New approach to international forestry offset projects is introduced to the global market with adoption of Climate Action Reserve protocol

October 23, 2013

Board of Directors adopts Mexico Forest Protocol  

SACRAMENTO, CA – Marking a milestone for the Climate Action Reserve – North America’s most trusted, experienced and knowledgeable carbon offset registry – and REDD+ initiatives, the Reserve Board of Directors today adopted the organization’s Mexico Forest Protocol.  The protocol, which is the product of several years of collaboration, represents a new approach to international forestry offset projects.  It was developed with an unprecedented level of involvement from ejidos (local communities), and as a result, reflects a high level of social and environmental safeguards.  Another differentiating characteristic of the protocol is that it was developed with an emphasis on how it would be implemented in practice and how it would be viewed by policymakers in Mexico and California.

“The work of the Climate Action Reserve to support clean technologies and better forest management is precisely what we need to spur innovation in Mexico. This protocol will not only be of benefit there, but will support California’s ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while expanding business opportunities and job creation” said Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), who also chairs the Select Committee on California-Mexico Cooperation.

“The Climate Action Reserve’s work in developing rigorous forestry standards has garnered attention beyond U.S. borders, and the Mexico Forest Protocol is an excellent way to introduce this type of performance standard to international forests.  It’s very characteristic of the Reserve’s work – collaborating closely with government agencies, environmental groups and the business community to develop a standard that protects forests and can be put to use in real world situations,” said Stephan Schwartzman, Director of Tropical Forest Policy at the Environmental Defense Fund.

The Mexico Forest Protocol provides a standardized approach for quantifying, monitoring and verifying greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits of forest carbon enhancement activities in Mexico.  It can be integrated into larger initiatives to address forestry and climate change under evolving Mexico REDD+ policies, such as jurisdictional REDD+ programs.  The protocol also creates a clear delineation between avoided deforestation, which will be credited under jurisdictional accounting rules, and enhanced carbon sequestration, which may be credited at the project level.

Like all other Reserve protocols, the Mexico Forest Protocol was developed through collaboration among a dedicated group of diverse stakeholders.  Unlike all other Reserve protocols, the Mexico Forest Protocol will not be open for project submissions immediately after its adoption.  Instead, the Reserve is actively engaged in the development of three pilot projects, which will allow the organization to learn from hands-on application of the protocol so that it may be improved and refined before being opened to the public more broadly.  The pilot projects are being developed with national and local NGOs in Mexico and are following the advice and guidance of CONAFOR (the Mexican National Forestry Commission) and CONABIO (the Mexican National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity).  One pilot project is located in the state of Mexico and two pilot projects are located in the state of Oaxaca.

“We are proud that our protocol for forestry projects in Mexico is the result of dedicated collaboration by a group of truly engaged stakeholders from forest communities, nonprofits, and state and federal government agencies. This protocol is unique in that it reflects the opinions and values from these diverse stakeholders and that it takes special care to address issues specific to Mexico forests. We strongly believe that this will establish a strong foundation for creating forest offset credits with true environmental integrity that can be used in a multitude of markets,” said Linda Adams, Chair of the Climate Action Reserve Board of Directors and Founding Partner of Clean Tech Advocates.