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Cotapper Umair Kabani shares his enthusiasm for the Khasi Hills Community REDD+ Project

December 24th, 2020


Offset your CO2 emissions through Umair’s Khasi/COTAP campaign on GoFundMe. To receive a formal COTAP acknowledgement, please forward your GoFundMe receipt to donate at cotap dot org. If you prefer, you can offset through the Khasi project on COTAP.

 

 

As you can see, Umair Kabani has clear and infectious enthusiasm for the Khasi Hills Community REDD+ project! Umair is a Los Angeles-based startup entrepreneur, business coach, real estate syndicator, and connector. Earlier this year, he discovered that his ancestry includes the Khasi Hills in the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya.

Umair’s research led him to COTAP, and he became so intrigued and inspired that he not only became a Cotapper and offset his personal emissions through the Khasi project, but he also launched a GoFundMe page to support it. As of December 24, 2020 his campaign has raised over $2,200 for the the Khasi Hills Community REDD+ project. Check out his video and you’ll see why!

More about the Khasi Hills Community REDD+ Project


The Khasi project is India’s first community-based REDD+ program, and one of the first REDD+ projects anywhere to be 100% owned, controlled, and operated by indigenous communities. Ten tribal administrative units called Hima represent 62 villages (with approximately 4,357 households) and collectively form the project’s governance and oversight council known as the Synjuk (or “Federation”). The Synjuk was legally established in 2011 as the Ka Synjuk Ki Hima Arliang Wah Umiam, Mawphlang Welfare Society (KKHAW-UMWS). The project is located in the East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya and the Umiam River Watershed, which boasts one of the highest recorded annual rainfalls in the world.

Started in 2005, the project is now protecting and restoring 27,139 hectares of cloud forest, which in 2010 comprised approximately 9,270 hectares of dense forests and 5,947 hectares of open forests. 78% of the project’s emissions reductions over 30 years are expected to result from avoided deforestation through advance closure, cutting fire lines, distributing efficient stoves, and promoting alternative livelihood activities. The remainder will result from Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) performed on open forests in 1,500-hectare increments.

The project distributes benefits through its Community Development Grants Program, and the most frequent project type applied for is to improve water systems by installing tanks, building washing areas, and digging drinking water wells. The project successfully concluded its first 3rd-party verification in 2017 and its buyers include TUI Nordic Airlines, Arvid Nordqvist coffee, and Expedia, Inc.

The project operates in rural areas where firewood is the primary fuel source for cooking and heating, and the project’s purpose of reducing pressure on local forests through efficient stoves goes hand in hand with reducing wood smoke inhalation. The Khasi project’s multi-pronged effort to reduce fuelwood consumption includes distribution of electric rice cookers and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and a goal of ensuring half of the project area’s 4,400 households have an efficient wood-burning stove by 2020.

The Hima vote on how to distribute the project’s performance-based carbon offset earnings among villages. As an example, in 2015 68% of the 62 participating villages reported utilizing their community grants from carbon sales to improve their drinking water systems by installing wells, water tanks, and formal washing places. This was by far the dominant project type that year, as 100% of 8 recently-sampled water supply sites had confirmed the presence of coliform bacteria.

3 car donation case studies

December 1st, 2020

COTAP has partnered with CARS! Founded in 2003, CARS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and respected leader in the vehicle donation space that has supported over 3,500 nonprofits. Learn more on our car donation page here.

The below case studies reveal that, on average, a COTAP vehicle donation counteracts 213.92% of the vehicle’s “tailpipe emissions” while generating $1,830.92 for our projects. Because all COTAP projects are certified by the Plan Vivo carbon standard, which requires that projects share a minimum of 60% of carbon revenues with participating communities, it follows that the average COTAP car donation creates at least $1,098.55 in earnings for some of the world’s poorest communities.

Case Study #1


On June 7th, 2020, a donor from Atlanta, Georgia called the above number and pledged to donate a 2013 Buick Encore with 190,879 miles on it. They stipulated that the net proceeds go towards offsetting with our Uganda partner project – Trees for Global Benefits. The car was picked up on June 10th and on June 18th it was sold at auction for $3,200. Selling expenses were $70 for towing, $50 for auction fees, and $2.78 misc. That left $3,077.22, 30% of which CARS charges as its fee.

On July 2nd, COTAP received payment from CARS for $2,154.05. At our offsetting rate of $15/tonne, the donor is offsetting 143.603 tonnes to our partner project in Uganda, which will receive $1,938.65.

So, not only did the donor get rid of a car they no longer wanted/needed, they’ll also got a tax deduction (assuming they itemize!). Further, they’re addressing their unavoidable carbon emissions, helping to restore landscapes in Uganda, and creating income for rural communities.

Speaking of carbon emissions, the 143.603 tonnes offset more than compensates for the carbon emissions generated by the donated car. Plugging the above 190,879 miles and 25 mpg (we Googled it) into our calculator yielded 67.18 tonnes. In this example, the car donation is not only negating the tailpipe emissions for the original owner, but also the likely most if not all of the tailpipe emissions for the remaining life of the car!

Case Study #2


On May 31st, 2020, a donor from Glendale, Arizona pledged to donate a 2012 Ford Focus SE with 168,537 miles on it. They chose for the net proceeds go towards offsetting evenly across all COTAP projects. The car was picked up on July 6th and on August 22nd it was sold at auction for $2,400. Selling expenses for towing, auction, and DMV fees etc. totaled $145.78, which left $2,254.22, 30% of which CARS charges as its fee.

