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You can offset the emissions from your vehicle for one year and do your part to ensure social justice. The Carbon-Offset Program

fieldWICEC has started a brand-new venture in environmental justice—an idea that suggests that we, the current generation, protect the environment for our children and grandchildren. For this purpose, we entered into a partnership with a poor community in India.

The mechanics are simple. Each one of us sets aside $5 a month (or $50 a year) to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from the cars we drive. If 22 WICEC members contribute $50 each, we help to neutralize 142 tons of carbon dioxide.

All of this money goes to Aliguda village in Central India where the people plant a native tree species called Pongamia pinnata.

As the trees grow, they produce almond-size nuts from which oil is extracted. This oil is used as a substitute for petroleum to run farm equipment, produce electricity, and pump ground water. The surplus oil is sold in the market.

India mapAliguda village consists of 26 families belonging to an indigenous community called Gonds. Though living in poverty, the villagers are well organized as a social group with women at the center. WICEC’s seed money of $1,080 will help to generate an income flow of approximately $20,000 over a period of ten years. In other words, each dollar contributed helps the women of Aliguda to earn $20. In July 2004, the women planted 3,000 pongamia trees on village common land and have plans to plant 5,000 more next year.



village peopleThe women of Aliguda in front of their houses made of bamboo and mud.N. Jangubai (extreme right), as president of the self-help group, has mobilized the women to plant trees.

Dr. Emmanuel D'Silva, a resident of Maryland, is our link in this relationship for environmental justice. A native of India, Dr. D’Silva has been working with indigenous communities in Adilabad district in Central India for over six years setting up carbon-offset projects. His research and work is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

coffeeSays Dr. Nalin Kishor from the World Bank, Washington, DC:

"In October 2003, we decided to buy $645 worth of verified carbon emission reduction from [India arranged by Dr. D’Silva] to offset the emissions from international flights and ground transportation of participants attending our international forestry conference held in Washington, DC. I was involved in organizing this conference and I can tell you this was very well received by the conference participants, especially the fact that the money would be under control of a women's self help group. As the first of its kind initiative, it also received considerable attention from colleagues here as well as the general public…As a result of this success, we have decided to buy carbon again this year to offset emissions from holding another conference in February 2005 in Ghana, West Africa."

Dr. Mark Poffenberger, Executive Director, Community Forestry International, Santa Barbara, California is equally effusive:

"[Dr. D'Silva's] work in many ways is an extension of the adage 'Think globally, Act locally.' He has pioneered carbon sale from small, poor communities who have no local champions.The carbon income enables local communities to invest in reforestation. ...I have also bought carbon in my individual capacity to offset emission from my vehicle. I have also visited Aliguda village in Movad Valley from where, I understand, carbon will be sold. The village will benefit greatly from WIPL's contribution. It will be a good partnership."

We at WICEC are tremendously excited at this chance to offset our carbon emissions, raise the standard of living of some of the poor in India, help protect the environment, and to do our part to ensure social justice—all at the same time.

You can offset the emissions from your vehicle for one year and do your part to ensure social justice. For $50, you can contribute toward the planting of pongamia pinnata trees in Aliguda village in India. These trees sequester carbon, the oil extracted from seeds substitute for fossil fuels, and the oil cake replace chemical fertilizer on farm land.

The carbon emission reduction from the project is verified independently and meets the terms of the Kyoto Protocol. Contact WICEC at info@wicec.org and get started on your venture today!


Dr. Peter Bakken, State Coordinator
Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light
750 Windsor Street - Suite # 301
Sun Prairie, WI 53590-2149
PH: (608) 837- 3108
(c/o Wisconsin Council of Churches)