VELUX Group and WWF embark on historic forestry project expected to contribute to savings of around one million tonnes of CO (2) for Uganda’s Paris Agreement promise
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Sept. 9, 2021 / PRNewswire / – WWF and the VELUX Group announce the official launch of an innovative forest regeneration project that will be Uganda’s largest-ever contribution to its Nationally Determined Contributions ( NDC). The project of approximately 34,000 hectares is expected to save approximately one million tonnes of CO2. Any carbon emission reductions or removals generated by the VELUX Group-funded project will serve as a contribution to the Government of Uganda and help improve conditional NDCs.
The project of approximately 34,000 hectares should save approximately one million tonnes of CO (2).
The Natural Forest Regeneration for Improved Carbon Stocks Project (FRECAR) is located in the Albertine Rift in Uganda, an area of exceptional wildlife and moderate floral endemism that spans five nations. The forest regeneration project is the first of five such projects included in the 21-year partnership between WWF and the VELUX Group launched in 2020.
The official launch of the Ugandan FRECAR project took place at a virtual kick-off meeting, due to the ongoing countrywide lockdown in Uganda. The successful meeting saw the participation of a large group of stakeholders including the Uganda National Forestry Authority, representatives of local communities, the carbon development consultancy, Face the Future, WWF Denmark and WWF Uganda.
Led by WWF-Uganda, in partnership with Uganda’s National Forestry Authority (NFA), the FRECAR project will consist of regenerating the Murchison-Semuliki (Kagombe and Bugoma CFR) landscape in the Albertine Rift. A hotspot of biodiversity, this region has 6,568 plant species and 1,833 terrestrial vertebrates in its humid tropical forests. However, the Murchison-Semuliki landscape has suffered a 66% decline in forest cover in the past two decades alone, one of the highest deforestation rates in Uganda. Although most of Uganda’s protected areas are concentrated here, pressure from agricultural land use, illegal logging and human settlements have resulted in significant forest degradation. Unsustainable agricultural use alone led to an 88% reduction in forest area in the Kagombe region, while more than half was lost in Bugoma.
David Briggs, CEO of the VELUX Group noted that: “I am happy that our forest conservation partner, WWF, has obtained this approval. Now its planned activities in Uganda can move forward to help reverse the loss of forest cover. This is an important first step in achieving our historic carbon capture. The FRECAR project is part of our larger 21-year partnership with WWF which will allow us to capture our historic CO2. This will allow us to become carbon neutral for life and to go beyond our goal of carbon neutrality and reduction of the business value chain 2030. “Commenting on the official approval and launch of the FRECAR project , Tom Okello, Executive Director of the National Forestry Authority in Uganda, said he was excited about the project which aims to reverse the loss of forest cover in the project area. In fact, over 60% of the forests in this region were lost between 2005 and 2015v.
Following the official kick-off meeting and specialized technical meetings held in July, tree planting is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2021. The process of validating the amount of carbon to be delivered by the Ugandan forestry project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022. The monumental FRECAR restoration and conservation project will serve as a cornerstone of Uganda’s Vision 2040 and National Development Plan III. By focusing on preserving forest corridors, it will play an important role in supporting Ugandan government efforts to bring its natural landscapes back to 1990 levels.
To be delivered over the next 20 years, the FRECAR project is currently in the implementation phase. Future phases of the project will include a tree planting plan to facilitate the restoration of natural forests. This will be implemented alongside REDD approaches – focused on addressing the drivers of deforestation and degradation of existing natural forests. This in close collaboration with local communities and other landscape actors. WWF-Uganda will undertake a decade of surveillance in the Kagombe-Bugoma landscape. This will focus on determining the impacts of the project on carbon, biodiversity, communities and individual households living in the region.
The WWF and VELUX partnership – working together to capture VELUX’s historic CO2WWF International and the VELUX Group have launched one of the most ambitious actions for climate and nature in business, taking responsibility for past and future carbon emissions. This commitment is part of a historic 21-year global partnership between WWF International and the VELUX Group, which will materialize a significant part of the company’s commitment to become Lifetime Carbon Neutral by 2041.
The VELUX Group has joined the Science Based Targets initiative, committing to the most ambitious 1.5C reduction path of the Paris Agreement and by 2030 to become a carbon neutral company and have halved CO2 throughout its value chain. This commitment will see the historic carbon footprint of the VELUX Group – 5.6 million tonnes of CO2 including a 25% buffer (scope 1 and 2) issued since its creation in 1941 – captured in five forest conservation projects developed and managed. by WWF. In this long-term partnership, WWF and the VELUX Group will deliver conservation results based on our common interest in protecting and restoring the world’s forests.
For more information on Lifetime Carbon Neutral and the forest conservation projects at the heart of the partnership with WWF, please visit Velux | WWF (panda.org).
NOTES TO EDITORSi – No standard methodology exists today to calculate a historical carbon footprint. For example, long-valid emission factors and energy consumption data often do not exist. Therefore, the VELUX Group has developed a method to calculate its lifetime carbon emissions. This method is based on the recognized Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard and applied to historical data. This unique methodology, including the underlying assumptions, is independently verified by the Carbon Trust and reviewed by WWF experts. Ii – definition of scopes 1 and 2. Scope 1 (direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, by eg company facilities, company cars). Scope 2 (indirect emissions from the production of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company). iii – the definition of scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain (e.g. purchased goods and services, waste generation and transport) iv – Science Based Targets initiative mobilizes companies to set scientific objectives and strengthen their competitive advantage in the transition to a low carbon economy. This is a collaboration between the CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the commitments of the We Mean Business Coalition. The initiative defines and promotes best practices in science goal setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and approves business goals. v – https://www.mwe.go.ug/sites/default/files/State%20of%20Uganda%27s%20Forestry-2015.pdfvi – Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) embody each country’s efforts to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement (Article 4, paragraph 2) requires each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve. The Parties implement national mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of these contributions. See https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/nationally-determined-contributions-ndcs/nationally-determined-contributions-ndcsAbout the VELUX GroupFor nearly 80 years, the VELUX Group has created better living environments for people all over the world; make the most of daylight and fresh air through the roof. Our product line includes modular roof windows and skylights, decorative blinds, sun protection products and roller shutters, as well as installation and smart home solutions. These products help to ensure a healthy and sustainable indoor climate, for work and learning, for play and pleasure. We work around the world – with sales and manufacturing operations in over 40 countries and approximately 11,500 employees worldwide. The VELUX Group is owned by VKR Holding A / S, a public limited company wholly owned by non-profit charitable foundations (VELUX FOUNDATIONS) and family foundations. In 2019, VKR Holding achieved a total turnover of 2.9 billion euros and THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS donated 178 million euros in charitable grants. For more information, visit www.velux.com. Follow us on Twitter @VELUX
About WWFWWF is an independent conservation organization, with over 30 million followers and an active global network in nearly 100 countries. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, preserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of natural resources renewables is sustainable and promoting the reduction of pollution and unnecessary consumption. Visit panda.org/news for the latest news and media resources; follow us on Twitter @WWF_media
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