(Panama & China) – February 26th, 2007 – The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) today announced the first two forestry projects to be certified under its Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards (www.climate-standards.org). These projects, in Panama and China, go beyond the Kyoto Protocol requirements and demonstrate how well-designed land-management projects can deliver compelling environmental and sustainable development benefits in addition to combating climate change. To become certified under the CCB Standards, independent 3rd-party auditors determined that the projects satisfied fifteen key criteria, which demonstrate the projects will help mitigate climate change, conserve biodiversity, and improve socio-economic conditions for local communities. The mandatory criteria further ensure that environmental and social monitoring programs are in place, no invasive plant or tree species are used, local stakeholders are appropriately involved in the design of the project, and there are no unresolved land tenure issues. The CCB Standards also address the key carbon-related issues of additionality, leakage, measurement & monitoring, and permanence. "We are thrilled to have the first two of many anticipated forestry projects to be certified under the CCB Standards," said Toby Janson-Smith, Director of Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance. "After all the hard work by some of the world's top NGOs, companies and research institutes, which led the two-year stakeholder consultation process and field testing on four continents, it is satisfying to see the CCB Standards making a real difference on the ground." The CCB Standards have garnered broad interest and acclaim from project developers, investors and regulators since their release in 2005, and have become the leading tool for designing and evaluating carbon forestry projects around the world. Currently, several dozen land-based projects are using the Standards to guide their design, and the list is growing rapidly. In addition, the world's preeminent investors and carbon project consultancies, including the World Bank and EcoSecurities, are applying the CCB Standards to their project portfolios. The Standards can be applied to any kind of land-use change and forestry project anywhere in the world, whether undertaken for compliance (i.e., under the Kyoto Protocol or other regulatory schemes) or for voluntary carbon offsetting purposes. The CCB Standards are a valuable tool for organizations investing in carbon offsets as part of their overall climate change mitigation strategy. By using the CCB Standards, companies can identify high-quality, low-risk projects that benefit local communities and biodiversity, while generating credible and robust carbon offsets. Project developers can use the CCB Standards to improve the design of their projects, and secure market access and potential price premiums for the offsets they generate. The development of the CCB Standards was spearheaded by the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) — a partnership between research institutions, corporations and environmental groups, including BP, Conservation International, GFA Germany, the Hamburg Institute of International Economics, Intel, SC Johnson, The Nature Conservancy, Pelangi Indonesia, Weyerhaeuser, Wildlife Conservation Society, CATIE, CIFOR and ICRAF.
The China Project
A joint Conservation International (CI) – The Nature Conservancy Project (TNC) in Tengchong, China is the first project to be certified under the CCB Standards. This is a small-scale reforestation project located in the Yunnan province just south of the Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve in the western slope of the famous Gaoligongshan Mountain, which is regarded as a key area of global biodiversity conservation. This project has the distinction of not only meeting the CCB Standards, but is also the first Small Scale (SSC) forestry project validated under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The Tengchong project was "CCB" audited and certified by the German firm TíƒÅ“V SíƒÅ“D, which is the first certifier approved by the CDM Executive Board to validate forestry projects. To achieve the project goals, almost 500 hectares (1,200 acres) of degraded land will be reforested with native trees species, which over 30 years will remove nearly 160,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. In addition, the project will create sustainable livelihoods for local communities and contribute to poverty alleviation in the region. This project is part of the much broader Forest Restoration for Climate, Community, and Biodiversity (FCCB) initiative, a joint project of CI, TNC, and China's State Forestry Administration (SFA), and financially supported by the 3M Foundation. Through this initiative, Tengchong will serve as a model for the widespread and large-scale development of multiple-benefit forest restoration projects across China, which are being designed with the CCB Standards.
The Panama Project
Also just certified under the CCB Standards, the Futuro Forestal/CO2OL-USA reforestation project in Panama is working to reforest degraded and abandoned lands on the Pacific Coast of Panama in the Chiriqui and Veraguas provinces. The project's use of native forest species, organic fertilizer, hand tools, and the removal of cows have led to improved soil and fresh-water quality, reduced erosion, improved estuarine water quality in the mangrove ecosystem, and improved biodiversity habitat and connectivity. In addition, the project is providing new skills training and employment for local communities, which has helped reverse the emigration trend to city slums from rural communities. The project is also working towards improved transparency in community-based governance and the construction of social infrastructure, such as health clinics and schools. "We sought CCB Certification for a number of reasons – we wanted to see a more stringent carbon standard applied to tropical forestry activities, and the CCB Standards perfectly fit the bill as a robust yet workable framework for evaluating multiple-benefit forestry projects," said Keegan Eisenstadt, President of CO2OL-USA. "As more carbon projects are designed and evaluated with the CCB Standards, and as awareness grows of these projects and the unique benefits they deliver, we are hopeful that the Standards will play a key role in steering international finance towards high-quality sustainable tropical forestry projects." This FSC-certified project currently encompasses approximately 700 hectares (1,700 acres) of reforested lands, with more than 4,000 hectares (10,600 acres) planned to be managed by 2019, when about 700,000 tons of CO2 will have been sequestered. The Panama project, which is targeting the voluntary carbon market, was audited by the Rainforest Alliance, an international non-profit conservation organization. The Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood program is the world's leading Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifier of forestlands. For additional information about these projects, please visit the CCB Standards website.