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In Namibia, Kelp Forests Help Lock Up Planet-Heating Carbon

Luderitz’s riches used to be buried deep underground, but a pioneering kelp farming project off its craggy coast promises to bring new, greener opportunities to the former diamond mining town in southern Namibia.

The pilot run by a Dutch startup grows giant kelp to lock away planet-heating carbon dioxide, harvesting some of it to make products from cosmetics to biodegradable food packaging and biostimulants used to boost crop yields and drought resilience.

Diamond giant De Beers is one of the companies that has signed up for potential carbon credits from the project as it strives to reduce emissions in the years ahead. It is also helping fund Kelp Blue’s work to develop a method to measure carbon storage by offshore kelp, needed to generate credits.

But the Luderitz project brings other benefits, too, said Daniel Hooft, 48, a former offshore engineering specialist at oil major Shell who jointly founded Kelp Blue in early 2020 as COVID-19 spread around the world.

“Underwater, it’s a big forest full of creatures … it’s really teeming with life,” Hooft, the company’s CEO, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the deck of a boat used to monitor the offshore kelp forests.

Source : News24