On September 17th, COTAP received payment from CARS for $1,577.95. At our offsetting rate of $15/tonne, this donor is evenly offsetting 105.197 tonnes across all of our partner projects in Nicaragua, Uganda, India, Fiji, Indonesia, and Mexico. That’s 17.53 tonnes and $236.69 per project.

As in the first case study, the donor got rid of an unwanted car, got a tax deduction, and addressed their unavoidable emissions. What’s different this time is that they are not just protecting/restoring forests and empowering rural communities in Uganda… they’re creating those benefits all over the planet! Neither approach (one project vs. all projects) is better than the other, it’s just the donor’s preference on whether they want to focus their impacts in one region vs. “spreading the love.”

So, did this car donation offset fully compensate for 168,537 miles driven in a 2012 Ford Focus SE? We used 26 mpg, which is the lower end of the car’s fuel efficiency rating. The result? 57.03 tonnes. Similar to the first case study, this donation is not only compensating for the car’s tailpipe emissions for the original owner, but also for the tailpipe emissions for the remaining life of the car.

Case Study #3


On August 21st, 2020, a donor from Garden City, New York pledged to donate a 2005 Lexus RX 330 with 165,000 miles on it. They chose for the net proceeds go towards offsetting evenly across all COTAP projects. The car was picked up on August 25th and on October 27th it was sold at auction for $3,550. Selling expenses for towing, auction, and DMV fees etc. totaled $162.78, which left $3,387.22, 30% of which CARS charges as its fee.

On November 5th, COTAP received payment from CARS for $2,371.05. At our offsetting rate of $15/tonne, this donor is evenly offsetting 158.07 tonnes across all of our partner projects in Nicaragua, Uganda, India, Fiji, Indonesia, and Mexico. That’s 26.345 tonnes and $355.66 per project! Using the car’s average mpg rating of 22 miles per gallon, this car’s tailpipe emissions (from the original owner’s 165,000 miles) were 65.99 tonnes of CO2. By donating this car, the original owner compensated for 239.5% of the tailpipe emissions generated by driving it 165k miles.

In Summary…


The donor, CARS, COTAP, and our partner projects all come out ahead significantly and in ways that would not be possible without this very unique, meaningful, and symbiotic partnership!

Meet A Farmer: Maate Zaverio

November 24th, 2020


Offset your CO2 emissions through this project here:

 

 

In 2012, Maate Zaverio became a participant of Ecotrust Uganda’s Trees for Global Benefits project. Maate, who lived in the Maliba subdistrict of Kasese, planted 800 trees which are sequestering 406.8 tonnes of CO2 and will result in $1,220.80 in earnings.

The father of 21 children, Maate used some of his earnings to pay school fees and some to treat his chest sickness and other ailments. Maate also shared a very interesting observation which we also heard from several other participants: after planting trees he started getting better weather and more rain.

When asked, “What is your message to supporters of this project?” Maate responds. “Me, I thank you for giving us money. Because you are the people giving us jobs to do trees… We will see what we can do with it.”

After Maate passed away in October 2019, his son Ezira Mukulhameno started looking after the trees.

Learn more about the Trees for Global Benefits project at https://COTAP.org/Uganda.

Meet A Farmer: Beatrice Tibamwenda

November 5th, 2020


Offset your CO2 emissions through this project here:

 

 

Beatrice was one of the first interviews from COTAP’s visit to Ecotrust Uganda’s Trees for Global Benefits project. Since 2012, Beatrice has planted 400 trees which sequester 203.4 tonnes of CO2 and will earn her a total of $610.40. “Since I planted trees, it has changed my life,” Beatrice says. She also explains an interesting and unexpected side effect of the TGB project – how it brings people together and enhances their social lives. Rural community members like Beatrice are often spread out over large areas and, before TGB, did not have as many opportunities to meet and get to know one another.

Learn more about the Trees for Global Benefits project at https://COTAP.org/Uganda.

Introducing 3 New Projects in Mexico, Fiji, & Indonesia…

September 30th, 2020

Now when you offset your unavoidable CO2 emissions through COTAP, you’re enhancing landscapes and livelihoods in 6 countries: Nicaragua, Uganda, India, Mexico, Indonesia, and Fiji!


Chiapas, Mexico


Dating back to a pilot programme in 1994, Cooperativa AMBIO’s Scolel’te project is the longest-running ecosystem services project in the world. Scolel’te, which means “the tree that grows” in Mayan Tzeltal language, was the very first project registered under the Plan Vivo carbon standard. Spanning 9,150 hectares of restored and protected forests, Scolel’te has achieved projected carbon benefits of 550,331 tonnes and generated $1,017,945.80 for approximately 2,500 participating households. You can offset your CO2 through this project here.


Jambi, Indonesia


Coordinated by Komunitas Konservasi Indonesia (KKI) WARSI, the Bujang Raba Community PES (Payments for Ecosystem Services) project, conserves endangered primary rainforest in Sumatra’s Bukti Barisan forest through an avoided deforestation intervention programme, also referred to as REDD+. The project involves 5 indigenous communities in protecting tropical mountainous forests. Since 2016, 934 households have protected 5,339 hectares, verifiably preventing 227,460 tonnes of CO2 emissions. You can offset your CO2 through this project here.


Vanua Levu, Fiji


Through 2019, the Drawa Rainforest Conservation project has created $283,063.32 in income for approximately 120 inland village households in Vanua Levu, Fiji. Managed by the Nakau Programme and operational since 2018, Drawa protects 4,120 ha of tropical rainforest and prevents the emissions of 18,800 tonnes of CO2 per year. Drawa is owned by the indigenous Fjiian landowners, comprising approximately 450 people across five villages. You can offset your CO2 through this project here.