— Conservation International (CI) announced today the verification of its forest carbon offset project located in Peru’s Alto Mayo Protected Forest (AMPF). With seed money provided by Disney in 2009, it has become an excellent example of a public-private collaboration around a REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) project. As part of Disney’s efforts to address its carbon footprint, CI “retired” over 400,000 metric tons of carbon credits in their name.
The project, known as the Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative (AMCI), was successfully validated under the world’s leading standards — the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards — through an independent audit of the project’s design and methodology. The VCS verification confirmed that the project has generated more than 2.5 million metric tons of emissions reductions between 2009 and 2012, which is the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars off the road for one year. The CCB Standards verification demonstrates how the project is delivering significant and measurable benefits through improving the livelihoods of local communities and conserving important biodiversity. At the time verification was completed last fall, the AMCI was the first REDD+ project to be verified in a protected area, which has opened the door to the sustainable financing of these critical ecosystems that support community livelihoods in the region.
“News of Peru’s Alto Mayo Protected Forest now being a verified forest carbon offset project shows that new and innovative ways of conserving forests, their critical natural capital and the multiple benefits they provide to people are beginning to take root,” said Peter Seligmann, Chairman and CEO of Conservation International. “This project also demonstrates the terrific opportunity for forward-thinking companies, like Disney, to positively impact their environmental footprint while supporting communities and nature. With the success of this public-private sector collaboration, it is our hope that it serves as a model to be replicated in other regions of the world.”
REDD+ project translates into on the ground success for the Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative
Spanning 182,000 hectares (450,000 acres) — an area twice the size of New York City — in the region of San Martín, the AMPF was established by the Peruvian government in 1987. The AMPF is an ecologically rich area that provides critical fresh water supplies to downstream cities of Nueva Cajamarca, Rioja and Moyobamba (total population 883,445). It is also home to many threatened plant and animal species found nowhere else on Earth, such as the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Oreonax flavicauda) classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Unfortunately, the park has some of the country’s highest deforestation rates within its boundaries, which in turn encroaches on critical ecosystems that provide multiple benefits to people.
"The verification is an important milestone,” said Dr. Beth Stevens, senior vice president, Disney Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation. “It demonstrates that our efforts to slow deforestation for the benefit of wildlife, communities, and future generations are having an impact."
Recognizing the importance of maintaining the health of the forest, CI along with key stakeholders established the AMCI REDD+ Project to link important ecological values with social benefits to the inhabitants of the forest, as well as establishing new approaches to farming that support rather than compromise the forest ecosystem. The project uses innovative Conservation Agreements, which provide direct financial and technical support to the benefit of local communities. The agreements have helped farmers improve their agricultural practices, as well as providing other benefits like efficient cook stoves and medical supplies to communities that pledge to keep the forest standing. To date, 235 families have signed the agreements and are seeing increased productivity and higher incomes.
The burning and clearing of tropical forests represents a global crisis that is compromising human wellbeing, the existence of thousands of threatened species and the overall health of our planet. In fact, 14 million hectares (almost 35 million acres) of these forests continue to be lost every year, releasing about 16 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions, which is more carbon pollution than comes from all world's cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships combined. In addition, this massive forest loss is undermining the provision of critical ecosystem services such as water supplies, soil protection and crop pollination.
Now that verification has been achieved, CI is leading the development and marketing of the project through a partnership with the Peruvian government and local organizations. The credit sales will be a source of sustainable financing, which will fund the long-term management and protection of the AMPF.
Conservation International (CI)
Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature and its global biodiversity to promote the long-term well-being of people. Founded in 1987 and marking its 25th anniversary in 2012, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area. CI employs 900 staff in nearly 30 countries on four continents and works with more than 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please see www.conservation.org
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