DC, June 7, 2004 (ENS): For the first time
a set of standards has been drafted for certifying land
use projects that reduce global warming while conserving
the environment and alleviating poverty at the same
time. The new standards are offered by the Climate,
Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA), which says
the "multiple benefit" approach incorporates
climate, environmental and social issues in a way that
addresses shortfalls in existing climate strategies
based on land use.
As governments and corporations work to offset their
greenhouse gas emissions, the CCBA intends the new standards
to serve as a sustainability guide in the same way as
forest stewardship certification or marine stewardship
certification do today.
Poor quality land management can hasten climate change,
damage ecosystems and harm community livelihoods. An
inferior project such a plantation of non-native trees
may block migratory routes of key species and illegally
evict local people.
"Integrated projects are the most immediate and
realistic solutions to combat biodiversity loss, reduce
poverty and fight climate change," said John-O
Niles, CCBA project manager. "The standards will
help the private sector and government funding agencies
identify multiple benefit projects that solve three
pressing global problems."
Some inferior projects will cause harm, while others
may cause tradeoffs between climate change mitigation,
sustainable development and biodiversity conservation.
These new standards are practical considerations such
as an appropriate legal framework and cannot abuse basic
human rights. The project will not encroach upon private
property, community property or government property,
and there are no land tenure issues. No one will be
The new standards have the support of CCBA members including
BP, Conservation International, GFA Terra Systems, the
Hamburg Institute of International Economics, Intel,
The Nature Conservancy, Pelangi, and SC Johnson.
"We hope this first draft of the CCB Standards
will stimulate a broad set of comments and perspectives
from around the world," said Michael Dutschke,
staff member with the Hamburg Institute of International
Economics. "With a wide range of input, the next
draft of the standards will be an improved, collaborative
effort that includes the views of stakeholders outside
the original members of our Alliance."
Other institutions helping refine the standards and
ensure broad input include the World Agroforestry Center
(formerly ICRAF) in Kenya, the Centro Agronomico Tropical
de Investigacion y Ensanansa (CATIE) based in Costa
Rica, and the Center for International Forestry Research
based in Indonesia.
The Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards
is aimed at helping companies, conservation organizations,
governments and international funding groups to efficiently
identify cost-effective carbon emission reduction projects
that also have a positive impact on biodiversity and
The standards are designed for projects that mitigate
or adapt to climate change. Climate change land use
projects reduce or prevent emissions by methods such
as conservation of threatened ecosystems. They may sequester
carbon through ecosystem restoration, reforestation,
agro-forestry, and afforestation; or they may develop
substitutes for fossil fuels such as bioenergy projects.
The standards also can evaluate land management projects
outside of the climate change arena. They can be used
in developing, developed or emerging economies and can
be used for projects with private investment, public
investment or a combination.
"The CCBA offers Intel the opportunity to efficiently
address several important global issues in one organization,"
said Terry McManus, Intel Fellow, Intel Corporation.
The scoring system will look at three integrated categories:
- Climate Change: The climate standards
identify a variety of factors to quantify the amount
of carbon emissions reduced or absorbed by land based
projects including baselines, additionality, leakage,
monitoring and the permanence of the climate benefit.
- Community: The community standards
identify land-based carbon projects that involve local
communities in the design and operation of land management
projects and produce real and verifiable benefits
for project communities.
- Biodiversity: The biodiversity
standards identify projects that enhance landscape
management by restoring and/or maintaining local plant
and animal species populations, their associated genetic
variability, and their habitats, restoring and/or
maintaining biological connectivity, and conserving
or enhancing water resources.
The new standards have been opened up for global peer
review and comment. All parties interested in reviewing
and commenting on the standards can do so online at:
Community groups, non-profit organizations, companies,
academics, government agencies and individuals are encouraged
to review this draft and suggest improvements. All types
of comments are welcome - critiques, improvements, specific
language changes and comments on the overall structure.
A review team will consider comments and revise the
standards accordingly. The review team includes the
original authors and three world class advising institutions.
"With international input from the private sector,
conservation community and academia, we can ensure that
the CCB standards are more than just an academic exercise,
but rather a practical tool that will produce real conservation
and community outcomes," said Michael Totten, Conservation
International's Senior Director of Climate. "Broad
based feedback from all stakeholders will only further
strengthen the work that has been done."
The first stage of the public comment period runs from
today through July 15. Field-testing and a second round
of comments will take place later this year.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2004. All