SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Anthrotect, LLC delivers on its community -oriented business model designed to produce carbon offsets through reducing deforestation and forest degradation. The 13,465-hectare project was successfully validated and verified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), and expects to prevent the emission of over 2.8 million tons of C02 into the atmosphere over its 30-year lifespan. The project is the first VCS- approved REDD+ project in South America to address unplanned deforestation, and the first REDD+ project in the world to be issued credits for activities carried out on community- owned, collective lands.
Led by Anthrotect in partnership with members of the COCOMASUR landholder association, the Choco-Darien Conservation Corridor REDD+ Project engages Afro-Colombian families to improve natural resource management in the Choco, a region known for its biological diversity and endemism. Over 500 species of birds have been registered in the project area, in addition to endangered mammals like the puma, jaguar, tapir, and spectacled bear. Earlier this year, the project was awarded CCB Gold Level validation in recognition of its exceptional benefits for ecosystems and wildlife as well as its comprehensive Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) process for Afro- descendant landholders, who co designed the project.
"This achievement demonstrates that Afro-descendant and indigenous landholders can play a central role in protecting tropical forests and preventing climate change," said Brodie Ferguson, Founder and Managing Director of Anthrotect. Furthermore, Ferguson says, "For the first time, forest-dependent communities in the Choco are generating income from carbon markets while preserving their traditional ways of life." In addition to employment and a role in project management, community stakeholders receive at least 50% of revenues from carbon credit sales.
Anthrotect's innovative business model monetizes avoided carbon emissions (C02e) by investing in local communities and by focusing on the natural competitive advantages of the bioregion--its forests, watersheds, and the traditional management practices of its community landowners. Project activities include raising awareness of collective identity and rights, resolving land disputes, participatory land use planning, and sustainable economic alternatives. Aided by state of the art laser remote sensing technology, community patrols monitor forest biomass and wildlife habitat.
U.S. based technical consultant ecoPartners assisted Anthrotect with project design, planning and development, remote sensing and spatial analysis, carbon accounting, and project certification. On the ground, forest engineers and botanists from the Medellin Botanical Garden worked closely with community members to identify and measure over 3,000 trees and palms. Financial oversight is ensured through a partnership with the Fund for Environmental Action, a Colombian non- profit environmental trust fund. Anthrotect is also a member of Code REDD, a nonaEUR?profit industry association committed to an industry- leading set of best practices that aims to rapidly scale the growth of high- quality, high- impact REDD+ forest protection projects by connecting them with forward- thinking corporations.
"Our business model addresses the fundamental needs of people and their ecosystems. By producing durable conservation and financial dividends, it is a starting point for a new kind of prosperity--one that can endure generations," said Emily Roynestad, Business Development Director at Anthrotect.
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