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Beautiful farm on the edge of the Alto Mayo Protected Forest, Peru

Carbon Fund

Reducing emissions by conserving forests


Investing in Earth’s forests is one of the most immediate and cost-effective ways to fight climate change.

Conservation International’s Carbon Fund invests in sustainable landscapes that help combat climate change by reducing deforestation and conserving critical ecosystem services — the services we need to grow and prosper as a society. These include food and timber, as well as clean water, livable climates, recreation and renewable forms of energy.

These multiple outcomes are achieved through the development of a strong pipeline of demonstration projects coupled with innovative financing and mechanisms meant to ensure long-term sustainability and private sector participation. The fund focuses on results-based financing to develop early stage forest conservation projects, including REDD+ ​ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation "plus" conservation) and complementary activities, such as efficient fuel wood use and improved agricultural practices.


Forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate. We must do more, and with a greater sense of urgency.

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations


By the numbers

Focusing on Impact

Conservation International has developed the largest portfolio of forest carbon projects since the Carbon Fund’s launch in 2009, having raised more than US$ 30 million to build local partner capabilities and support more than 20 projects in 12 countries.


These projects are directly benefiting more than 10,000 people through improved livelihoods, health and education, and have already reduced more than 6 million metric tons of CO2 emissions — the equivalent of taking more than 1 million cars off the road for a year.

Independent verification of the results and use of best-in-class standards ensure that the rigor and innovation from global carbon markets are applied to conservation projects.

Our Solutions

Funding REDD+ Projects

Conservation International’s Carbon Fund supports projects that are located in and around key biodiversity areas and that meet the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) Standards — which Conservation International co-founded to ensure project quality and net positive impact on the environment and communities. These REDD+ projects go beyond protecting forests by integrating sustainable production and focusing on improving human well-being.


Alto Mayo Protected Forest 
© Thomas Muller

Alto Mayo Protected Forest, Peru

The Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative is Conservation International’s first independently verified REDD+ project and the world’s first REDD+ project in a protected area. Between 2009 and 2012, this program reduced carbon emissions by 2,500,000 metric tons — that’s like taking 500,000 cars off the road for an entire year.


Women in Sumatra
© CI/photo by Ade Budi Kurniawan

Sustainable Landscapes Partnership (SLP)

The SLP is an innovative public-private partnership that brings together governments, businesses and NGOs to develop proof-of-concept REDD+ and low emissions development projects. Through the SLP, Conservation International is working to create a low-carbon development scheme that can conserve the forest and the wildlife it contains.


A river flows through the Batang Gadis watershed in Mandailing Natal, North Sumatra.
© CI/photo by Tory Read

Landscape Assessment Framework

The Carbon Fund developed the Landscape Assessment Framework (LAF) to measure, monitor and communicate the sustainability of a landscape.


Man holding plant
© Benjamin Drummond

Althelia Climate Fund (ACF)

Conservation International is a partner in the Althelia Climate Fund, which brings much-needed private sector investment to projects that reduce deforestation as an integral part of global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. Althelia investments focus on sustainable land use projects that deliver environmental benefits as well as economic benefits that improve the livelihoods of forest communities while generating a positive economic return.


Windmill at sunset, Maruanau village, Eastern Kanuku Mountains
© CI/photo by Ajay Baksh

Low Emissions Enterprises (LEE)

Low emissions business models are those that by their very nature do not depend on unsustainable resource extraction to generate economic value. Conservation International invests in businesses that support, rather than undermine, native forests, such as those that reduce demand for fuelwood or provide village-level renewable energy solutions.



Partnering with local organizations is a key element of Conservation International’s Carbon Fund approach.

Current partners include:

  • Dell, which partnered with Conservation International-Madagascar to develop the Ambositra-Vondrozo Corridor (COFAV) project that seeks to conserve and restore 240,000 hectares of rainforest and avoid the emission of more than 5,000,000 metric tons of CO2 over the project life cycle.
  • FIJI Water, which partnered with Conservation International’s Carbon Fund to develop a landmark reforestation project on degraded lands in Fiji that seeks to sequester hundreds of thousands of tons of CO2 and provide alternative livelihoods to local communities.
  • The government of Indonesia, which partnered with Conservation International as a founding member of the SLP.
  • The government of Madagascar, which partnered with Conservation International to develop a strategy of establishing an avoided deforestation carbon project in the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor (CAZ).
  • USAID, which partnered with Conservation International as a founding member of the SLP (Indonesia and Peru).
  • Walton Family Foundation, which partnered with Conservation International as a founding member of the SLP.
  • Disney, which donated up-front funding for the development of the Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative as part of its overall commitment to reduce its carbon emissions.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co., which supported the Carbon Fund in its REDD+ market building work.
  • Crius Energy, which partners with the Carbon Fund in off-grid solar electrification and ecosystem restoration programs.

We are also looking for corporate, multilateral and major donor partners to support the Carbon Fund in developing sustainable landscapes. Corporate partners can contribute philanthropic funding to the project development fund or structure contributions as part of a corporate greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy. Contributions or offset-related financing of the Fund will achieve the following objectives:

  • Generate a supply of marketable forest carbon credits which can be used for corporate emissions reduction initiatives from a diverse and geographically dispersed portfolio of projects.
  • Provide compelling corporate social responsibility branding opportunities in key countries by demonstrating the triple bottom line results of reducing emissions, contributing to economic development and protecting biodiversity.
  • Create early learning opportunities that will inform emerging REDD+ schemes globally.

Inquiries about potential partnerships are encouraged.

Contact Us​​

Natasha Calderwood

Director of Projects

Fabiano Godoy

Technical Director