Bolivian rainforest certified to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
The Nature Conservancy
December 20, 2005
LA PAZ, BOLIVIA — December 19, 2005—The Bolivian government, The Nature Conservancy and the Bolivian conservation organization Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN) announced that the Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Project is the first conservation-based initiative in the world to be fully certified for reducing greenhouse gas emissions using internationally accepted standards. The project protects 3.8 million acres of tropical forest in the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park and demonstrates a working example of achieving emission reductions through forest conservation.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, deforestation accounts for up to 25 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere each year, which contributes to climate change. By protecting forests, the Noel Kempff project provides an approach to decreasing CO2 emissions, using a scientific method to quantify, monitor and certify carbon sequestration.
The Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), an internationally accredited organization for the CO2emission certification, evaluated the project’s results from 1997 to 2005. SGS fully certified the emission reductions of 989,622 metric tons, using the rigorous standards detailed in the Clean Development Mechanism, an initiative of the Kyoto Protocol that assists developing countries to meet emission reduction targets while achieving sustainable development.
Bill Stanley, director of the Global Climate Change Initiative for The Nature Conservancy, said, “The Noel Kempff project provides a compelling example of what can and must be done throughout the world to simultaneously reduce climate change, protect biodiversity, and provide benefits to local communities.”
In response to the threats of timber harvesting and deforestation, the government of Bolivia, FAN, The Nature Conservancy and three energy companies—American Electric Power, PacifiCorp and BP Amoco—partnered to protect the northeastern Bolivian forest by terminating logging rights and incorporating the lands into a national park in 1997. The project will continue through 2027 and seeks to prevent deforestation, therefore avoiding or reducing emissions of 4.5 trillion tons of carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate change. In return for their investments, the government of Bolivia and the energy companies receive the rights to any certified emissions reductions that result from the project. The Noel Kempff project also preserves one of the richest and most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world and fosters sustainable development in local communities.
“The Noel Kempff project is an example of how it is possible to achieve a working alliance between the government, the private sector and civil society to jointly develop activities that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases,” commented Monica Ostria, director, Southern Andes Program, The Nature Conservancy.
The project also benefits the local people living adjacent to the park. Seven local community initiatives focus on contributing to economic well-being and increasing environmental awareness. The local Indigenous Communities Association participates in resource management planning for their communities through native cashew nut production and a sustainable forestry project. The program also supports a scholarship program for young indigenous professionals to access and develop skills in agribusiness and tourism and bring that knowledge back to their communities.
Future work will continue to focus on park protection, carbon sequestration monitoring and verification, as well as community development programs.
For more information:
- Noel Kempff Climate Action Project
Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Bolivia
Through a unique partnership with the Government of Bolivia, Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN) and three U.S. energy companies, this Nature Conservancy climate action project is helping protect 1.5 million acres of Noel Kempff Mercado National Park in northeastern Bolivia.
This is a modified news release from The Nature Conservancy.