SEKEM Tree Project is the first Gold Standard certified project in Egypt and the Middle East.
370 kilometers southwest of Cairo, 11.7 ha of SEKEM’s farm Wahat El-Bahareyya are reserved for the “Gold Standard” project with the name “SEKEM Tree Project” that aims to plant 100,000 trees by 2020 to sequester CO2. Currently SEKEM has claimed 2000 certificates for having sequestrated 2000 tons of carbon dioxide already.
The Gold Standard
The Gold Standard is the highest quality standard in the compensation of CO2. Projects that are certified according to the Gold Standard also contribute to a sustainable ecological and social development in addition to the compensation of CO2. At the moment, Gold Standard certifies more than 1,700 projects in more than 80 countries, including the SEKEM Tree Project.
Why SEKEM Tree Project?
In the context of the SEKEM Tree Project, desert and arable land is being reclaimed which provides an environment suitable for various plants, animal species and insects. In addition, air quality is positively affected and soil conditions are improved considerably, as biodiversity increases in the area where plant and animal species are absent.
When planting desert soils, it is always important in particular to consider water use to be sustainable. Thus, the water extraction rate is carefully managed and the groundwater level is monitored. For other expanding agricultural operations in the region, planting certain tree species saves more water and positively affects the local climate. Hence, the evaporation effect is greatly reduced, which increases the overall water efficiency of the farm.
In the past, Wahat El-Bahariya was an important transit point for convoys that track the desert. The oasis now hosts more than 30,000 people living on agriculture and mining. Because agriculture remains an important source of income, the SEKEM tree project will bring additional employment to the region. Once the farm and trees are established, it is envisaged to establish a training facility and a primary school to train workers and provide education to workers’ families and the surrounding community. By providing training, SEKEM aims to enhance the skill set of workers and awareness of sustainable desert reclamation techniques.
For more information, please contact Thoraya Seada, Project Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
SEKEM also offers its own CO2 certificates for instance through the SEKEM Online Shop.