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April 2024: Year Two of Biodiversity Surveys is Underway

The second year in a row of conducting biodiversity surveys for the Kajiado Rangelands Carbon Project (KRCP) in Southern Kenya has begun. This year additional staff have been added with greater expertise on vegetation, dung beetle, and grasshopper identification – three key indicators of this project that focus on making changes in livestock grazing management practices to remove carbon from the air and put it in the soil.

Staff from the Biodiversity Research Institute will be working with local taxonomic experts and staff from Soils for the Future Africa and CarbnSolve.

February 2024: New study shows improved rangeland grazing management leads to
substantial sequestration of carbon

CarbonSolve announces the results of a long-term study that presents the first evidence that improved grazing practices implemented at the scale of traditional pastoralist migrations can remove a significant volume of greenhouse gases to soil carbon. This study, conducted by a team of scientists from various universities and organizations in the United States, Kenya, and Tanzania, was performed across more than two million hectares (more than five million acres) of rangeland in Northern Kenya. The study details are available on AgriRxiv.

“We are extremely excited to get this body of work, which includes nearly a decade of research, into the peer-review process,” says Mark Ritchie, Ph.D., the study’s lead author, former professor at Syracuse University, and currently adjunct professor at Utah State University. “The results presented in this study come from comparing soil carbon measurements six to eight years apart across more than 200 sampling points. Such data are rare, and simply unavailable at the spatial scale of this study.” 

According to the study findings, the statistically significant magnitude of increase in soil carbon associated with conducting high-density short-duration (HDSD) grazing practices was slightly higher than that predicted by a relatively simple model that links soil carbon changes to grazing management. 

Calculations from this long-term study suggest that improved grazing practices, implemented at a large scale, have removed millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and support the issuance of carbon credits to the Northern Kenya Rangelands Carbon Project. 

The outcome of this study contrasts with recent published evaluations of some other carbon project types in which carbon credit issuances apparently overestimated avoided emissions. In addition, this study supports further expansion of new nature-based solutions carbon projects to climate change adaptation and mitigation through carbon dioxide removal.

“With the recent negative press about carbon projects, it is important to know that we can justify using predictive models to verify carbon removals in the early stages of a project, and that monitoring of actual removals can provide the basis for corrections, if needed, to more accurately estimate future amounts of carbon credits available for sale (i.e., issuances),” says Timothy Tear, Ph.D., director of the Center for Conservation and Climate Change Research at Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) and co-author on the study. “There are no shortcuts if you are going to provide the robust evidence needed to adequately show that changes in carbon stocks in any carbon project are the result of project activities.”

The outcomes of this research study support the development of new nature-based carbon projects. CarbonSolve, in partnership with BRI and others, has recently launched a 1.5-million-hectare soil carbon project in the Kajiado District of Kenya’s southern rangelands region.

“We need more carefully constructed studies like this that draw links between project activities and carbon outcomes and are based on solid science,” says David Evers, Ph.D., BRI’s executive director and chief scientist. “In addition, we need similar efforts that demonstrate how these changes in carbon and their associated project activities impact biodiversity.”

This paper is available for review as it undergoes the peer-review process.

August 2023: Letter of No Objection Signed 

The Soils for the Future Africa team has received the official Letter of No-Objection from the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry in Kenya as well as a Letter of No-Objection from Kajiado County (which hosts the project). These letters signify that the County and National Government support the Kajiado Rangelands carbon project – an important step that continues to move the project forward. This support comes after a successful Olgulului Group Ranch Annual General Meeting in late July that helped to reinforce and broaden local awareness of the carbon project and why it is important to this pastoral Maasai community.

July 2023: Olgulului Group Ranch Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Progress was made during the Olgulului Group Ranch Annual General Meeting (AGM) on July 21st, 2023 to accelerate carbon projects in Kajiado County in southern Kenya. Soils for the Future Africa, a partner of CarbonSolve, Soils for the Future (US), and the Biodiversity Research Institute, signed an agreement with the Olgulului Group Ranch for the development of a soil carbon project that will focus on altering grazing practices that will remove carbon from the air and increase it in the soil.  Two important documents were signed, one that transfers carbon rights from the Olgulului Conservation and Development Company to Soils for the Future Africa, and another that defines the Benefit Sharing Agreement related to carbon revenues. This public meeting helped to reinforce and broaden local awareness of the carbon project and why it is important to this pastoral Maasai community.

April - May 2023: CarbonSolve and Biodiversity Research Institute Conducting Environmental Surveys in Kenya

CarbonSolve, in partnership with the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), has been conducting environmental surveys in Kenya.  BRI staff and local taxonomic experts make up biodiversity teams who monitor different survey areas and sites daily. These teams have been, and will continue to sample data across the landscape, with the goal to track changes in biological diversity over time. Four general categories of data will be gathered: habitat, insects, birds, and mammals. The team has conducted soil surveys, acoustic bird monitoring surveys, and insect and mammal surveys across the study area.

April 2023: Magadi Soil Sampling Team

The Magadi soil sampling team is hard at work! Soils of grasslands represent a large potential reservoir for storing CO2. Grazing management helps increase the potential for increased carbon storage. Rotational grazing utilizes a portion of the grazing land while allowing the remainder to rest. Livestock is rotated from section to section allowing the “resting” portion to recover, which leads to recovered grass, greater infiltration with lower runoff, and a deeper organic layer that absorbs more carbon.

February 2023: Thirteen New Grazing Coordinators Hired for Kajiado Rangelands Project

The Kajiado Rangeland Project continues to develop with the addition of new equipment and 13 new grazing coordinators,  two grazing coordinator supervisors, and a new accountant. These grazing coordinators are from different group ranches, and they are the community face of the carbon project. The coordinators have extensive knowledge of grazing practices and boundaries and can work directly with different community members, build trust and relationships, and generate excitement for a project requiring extensive community participation. ​ The addition of motorcycles and an updated office will help them work more efficiently as the project ramps up. 

October 2022: NEW Signed MOU Creates Opportunites for Carbon Projects in Zambia

The Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) is an international non-profit conservation organization that protects wilderness and wildlife. Conserve Global (CG) is a non-profit conservation organization that focuses on securing and protecting vulnerable landscapes across Africa for the benefit of people and wildlife. CarbonSolve (CS) is a US-based, Delaware State Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) that promotes the development of carbon projects around the world. 

The Parties above intend to join efforts to develop carbon projects that successfully generate and commercially market carbon credits in Zambia. Given that FZS already has small-scale fire management programs underway in multiple national parks (i.e., Nsumbu and North Luangwa), the objective of this project is to develop a carbon credits-based project based on expanding existing or founding new fire management activities to sequester carbon both above-ground (in woody biomass) and below-ground (in soils) and reduce GHG emissions. It is expected, from models supplied by CarbonSolve, that adoption of a modified fire management program that
can be expanded to areas currently lacking fire management, will remove the GHG carbon dioxide to be stored in the soils and vegetation of protected areas and community lands, and that this storage can be verified as a reduction in GHG emissions and thus be certified as carbon credits according to standards set by the Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance. 

September 2022: New CarbonSolve Partner, Soils for the Future Tanzania 

Based in Arusha, Soils for the Future Tanzania is now operational. Its focus is to develop rangeland carbon projects in Tanzania by working on improving livestock grazing management and improved fire management. Playing an important role in this partnership are Iddi Mfunda, PhD, Country Coordinator, Geofrey Soka, PhD, Monitoring and Evaluation Director, and Richard Kinsia Ndaskoi, Project Director.