The Conservation Management Institute (http://cmi.vt.edu/), a research center within Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and Environment, has provided technical expertise for the world's first United Nations' Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) project to receive certification under the requirements of the international Verified Carbon Standard (http://www.v-c-s.org/). The UN-REDD Programme (http://www.un-redd.org/) authorizes the sale of forest carbon offsets to conserve forests, thereby reducing greenhouse gases.
Researchers from the institute collected data in southern Belize for the Boden Creek Ecological Preserve's Forest Carbon Offset Project. The purpose of the project is to use funding from the sale of forest carbon offsets under the auspices of the UN-REDD Programme in order to conserve the preserve's 12,876 acres while maintaining its biodiversity and enhancing the local economy through ecotourism. If the preserve remains financially viable, a private-sector company will operate lodges there, providing jobs and motivation for biodiversity conservation.
A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases made in order to offset an emission made elsewhere. Markets for carbon offsets include companies or other entities that buy offsets to comply with caps on the amount of carbon dioxide they emit.
To qualify for these carbon offsets, the project had to meet specific globally accepted standards for quantifying net carbon savings (the Verified Carbon Standard), as well as biodiversity and community benefits (Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance standards). In concert with Forest Carbon Offsets, LLC, an international foundation devoted to sustainable forestry, institute researchers collected data on the preserve's biomass, biodiversity, and
|Contact: Lynn Davis|