The rapid rate of commercial deforestation has become a cause for concern for the traditional council of East Pondoland, a mountainous region in the Eastern Cape headed by King Ndamase. With the implementation of a new carbon tax in 2017, the traditional council found an opportunity to slow down deforestation by engaging in carbon sequestration. The council has partnered with The Joe Slovo Foundation, a section 18A Public Benefit Organisation (PBO), and identified various pockets of forests within their lands that are under the threat of illegal and unplanned logging, primarily for commercial purposes in cities. The traditional council is committed to preserving these forest areas, which will also reduce global warming through the sequestration of carbon within trees.
Joe Slovo Foundation
This effort will be funded by donations to the Joe Slovo Foundation. Companies can donate their Corporate Social Responsibility Spend to the JS Foundation, and benefit from a 28 percent tax rebate, as set by the SARS Tax Code. The donated funds support the Royal Forestry Stewardship Program that promotes forestry management. The program will train women, through an internationally recognised certification course, to manage, monitor, and restrict the erosion of forests. The reporting and monitoring of the project will be managed by the Foundation and presented to Carbon Check, a third party carbon auditor accredited by the United Nations. This third party auditor will issue an Audited-Calculated carbon sequestration certificate, which will be used to reduce the carbon tax liability of the donor corporations.
Carbon Tax Bill
The new carbon tax bill states that a company can reduce its carbon tax liability for combustion emissions by up to 100 percent by engaging in carbon sequestration projects that are verified and certified by the Department of Environmental Affairs. This will save companies millions of Rands each year in tax payments whilst preserving the environment.
Royal Forestry Stewardship Program
Create Sustainable Jobs within Rural Areas
The majority of people who enter the work force in Sub-Saharan Africa engage in vulnerable jobs in the informal sector.
According to a report published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in Sub- Saharan Africa, 77.4 percent of all jobs were in the informal sector – the highest vulnerable employment rate in the world.
Alternately, formal employment provides consistent income, good working conditions and paid leave, as companies are held to labour regulations and minimum wage laws. Formal employment has been shown to be a key driver of equitable
economic growth. RFSP will create 750 permanent jobs for women in the formal sector. They will provide benefits, including paid leave, health insurance, good working hours, and consistent and fair wages.
Every single woman in the RFSP program will undertake an internationally certified Urban Forestry course. The course will teach transferable skills including program management, monitoring and evaluation methods, and data collection. The program is designed to enhance participants’ understanding of the ecological, social, and economic benefits of forestry and the role it plays in the sustainable development of towns and cities.
A new software will be introduced that creates a platform to calculate carbon sequestration and growth rates of tree species more accurately. It will utilize the four tier system; tier one lays out the IPCC bench mark for carbon sequestration, tier two lays out regional benchmarks, tier three country specific bench marks, and tier four creates project specific
A more accurate calculation will lead to a potentially higher volume of sequestration, and as a result, will increase the value of carbon sequestration certificates, thus incentivizing more investments.
Methodology and Monitoring Parameters
In order for the Department of Environmental Affairs to approve the carbon sequestration activities, this project will be based on Forestry Management Programs such as those in Norway and New Zealand and the monitoring specifications of the methodology VM 0015, created by the Verified Carbon Standard as well as REDD+ Community Based Forest Management (CBFM). These methodologies will standardize the monitoring parameters and avoid unplanned deforestation.
Demonstration of Permanence
In an effort to foster sustainable development, this
forestry project activity must demonstrate its
permanence. This project activity achieves this through the Declaration by King Ndamase of East Pondoland, which states that no development can take place within the coordinates of the forestry pockets within the project activity for a period of a 100 years.