Sirebe Tribal Association Receives Support from Carbon Trading
The Sirebe Tribal Association in South Choiseul is currently rolling out its re-investment projects after receiving the second quarterly payment from carbon trading for this year.
The association which operates as the Sirebe Business Company under the Babatana Rainforest Conservation Project is the first in the country to do carbon trading and receive payment from carbon trading.
In an interview with SIBC News, Sirebe Business Company Director Linford Pitatamae said the tribe has adopted the Nakau Programme methodology through their benefit Sharing Plan to disburse benefits gained from Carbon Trading.
“Upon receiving the payments from carbon trading, we saw that the population of the tribe is quite big and sharing the money between all individuals would not ensure long term benefits.
So, we decided that for our members to fully benefit, with our partners we did these re-investment projects so that our people will be able to personally manage their projects and generate income from it while waiting for other benefits from carbon credit,” he said.
The association categorizes the families within the tribe under two categories, Primary Rights and Secondary Rights according to their culture of land ownership. The projects are then distributed according to the categories.
Currently, there are two types of Income Generating Projects that are given out to 27 Primary Rights families, which are Fishing projects and Metal and Mechanical workshops, and Sanitation and water tanks projects.
“For the fishing project, we provide canoes, OBMs and fishing gears for the beneficiaries to manage and operate, and for the metal and mechanical workshop the beneficiaries are provided with generators, saws, welders, and other needed tools for the projects.
For the Sanitation project we have a model that if anyone in the tribe wants the project, they will be provided with water tanks and sanitation equipment for toilets and shower rooms. Water tank project beneficiaries are provided with water tanks and pipes,” Mr. Pitatamae explains.
Sirebe Association received an amount of $300,00 for its first quarterly payment of Carbon Credit earlier this year with an estimated amount of around $1.2 million per year to be received according to the agreement made with the buyers.
With the first payment, the association used it as a “Covid Rehabilitation Fund” to support families within the tribe during the Covid-19 transmission in the country.
Mr. Pitatamae said the second payment is currently being used for the re-investment projects which will go on for three months.
“The aim of this company is to ensure that everyone in the tribe benefits from what we are gaining through carbon trade. Right now, we are giving out projects for Primary rights families, so for the next quarterly payments, we will be focusing on Secondary rights families and providing school fees with some minor projects.”
Mr. Pitatamae encourages resource owners on the importance of conserving forests.
“For resource owners in the country, as the first ones to earn money from carbon trading, I think the conservation story here is clear. We might be familiar with mining and logging where we can get fast money through royalties, but we have shown that there is an alternative to these industries which you can engage in to further developments in communities.
It is hard work as it consumes time and requires the right calculations with all the requirements to engage in Carbon trading, but with patience and commitment anyone can do it. And we have shown that.”
By Eliza Kukutu