The Jesuits in Cambodia have initiated a carbon offset programme in conjunction with the modest seedling nursery set up in Banteay Prieb, the Jesuit-run vocational school for people with disabilities, in late 2012. Primarily intended for Jesuits within the country, volunteers and visiting friends, the carbon offset programme provides an opportunity for air travellers to counterbalance the carbon emissions from their flights to or from Cambodia. “Hopefully, when our website is up and running this year, customers will be able to identify their trees and track their growth through periodically updated pictures. To date, we have 51 patrons, who have given a total of US$ 482.60 to the programme,” said Fr Gabriel (Gabby) Lamug-Nañawa SJ, who is part of the Ecology Programme team of Jesuit Service Cambodia.
“The carbon offsetting program is merely a way to maximize the value of the trees we plant,”
said Fr Gabby. “To be sure, we do not grow and plant trees in order to support a programme that offsets carbon emissions. Rather, we desire to plant as much trees and as many species as we can in communities that will care and protect them.” The growing of seedlings has now become an integral part of Banteay Prieb’s curriculum. In 2013, 22 agricultural students with disabilities spent three weeks of their school year in the nursery, learning about the techniques used in growing different native hardwood trees from seeds.