducing the use of firewood, finding alternatives to cut-and-burn shift cultivation and providing alternatives to mining.