Two reforestation projects, intended to improve the immediate ecosystem as well as fight climate change, have received the first certification under comprehensive new standards launched by the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance. The projects, on Panama's Pacific Coast and in Tengchong, China, together cover over 3,000 acres of land, with the Panama project expected to grow to over 10,000 acres in the next decade. The trees planted in these areas will together remove over 850,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over the next 30 years. Certified under the Carbon Forestry Project Standards, these projects go beyond Kyoto Protocol requirements and meet 15 criteria that ensure they will help mitigate climate change, conserve biodiversity, and improve socioeconomic conditions for local communities. "We are thrilled to have the first two of many anticipated forestry projects to be certified under the CCB Standards," said Toby Janson-Smith the director of Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance. "After all the hard work by some of the world's top NGOs, companies and research institutes ... it is satisfying to see the CCB Standards making a real difference on the ground." CCBA is a partnership between research institutions, corporations and environmental groups, including BP, Intel, Weyerhauser, Conservation International, the Nature Conservancy and others. Working together, the organizations involved require that environmental and social monitoring programs are in place, no invasive plant or tree species are used, local stakeholders are appropriately involved in the design of the project, and there are no unresolved land tenure issues before projects can be certified. The CCB standards, released in 2005, have become a prominent tool for designing and evaluating carbon forestry projects around the world. Currently, several dozen land-based projects are using the standards to guide their design, with more joining the list regularly. Additionally, leading global investment groups, including the World Bank and EcoSecurities, are applying the CCB standards to their project portfolios. The standards can be applied to any kind of land-use change and forestry project anywhere in the world, whether undertaken for Kyoto or other regulatory compliance, or for voluntary carbon offsetting purposes.


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