CarbonPlus is a solution for forests, local communities, and the climate.
Through our CarbonPlus program, EcoLogic works with community-based organizations to conserve and restore forests by helping communities establish systems and methods to effectively develop carbon offsets and seek payment for the stewardship of healthy forest ecosystems. Through our CarbonPlus program we also help make sure that the community fully understands the carbon offset and payment system, its benefits, and its requirements.
REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. It is a framework developed by the United Nations for using economic incentives and markets to protect standing forests and reduce the ongoing release of greenhouse gases caused by forest destruction and degradation.
So what’s the “+”? REDD+ refers to a modified version of the REDD framework that goes beyond the original idea by emphasizing conservation and sustainable forest management.
CarbonPlus Makes REDD+ Work for Indigenous Peoples
The primary role of CarbonPlus is to provide communities with the technical guidance and expertise needed to make informed decisions about whether or not to pursue payment for a carbon program and how they wish to do so. At our current project, CarbonPlus for Community-led Rainforest Management, EcoLogic works with three indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico, to promote the long-term conservation of a 35,000-hectare area within the Lacandon Rainforest that is under threat from agriculture and cattle ranching.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+), a framework developed by the United Nations, is one approach used to create financial value from standing forests. EcoLogic is helping these communities navigate the REDD+ process of developing independently verified and validated carbon credits to be sold on international markets, including via California’s cap and trade program.
Free, Prior, and Informed Consent
CarbonPlus follows the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process, which originated from the UN Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and is founded on the principle that local people have the right to give or refuse consent to projects that will impact them and their lands. EcoLogic considers FPIC essential to promoting fair and collaborative participation and building community project ownership.
Carbon Monitoring Standards & Verification
CarbonPlus uses independently created standards and third-party verification for carbon credit generation. This provides assurances that, for example, the trees being protected for the carbon they store will be maintained for the long term, that the protection of the designated forest doesn’t increase destructive practices in other forests nearby, and that the carbon-offset payments are actually driving positive changes in forest stewardship practices in the community and at the site.
CarbonPlus for Community-led Rainforest Management
EcoLogic is putting our CarbonPlus model into action in the Lacandón Jungle—located within the Cojolita mountain range in Chiapas, Mexico. The Lacandón Jungle is one of the most biologically diverse regions in Mexico, and serves as a biological corridor between national parks in Mexico and Guatemala. In 2012, EcoLogic launched our CarbonPlus project in the area to provide a source of revenue for the three local Mayan communities who share the communal reserve, and thus also an incentive to keep an 86,000-acre area of forest standing and healthy.
Why Does CarbonPlus Work?
As a nonprofit committed to creating positive change for rural people and the tropical ecosystems where they live, EcoLogic and its CarbonPlus program receive no revenue from the sale of the carbon credits generated. Thus we act as an “honest broker,” ensuring we have no conflict of interest because we have no financial stake in the process. Additionally, we only undertake projects that conserve and restore healthy ecosystems: we do not support projects that promote monoculture or nonnative plantings, and we only support projects that actively promote biodiversity and sustainable natural resource management. As in all of our projects, we also insist that local communities actively collaborate in the work, guide its activities, and benefit from its outcomes. In Mexico, we are working with local stakeholders to organize trainings that allow communities to do the technical work themselves to create local experts in carbon credit certification.