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Why your National Park Visit offsets your Carbon Emissions

A carbon offset credit is a service that tries to reduce the net carbon emissions of people or organizations by compensating their carbon emissions with measures for absorbing greenhouse gases. A wide variety of offset actions are available; forest planting is the most common, as the new trees very gradually absorb CO2 from the air and convert it to carbon in their trunks. 


But worldwide, far more CO2 gets blasted into the atmosphere from virgin forests being cut down. One of the most effective ways of preventing forests from being cut down is protecting them as national parks and nature reserves. But in order to do so, these forests must produce at least some income.


Dear visitor, our website gives you info about the Cuyabeno Park, our Cofan Lodge, our Cuyabeno Loop and our Cuyabeno-Zabalo tours. Our lodge is located in the famous Cofan Zábalo village in the most beautiful Amazon park in all of South America.  Here you can find our prices. Our website has hundreds of high-resolution pictures of Cuyabeno and Ecuador, with thumbnails that open by clicking on them. If you love our pictures or find our info useful you can help others finding our pages too you can share them from the mobile menu bar with a Facebook Like


Assume a tropical forest has about 175 metric tons of Carbon in its trees. The carbon is fixed in the tree trunks, leaves and roots. So, if a hectare of forest gets deforested, the wood may first be used to build houses, furniture or produce paper, but eventually, it will either rot away or be burned and eventually all the carbon of that forest will be converted into CO2. The mass of CO2 is more than 3 times more than that of Carbon, so the 175 tons of carbon will produce more that 500 tons of CO2.


Now, we only believe in durable avoidance of the emission of CO2, if the emission avoidance of carbon dioxide is really permanent. So in our opinion, you can only permanently avoid the emission of CO2 into the air, if you set up an endowment fund that would generate the capital interest from which management costs can be financed permanently. Assuming a 7% return from the endowment fund, it would take about $2,700,000 to prevent 500,000 tons of CO2 to be released into the air, which is about $5 per ton. That is about as much as for the short-term fixation of Carbon through forest plantations, whereas Carbon dioxide emission avoidance through and Adopt-A-Ranger-Endowment fund would be permanent! 


If you come from the USA, your contribution to the CO2 emission from your flight will probably have been about 8000 kg CO2 per person; coming from Europe it will have been around 13,000 kg CO2; averaging somewhere around 10,000kg. The total release of CO2 from the jungle of Cuyabeno would be about 500 * 6,000,000 (ha) = 3,000,000,000 kg CO2. Given the fact that ecotourism has rescued Cuyabeno by going there and spending their tourism dollars/euros to see the reserve. As the average amount of CO2 production from flights to Ecuador has been about 10,000 kg, one may argue that the first 300,000 visitors to Cuyabeno may consider their flight fully compensated by visiting Cuyabeno. Under the current level of visitation that will allow for somewhere between 15 - 20 more years of flights for Carbon-emission offset for rainforest trips and other forested national parks. This does not apply as much for Savannahs - which only have 5 - 15% forest cover - and other protected areas with limited forest cover such as Galapagos National Park.


You think this is not enough?

One of our shareholders is an expert on Forest CO2 emissions contracted by international organizations like the World Bank and the United Nations and he has written this page because this is his professional opinion. But of course you are always free to buy additional Carbon offset credits for your Rainforest Trip, in which case we recommend:



COFAN LODGE and PARKS & TRIBES sales office:

Calle Mariano Cardenal N74-153 y Joaquín Mancheno; Carcelen Alto District (Barrio)

Download:Cofan Lodge brochure.

Phone: (++593) (0)(2) 252 7314

Email: niks

Skype: ecotravelworldwide