GM&T AND INFINITEEARTH ANNOUNCE THE APPROVAL OF WORLD’S FIRST REDD METHODOLOGY UNDER THE VOLUNTARY CARBON STANDARD PROGRAMME
- The first ever approved methodology for the reduction of emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD)
- A game changer in forest conservation and the associated mitigation of global climate change
- Strong potential to economically incentivize the reduction of deforestation in local communities, benefitting all inhabitants and the environment
- Global companies gain a viable return on investment through carbon credits, which provide both a sustainable investment for the investor and a solid return for local communities
- Open source methodology is an important step to provide a way for deforestation projects worldwide to enter the market - entirely repeatable process
Gazprom Marketing & Trading (GM&T) and InfiniteEARTH are pleased to announce the approval of the first ever methodology for the reduction of emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) under the Voluntary Carbon Standard programme, the leading international standard for voluntary emission reduction credits. This is seen as a landmark moment for the carbon market. Historically REDD projects have suffered due to their exclusion from the Kyoto Protocol and the absence of an approved third party audited quantitative methodology under a recognised global standard.
The methodology - successfully approved by two independent auditors, the Rainforest Alliance and Bureau Veritas Certification under VCS's methodology approval process - was developed by InfiniteEARTH and written by Winrock International with funding provided by GM&T, Shell Canada and the Clinton Foundation.
The methodology was designed for conservation projects that avoid planned land-use conversion in tropical peat swamp forests in Southeast Asia. InfiniteEARTH is currently applying the methodology to its first project, the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve on the island of Borneo in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The project is now undergoing third party validation and is positioned to become the world’s first VCS approved REDD project later this year.
The Rimba Raya project is comprised of nearly 100,000 hectares of high conservation value tropical peat swamp forest and wetlands and forms a critical buffer to the Tanjung Puting National Park, an area that was under imminent threat of conversion by encroaching palm oil plantations. The conversion of peat swamp forests, in addition to releasing millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide, would destroy the habitat of a wide range of flora and fauna, includng the endangered Bornean Orang-utan.
In addition to the Rimba Raya project this validation should now pave the way for additional REDD projects worldwide that can utilise this open source methodology.
Keith Martin - the Commercial Director of Gazprom Marketing & Trading, commented "The approval of a methodology like this has real potential to be a game changer in forest conservation and the associated mitigation of global climate change. For too long, a lack of consensus on quantification of emissions reductions from project based REDD has hampered action from the ground up.
Now, between the Clinton Foundation, Winrock, Rainforest Alliance, BV and the organisations that sit on the VCS panels, you have a who's who of experts agreeing on a robust method of accounting for emission reductions. With these tools now available, the gauntlet is thrown down to the negotiators at Cancun to now come up with the necessary legislative and regulatory frameworks to promote wide spread action from the community level up."
Birute Galdikas, President of Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) stated "Rimba Raya will provide a safe area for the release of more than 300 rehabilitated orangutans that OFI currently has at its care center and provide a much needed physical buffer to the Tanjung Puting National Park where Camp Leakey is located. Additionally, this project will provide an economically sustainable solution to ongoing orangutan conservation. It couldn't have come at a better time - we were running out of options."
"For too long this issue has languished exclusively in the halls of academic debate. Though this is only the first step in the long journey to saving the world’s diminishing bio-diverse rainforests, the successful double validation of this methodology gives the world a tool that allows us to shift into action - before it's too late." , said Todd Lemons, Chairman & CEO of InfiniteEARTH Limited.
"This is a major milestone - not just for forests but for the climate. This methodology has gone through a rigorous review and its approval means the carbon market can now help protect forests worldwide, which we know is necessary to stop climate change. The bottom line is this approval opens the door for more on-the-ground action to curb climate change – at a time when we desperately need action to point the way forward," said David Antonioli, CEO of the Voluntary Carbon Standard Association.
"This innovative methodology was developed to be both scientifically rigorous as well as practical for project developers to implement. Hopefully this first methodology will provide an example and a lead for the development of other methodologies and projects in the REDD sector," said Winrock International's Dr. Nancy Harris.
Details regarding the Rimba Raya REDD project and the methodology can be found at http://www.gazprom-mt.com/ourbusiness/carbon.asp
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Go Back 23/08/2010