The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) announced that the first two carbon forestry projects have reached verification status against the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards, meaning that the projects have been implemented using best practices for community engagement and have generated benefits for local communities and biodiversity as well as for the climate. In addition, both projects will add the newly established 'CCB Label' to their carbon credits, which is a permanent marker added to each credit's unique carbon registry identification code that that will make it easier for investors and offset buyers to identify a project that has met the CCB Standards.
Each carbon project that aims to meet the CCB Standards is first 'validated' by a third party auditor. The validation process includes a 30-day public comment period and a site visit to check that the project has been designed to meet the requirements of the CCB Standards criteria and is likely to generate the expected climate, community and biodiversity benefits. Once a project has made progress, third party auditors review another set of public comments and visit the site once again to 'verify' that the project has been implemented following the validated project design and to determine what benefits the project has actually generated. The CCB Standards focus on the social and environmental quality of the project and are used in combination with a carbon accounting standard such as the Verified Carbon Standard. Once verification has been reached, the project can then add the quality assurance label, or CCB Label, to the carbon credits that will be sold on the open market.
"We have reached a significant milestone in the establishment of the CCB Standards with the news that two important projects have now been verified by a third party auditor and are ready to market multiple-benefit carbon credits," said Dr. Joanna Durbin, Director of the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance whose members include Conservation International, CARE, Rainforest Alliance, The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society. "Over the next few years we expect to see dozens of similar projects achieve verification, demonstrating the importance of effectively addressing biodiversity and community interests for a successful and sustainable project and how this can also contribute to improving the lives of local people and maintaining a healthy environment."
While run by different organizations, both projects are located in Kenya. The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program (TIST) managed by Clean Air Action Corporation is a community-based reforestation project working with over 50,000 farmers located near Mount Kenya. The sub-project that has achieved verification is 1,565 hectares (3,867 acres) in size and has sequestered approximately 80,627 tons of carbon since inception in 2004 while also generating new sources of revenue and sustainable livelihoods for over 8000 community members. The second project, located in Kasigau is 169,741 hectares (419,439 acres) in size and has generated approximately 1,002,870 tons of greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the first year of operation, providing new and diversified alternative livelihoods to local people and conserving a critical corridor for endangered wildlife. The Kasigau project is run by Wildlife Works and is located in the Eastern Arc Mountains Global Hot Spot as defined by Conservation International.
"Wildlife Works has always been committed to the CCB Standards as an independent validation that our REDD projects meet the highest community and biodiversity protection standards," said Mike Korchinsky, the President of Wildlife Works. "For us it is a logical extension of that commitment that we would want our Voluntary Carbon Units identified with the new CCB label, to demonstrate that our REDD projects continue to deliver leading edge co-benefits to communities and biodiversity every year."
"CCB Standards verification is a powerful demonstration of a project's on the ground performance, as it allows us to document and understand the impacts on biodiversity and local livelihoods" said Christian del Valle, Director of Environmental Markets in Commodity Derivatives at BNP Paribas. "Overall project performance is inextricably linked to these crucial components, and it is our view that positive outcomes for local biodiversity and community groups, which can be identified through the CCB Standards process, are necessary enabling components for successful REDD."
To date, 37 carbon forestry projects around the world have been validated against the CCB Standards. Over the next few years CCBA anticipates that a number of them will go through the rigorous verification process and become fully-fledged CCB Standards verified projects that are ready to issue multiple-benefit carbon credits.
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