On the 1st July 2008 Webnetics UK took the crucial step to make our operations more environmentally friendly. We decided to choose a data centre, which offered carbon neutral offsetting. We are currently using a data centre which offsets all there CO2 emissions caused by its hosting operations in the UK.
The new datacentre offsets there CO2 emissions with a conservation charity called the World Land Trust as the organisation to carry out their offset. World Land Trust regenerates degraded forest in Ecuador, working through local partners. Planting native species on land next to standing forest not only takes CO2 out of the atmosphere it also extends existing wildlife reserves, thus preserving threatened habitat and biodiversity.
They have help purchase the Rodas property, a 45 hectare extension to the Buenaventura Reserve managed by Fundación Jocotoco in the foothills of the Andes in south-western Ecuador. This area was once covered by low-altitude cloud forest with exceptional biodiversity including many species found nowhere else in the world but the tree cover has now been reduced to scattered patches in pasture. Buenaventura is the only conservation area in this habitat and is one of the richest ornithological sites in the country. It is also important for amphibians (a new species has recently been discovered) and orchids. But the flagship species is the endangered El Oro Parakeet Aratinga orcesii only discovered in 1980 and reduced to 180 birds.
The Rodas property was targeted because it is an important breeding site for the parakeets. It also lies at the headwaters of the streams serving the Municipality of Piñas, so conserving the watershed and the water supply for the town. Some 75% of the land parcel has been cleared of forest – the Coreix offsets are produced by reforesting this land through a combination of natural regeneration by removing grazing pressure and by planting a range of native species. It will take 20 years before this forest is well-grown. The 3 acres of protected forest have been secured in the remaining 25% of the parcel here the benefit is swift as the imminent threat of clearance (and release of Carbon stocked in the wood) has now been removed. Incorporating the land in the Buenaventura Reserve means that these benefits are permanent.
The entire Rodas project is expected to sequester some 4500 tonnes of CO2 while making an important contribution to wildlife conservation. Local community benefits include the clean water supply and also local jobs the planting programme uses seedlings produced in family nurseries while the regenerating forest needs long-term maintenance.