Kenya Airways passengers can help protect wildlife, save rural communities and preserve over 500,000 acres of forest by signing up to the airline’s carbon offsetting programme. Carbon offsetting is a way for airline passengers to offset their proportion of an aircraft’s carbon emissions on a particular journey by investing in carbon reduction projects; joining the scheme is as simple as ticking a box when booking a flight.

The Kenya Airways programme – run in conjunction with the International Air Transport Association (IATA)– helps passengers reduce their carbon footprint and provides vital support to the Kasigau Corridor Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) project, run by the Wildlife Works.

The projects aims to protect a wildlife migration corridor between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks and the “trickle-down” benefits include direct carbon financing to over 100,000 Kenyan communities in form of job creation, education, water catchment projects, agriculture programs, sustainable charcoal initiative and more.

Part of the work is to protect elephants from poaching and the challenges facing Wildlife Works in Kasigau is the focus of an Animal Planet “Ivory Wars” documentary broadcast on November 18, 2014. The elephants were some of the first animals to return to the area after Wildlife Works established the Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary in 1988 and as many as 450 elephants now call Rukinga home.

It’s just one of over 30 IATA airline carbon offset programmes worldwide which help generate investment in renewable and other environmentally important projects and support vulnerable local communities.