Nepal is ready to sell carbon credit for the carbon trapped by the forests after the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) approved the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) Program.
Nepal has reached final stage of preparation works becoming enthusiastic about prospects of earning tens of millions and using that for sustainable forest management. The Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) has even received payment by selling carbon credit to the World Bank (WB)for installing biogas plants and micro-hydropower projects. Nepal has already received US$ 380,000 (around Rs 27.40 million) annually for four years after selling 38,000 tons of carbon credit from micro-hydropower projects. The AEPC and the WB have agreed to trade carbon credit at US$ 10.25 per ton for the next 14 years.
A total of 47 countries have agreed for carbon trading, according to the WB’s data. Preparatory works for carbon credit are being done in these countries. Only 11 of those 47 countries have been selected for carbon trading under carbon fund. Industrial countries will have to pay to encourage the countries with forests that can cut emission of greenhouse gases by the Earth. Developing countries like China have been earning billions of dollars by selling carbon.
Preparatory works are being done in Nepal for the past five years under government bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGO) including the REDD Implementation Center, ICIMOD, Multi-stakeholders Forest Program, Association of Forest Technicians and Green Forest. Programs have been conducted to study the amount of carbon forests in Nepal can store, sensitization programs in locals and stakeholder bodies, and collecting suggestions from the government bodies and NGOs active in the areas related, and prepare a certain model.
Technician Dr Narendra Chand says the REDD Implementation Center is in the final stage of preparation works. “Countries operating new kinds of forest programs, and with potential for carbon stocks are selected for carbon trading. One can go for the selection process as per the standards of global carbon fund after completing preparation programs,” he adds. He claims that carbon trading will reduce deforestation, decelerate climate change, cut emission of greenhouse gases and conserve bio-diversity. Industrial countries make payment on the basis of the capacity of storing carbon in the forests.
Technician at the Orbonate Consultant in Finland Basanta Raj Gautam says study has been started to see whether Nepal is capable to go for carbon trading or not after analysis of the data prepared by the consultants in the final stage of preparations. “The final report will be published within the next three months. Nepal has reached the final stage of enthusiastic preparation programs in hope of being selected for carbon trading,” he adds.
Forest expert Vijay Raj Subedi calls efforts for going for carbon trading positive and advises to move forward in the same model. “We will get better payment if we go with the model of increasing forest and not merely increasing forest coverage. Trees of a certain age cannot increase carbon stock. We must, therefore, stress on cutting old tress and planting new ones,” he advises.