By Abbey Greene
Jackson Hole WILD Festival attendees that participated in our Carbon Offset Program saved the 70 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, that’s the same as:
How did we do this?
Just a matter of weeks ago, the 2017 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and Conservation Summit took place. As an event that represents the best of the best wildlife and conservation filmmaking, our team felt it important to put our beliefs into action, and include an optional carbon offset fee at registration, among other green changes made this year.
This optional $25 fee would offset their travel emissions by putting their money towards a green project, dedicated to taking carbon out of the atmosphere, and protecting habitats for rare cat species.
70 people, or ~10% of our delegates participated this year, with funds raised being donated to a Gold Standard project that will help combat global warming and provide and protect cat habitat.
What really stood out to us about Gold Standard projects was all of their projects cannot only have a positive impact on the climate to be certified; the projects must do more than that. They are required to contribute to at least two additional UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Reducing greenhouse gases also leads to benefits such as new jobs, better health, improved gender equality and the protection of natural habitats and endangered species. This way, the local community benefits from the project as well.
Since this is the year of Cats, we settled on supporting Gold Standard’s Vichada project.
According to Gold Standard’s website, “The project is located in the Vichada Department and the Orinoco river basin, combining reforestation for timber production with biodiversity protection and ecosystem restoration. In addition to the reforestation of the savannah, the project protects the remaining patches of native vegetation and creates additional conservation areas on the banks of rivers and other watersheds. The forests offer a natural habitat for native animals and plants, protect and enrich the soil, save and filter water and contribute to the mitigation of the greenhouse effect.” By supporting this project, we are helping 80 million trees to be planted, and 76,356 hectare to be reforested (1 hectare=100 acres).
Not only does the project help restore habitat, it helps restore habitat for cats and other wildlife. Julian Ekelof, Director of CO2OL Climate Solution, said this project was a good fit for us and our goals. “The Colombia project in Vichada creates forest habitats in a region that has remaining jaguar and puma populations,” says Ekelof. “The way the project is set up tries to bridge existing forest patches in order to create large areas of connected habitat for migratory species. The same is true for the project CO2OL Tropical Mix (in Panama). In addition, there have been several instances where the ocelot has been spotted in this project.”
This year was the first year we offered the carbon offset fee, and the more people hear about it, the more we hope for it to grow as we continue holding film festivals and events. There will be an optional donation available for the Big Cat Film Festival, so if you like everything you’ve read above, please donate when registration is available. To learn more about other projects going on around the world, visit Gold Standard’s website to see developing projects.