Press Releases 2014-2015

Major UN Award for African Carbon Link Project

18.12.2014

A University of Wales Trinity Saint David-supported tree-planting project, which provides a sustainable income for African farmers and helps offset Wales’ carbon footprint has won a major United Nations (UN) award.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones presents the UN Gold Award to project representatives Rosie Scannell, Luci Attala and Abi Jenkins.The UN Gold Star Award was presented to representatives from the Lampeter/Bore Community Carbon Link (CCL) by First Minister Carwyn Jones at a special event in the Senedd recently. The award ceremony was run by Wales Africa Community Links, which is a part of the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa Programme.

The UN Gold Star Awards 'recognise the best, to inspire the rest' in volunteering and civil society linking projects between Wales and Africa.

The CCL is a unique not-for profit sustainability scheme that connects Lampeter with Bore in Eastern Kenya through the medium of carbon and has worked in partnership with the UWTSD Students’ Union Rooting for Change initiative since 2011 to plant many thousands of trees.

The project is focalised by UWTSD Anthropology lecturer Luci Attala. It was originally created to sponsor Kenyan Giriama farmers to plant high-protein cashew nut trees, providing a cash crop for the local population and to encourage atmospheric carbon reabsorption. The latest research indicates that the strongest cooling effect comes from trees and forests in tropical latitudes and since the community of Bore is located right next to the Equator, it is an ideal place to plant trees to address climate change.

At the request of the Giriama, the project has recently diversified into a broader collaborative partnership between the two communities. Luci’s work documents and evaluates the community engagements with specific attention to the part water plays in supporting both communities’ diverse aims, and offers an alternative relational model to sustainable development schemes.

The project has been supported by a team of staff and student volunteers from UWTSD who have travelled to Africa and have worked with the Bore community on forest conservation and tree planting. Under the leadership for its former President Abi Jenkins, the Students’ Union have also created a ‘Building for Change’ initiative which has raised funds for the construction of a new classroom in the community.

Luci Attala with the Bore community in KenyaLuci said: “This project began as a simple 'monitor and evaluation exercise' after the Welsh Government asked me to report on the implementation of a communal well in the rural community of Bore. As a consequence of this initial contact, my research is now concerned with mapping how water 'flows' between, and joins, these two disparate communities. Taking what is called a New Materialisms approach, the research recognises water as an actor and thus considers the part water plays in determining how bodies practically, ideologically and cognitively engage with the world's water.

“I am thrilled that this project has been recognised. The community relationships we have forged have made obvious and demonstrable transformations in life-ways on both sides. In a world where we often feel powerless to evoke change, actions like this support us to realise we can make a difference. This cross-cultural relational model demonstrates the worth of small-scale international resource-sharing programmes such as the Community Carbon Link project.”

Note to Editor

  1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University.
  2. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University.
  3. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014.

Further Information

Steven Stokes
Principal Corporate Communications and PR Officer
07872 423788
steven.stokes@sm.uwtsd.ac.uk