Sky Trails Zambia has achieved a major conservation milestone over August by becoming one of the first African, carbon neutral airlines during 2020! This pioneering carbon neutral status is a direct result of their partnership with BioCarbon Partners (BCP), in collaboration with the Zambian Government.
The company has offset emissions for its entire fleet for 2020 to date, in this industry-leading status. Sky Trails Zambia has achieved this significant accolade by offsetting all of its measurable and identifiable carbon consumption from all of its business operations through the purchase of Verified Carbon Units.
Months on from the devastating toil that Covid-19 has taken on the tourism industry in Zambia, the announcement is a true testament to Sky Trails Zambia’s commitment to put conservation at the forefront of its business objectives.
“Sky Trails Zambia was established specifically to support conservation work and has carried out a great many hours of work in anti-poaching, wildlife surveys, logistics for conservation projects and transport of tourists to the less accessible destinations where tourism income is vital to conservation work. However, we remained with the anathema of hydrocarbon fuels being core to the operation of our business. Remote carbon offset schemes which often had very questionable outcomes were distinctly unappealing. However, when the opportunity arose to offset all our carbon footprint through a project in Zambia aimed at the conservation of national landscape, supporting wildlife conservation, and feeding the resources through the under-developed local communities, it presented a perfect opportunity for us to become carbon neutral and thus enhance our underlying environmental objectives.”
Edmund Farmer – CEO, Accountable Manager for Sky Trails Zambia
Through BCP, funds generated from the sale of Sky Trails’ carbon offsets are re-invested into the Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) to fund community projects and various livelihood initiatives:
“We have all been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and it is telling to see organizations still investing in conservation. It demonstrates just how important safeguarding Zambia’s natural resources is to Sky Trails. The LCFP is the largest REDD+ Project in Africa and to the best of our knowledge, the largest REDD+ project in the World in terms of quantified social beneficiaries, supporting close to 217,000 beneficiaries. Hand in hand with supporting the communities, it contributes to conservation efforts through the protection of nearly a million hectares of threatened wildlife habitat and in turn, wildlife. We know that by investing in people that we are going to help combat climate change by protecting our forests.”
Dr. Hassan Sachedina – BCP CEO
Sky Trails Zambia
Founded in 2003 by Edmund Farmer, Sky Trails was started up in Kasanka National Park, where Edmund was the manager of an innovative public-private conservation initiative. Sky Trails was formed around the need to move tourists between destinations in the north of Zambia and provide aerial support to conservation work in Zambia and beyond. From one aircraft operation, Sky Trails has grown into one of the foremost charter companies in Zambia with a fleet of six airplanes and one helicopter. Whilst tourism is the largest component of work today, the company also supports conservation projects and has an aircraft maintenance facility.
BCP is a Zambian-based social enterprise, which develops and manages long term forest carbon projects in Zambia. It is a leading African, carbon offset development company that partners with local communities to create environmental awareness and improve the quality of life for local communities. The current focus of BCP is on implementing and extending REDD+ projects in the greater Zambezi-Luangwa ecosystem with plans to extend our projects in the Kafue ecosystem in Zambia. BCP has certified two successful REDD+ projects in Zambia; The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) and The Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP), combining an area of almost 1 million hectares, and 224,000 beneficiaries. Both projects have been validated to Community, Climate, and Biodiversity (CCB) triple gold standards (validation) and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) verification.