London, 14 June, 2022
Respira, the impact driven carbon finance company, is delighted to announce that it has entered into a new exclusive partnership with the Gola Rainforest Conservation Company LG (GRCLG) for the offtake of voluntary carbon credits.
- This innovative deal unites Respira and the GRC members of the RSPB, Conservation Society of Sierra Leone and the Government of Sierra Leone.
- The project protects 70,000 ha of the highly threatened Gola Rainforest National Park and surrounding community forest, collectively Sierra Leone’s largest remaining area of Upper Guinea Tropical Rainforest and one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. The project will deliver material climate impacts, reducing emissions by an average 500,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The project also protects critical biodiversity and provides wide-ranging community benefits.
- Respira has an innovative offtake and profit share model and is committed to reinvesting back into local communities.
The Gola Rainforest Conservation Project centres on addressing deforestation and strengthening the conservation of the area. The project works with local communities, supporting the upgrade of local infrastructure, providing access to microfinance and educating farmers, which encourages improved productivity and a shift away from traditional crop-fallow cycles towards more sustainable development and land use planning such as cocoa production.
Verified by VERRA, the project has a durability guarantee of 30 years, with all parties committed to ongoing audits such that the Verified Carbon Standard and double-gold CCBA standard are maintained.
- Protects 70,000 ha of tropical forest – conserves vital carbon stock as 19 million tonnes of carbon remain locked within Gola’s forests
- Natural regeneration of previously degraded areas has sequestered an additional 460,000 tonnes CO2 since the project’s inception in 2012
- Reduces CO2 emissions by half a million tonnes annually
- A total of 24,000 people in 122 communities directly benefit from the project
- A total of 35 farmer schools help improve yields with 112 ha of improved farming management by forest edge communities
- Farmer associations operating in four chiefdoms sourced 47,616 kg of cocoa from members and exported 25,600 kg of this to Europe in 2019
- Protects 60 threatened species including the endangered Western Chimpanzee
- The biodiversity hotspot contains 327 bird species, 31 fish species and 100 other mammal species including the pygmy hippopotamus
Respira International’s co-founder and CEO Ana Haurie said: “We are excited to be entering into this exclusive partnership with RSPB to use carbon finance to fund the Gola Rainforest Conservation Project. We used our balance sheet to buy carbon credits from this incredibly important forest protection project which delivers large- scale impacts for climate, biodiversity and local communities who will also benefit from Respira’s unique profit-share model, which ensures reinvestment back into the local communities where our projects operate.”
Richard Dixon of the RSPB and a Director of the GRC said : “The GRC and the RSPB are delighted to be working together with Respira to deliver carbon finance to fund our biodiversity conservation and local communities benefits goals in a fair and equitable manner. The RSPB’s involvement in the Gola Rainforest project dates back to over 30 years ago, when a biodiversity survey initially identified the importance and unique value of the site which boasts 330 bird species, 14 of which risk global extinction. The GRCs partnership with Respira and their unique offtake and profit share approach represents a new and exciting phase in the conservation of the Gola Rainforest”
About Respira International
Respira International is an impact-driven carbon finance business. Respira operates with an innovative offtake and profit share model which reinvests back into local communities. Our high-quality carbon credits allow corporations and financial institutions to mitigate their environmental impact. Respira channels private capital into climate solutions ensuring long-term relationships with trusted carbon project developers that enable its clients to use predominantly nature-based solutions to build sustainable, climate-positive businesses and portfolios. Respira’s team combines deep and varied experience working in global financial markets with a robust understanding of carbon project development in leading international conservation organisations.
About the Gola Rainforest Conservation LG
The Gola Carbon Credits are owned by the Gola Rainforest Conservation Company Ltd (GRCLG). Gola Rainforest Conservation LG is an equal partnership between the Government of Sierra Leone, the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds/RSPB and the Gola Communities. The RSPB was contracted to lead on the sales of carbon credits on the international markets by the GRCLG.