Using the Trees to Save the Forest

June 8, 2011

The Nature Conservancy of Canada Launches North America’s Largest Forest
Carbon Credit Project

To view the Social Media Release, click here: http://smr.newswire.ca/en/nature-conservancy/ncc-darkwoods-carbon

VANCOUVER, June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC),
Canada’s leading private land conservation organization, announces the
largest forest carbon project to date in North America. Developed
through a rigorous procedure involving numerous advisors, and meeting
international standards, this sale of carbon credits is raising the bar
for conservation in Canada and contributes in excess of $4 million for
NCC’s conservation work.

“We are always looking for unique strategies to fund the protection of
Canada’s natural heritage,” says John Lounds, President and CEO of the
Nature Conservancy of Canada. “By harnessing the power of the carbon
market, the Darkwoods Carbon pilot project represents an innovative new
avenue for helping to fund great conservation projects.”

By carefully assessing and validating the natural features that NCC
works to protect–in this case the forests of Darkwoods, a 136,000 acre
(55,000 hectare) project area in south-eastern British Columbia — NCC
and its advisors have created a ground-breaking carbon project that,
through the sale of carbon credits, will generate funding to support
long term conservation. The initial sale is of carbon credits that are
the equivalent of 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, to
Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT) and ERA Ecosystem Restoration Associates. 

“Darkwoods has some of the most diverse forests in Canada – forests we
need to ensure are well-managed over the long term,” says B.C.’s
Environment Minister Terry Lake. “This forest carbon agreement secures
enduring conservation of these important lands and a step forward in
building B.C.’s green economy.”

The Darkwoods Carbon pilot project represents the first of its kind in
Canada. It is one of the highest quality and largest forest carbon
projects to date in North America.  Carbon financing enables NCC to
successfully carry out the stewardship of Darkwoods, resulting in
additional carbon being sequestered over time, in comparison to what
would have happened had the property been logged in the absence of
NCC’s conservation efforts. 

This project also opens the door for other landowners and conservation
groups to consider the use of carbon credits (and this approach) as a
means of helping finance the conservation of natural areas that are
also longstanding carbon sinks.

A key component of this pilot project is to ensure it remains
authentically conservation-based at every step, meaning that NCC sought
partners who have indicated a commitment to reducing their carbon

“The Darkwoods Carbon pilot project represents one of the highest
quality forest carbon projects to date in North America and is an
important achievement for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The unique
methodology developed by the project team will benefit the entire
carbon industry,” said Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, Senior Vice President of
Scientific Certification Systems, a third-party validator on the
Darkwoods Carbon pilot project.

The long-term protection of Darkwoods will support a diversity of
plants, animals and ecological communities that thrive on the property,
including an endangered herd of mountain caribou and an isolated
population of grizzly bear.


        --  The forests of Darkwoods contain more than 17 different tree
            species, one of the highest diversity of trees in British
        --  Darkwoods is home to 19 confirmed threatened or endangered
        --  700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions are approximately
            equal to the emissions of 120,000 SUV's or 200,000 small North
            American cars in a year.
        --  Carbon credits can be traded to counterbalance the production
            of greenhouse gases generated by industry, transportation or
            other activities.

How the Nature Conservancy of Canada is using trees
to save the forest with associates

Ecosystem Restoration Associates and 3Green Tree Ecosystem Services:

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) worked closely with 3GreenTree
Ecosystem Services and ERA Ecosystem Restoration Associates to develop
a unique Improved Forest Management methodology for quantifying the
amount of carbon stored in Temperate and Boreal Forests where timber
harvesting is planned.

Vancouver-based pioneer in carbon projects, ERA, has purchased 250,000
credits, which will flow into to the European voluntary market through
their German partners, the Forest Carbon Group AG.

Dr. Robert Falls of ERA stated, “Darkwoods represents a major step
forward for British Columbia and Canada in recognizing the important
role our forests play in climate mitigation, while demonstrating that
forests have multiple economic values, of which carbon is one.  I’d
like to recognize NCC and 3GT for showing leadership in developing this
project, and congratulate PCT and FCG for supporting it in the
marketplace.  ERA is proud to have participated in making the Darkwoods
Carbon Project a reality and we look forward to helping further
establish BC and Canada as a leader within the green economy.”

3GreenTree Ecosystem Services is a Vancouver-based full service forest ecosystem asset development,
acquisition and management company.

The Forest Carbon Group AG is a German based organization that helps companies balance the effects
of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their production facilities
or products, using carbon credits from both reforestation and forest
protection projects around the world.

Auditors Det Norske Veritas, Rainforest Alliance, and Scientific
Certification Systems

This methodology was approved by Det Norske Veritas and Rainforest
Alliance to the internationally recognized Verified Carbon Standard
(VCS).  The Darkwoods carbon project was validated by Rainforest
Alliance and verified by Scientific Certification Systems, two of the
worlds leading independent carbon auditors.  Successful validation and
verification by these bodies ensures the project meets the highest
international standards for accountability, making the Darkwoods Carbon
Project one that produces and maintains tangible environmental benefits
over the life of the project.

Pacific Carbon Trust

Four hundred and fifty thousand credits have also been sold to Pacific
Carbon Trust, the BC Crown corporation set up to deliver high quality
BC-based credits to its clients, including the province’s public sector
“Canada’s largest private forest conservation project will be supported
through its carbon values helping the Province meet its commitment to
being the first jurisdiction in North America to be carbon neutral,”
says Pacific Carbon Trust CEO Scott MacDonald. “The development of this
project has also created pioneering jobs in carbon quantification,
measurement, project development and protocol work – contributing to
BC’s leadership in North America’s rapidly growing green economy.”

Learn More

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is a leading land conservation organization, having helped protect more
than 800,000 hectares of ecologically significant land nationwide. www.NatureConservancy.ca

Pacific Carbon Trust is a Crown corporation established to deliver high-quality carbon
offsets to help clients meet their carbon reduction goals and to
support the growth of BC’s low-carbon economy.

Ecosystem Restoration Associates is a Vancouver-based pioneer in forest-based carbon offset programs and
project development.

For stunning still photos, visit www.natureconservancy.ca/media

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as

Photo:  http://smr.newswire.ca/media/articles/1363/cat00000.dw-lake-view-xphoto-by-m-a.-beaucher—creston-valley-wildlife-management-areax.jpg

Photo : http://smr.newswire.ca/media/articles/1363/cat00000.dw-valley-view-photo-by-tim-ennis.jpg

Video: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/mmnr/smr/ncc-broll-june2011-v2.flv

SOURCE Nature Conservancy of Canada

Source: newswire

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