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First forestry VCS credits issued

23 September 2010 |

Significant milestone in the forestry carbon market; the first VCS forestry carbon credits have been issued on the VCS registry hosted by APX

London, 23rd September 2010: The world’s first ever carbon credits from an Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) project developed under Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) criteria were verified and issued this week into the VCS registry system. The credits, from the Uchindile-Mapanda reforestation project developed by Green Resources in Tanzania, are exclusively available to clients of The CarbonNeutral Company.

The Uchindile-Mapanda project, based in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, was developed using VCS carbon accounting criteria and the social and biodiversity standards of the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA), providing a guarantee of quality, credibility and permanence to the use of forestry in the carbon markets. Developed using an approved CDM methodology providing technical integrity, it is the world’s first project to issue credits using a VCS buffer mechanism to address the risk of non-permanence and give an essential guarantee of delivery. Forty percent of the credits issued were set aside in a special buffer account.

Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director, The CarbonNeutral Company explained, “Due to the commitment of VCS in establishing a rigorous verification process and standard, businesses that are committing to significant carbon reductions can now achieve this by purchasing and retiring high quality, verified VCS AFOLU forestry carbon credits. This credible, permanent offsetting development is a historic milestone for us, for our clients, for the carbon marketplace and for forestry.”

David Antonioli, Chief Executive Officer, Voluntary Carbon Standard Association, said, “This is a major watershed for all forest carbon projects worldwide, especially because it illustrates how one can ensure permanence from land-based projects. The VCS buffer requirement ensures that forestry carbon credits are permanent, high quality emission reductions, – and as a result is helping stimulate increasing interest in forestry projects as an effective means to mitigate climate change. ”

“The issuance of carbon credits for sustainable forests in Africa is a significant step forward to encourage project developers to make the investment required in reforestation. We are very proud of this project which provides substantial community benefits through the support of local schools, and provision of employment opportunities and infrastructure developments,” said Mads Asprem, Founder & Managing Director, Green Resources, AS.

ENDS

For more information about the VCS issuance: http://www.v-c-s.org/

Notes to Editors

Uchindile-Mapanda Reforestation Project
Based in the Southern highlands of Tanzania, this project establishes commercial forests across the Uchindile and Mapanda districts. Four varieties of trees will be planted – two each of eucalyptus and pine - covering 7,252 hectares at Uchindile and 3,562 hectares at Mapanda. This project establishes commercial forests at two locations in Tanzania. In July 2009, this became the first ‘Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use’ (AFOLU) project to be validated under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). Thereafter it achieved Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) certification.

The Uchindile-Mapanda reforestation project takes degraded grassland and converts it into sustainably harvested forests which sequester carbon emissions from the atmosphere and generate carbon credits. The development of a sustainable operation in a community reliant on subsistence farming has given important economic benefits to the local area. Ten per cent of the carbon credit revenues are committed to investment in the community including the building of school classrooms, teachers’ houses, dispensaries and roads. 200 local people are employed at the forests and more than 200km in roads have been built. In addition, wood lots have been created throughout the area for local villagers to run and maintain themselves.

The Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) is the most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standard among projects issuing credits in the voluntary carbon market. Founded in 2005 by the Climate Group, the International Emissions Trading Association and the World Sustainable Development Business Council, the VCS has pioneered the development of flexible and reliable tools for generating quality GHG credits with environmental integrity and lasting value. www.v-c-s.org

The VCS buffer mechanism requires that Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) projects deposit a percentage of credits into a pooled buffer account to insure against the risk of reversal to greenhouse gas emission reductions or removals anywhere in the AFOLU portfolio. This innovative buffer approach has been widely recognized as being robust and workable and is increasingly a preferred approach to risk management.