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Cambodia signs REDD agreement

Terra Global Capital, a San Francisco-based firm seeking to capitalize on emerging markets for ecosystem services, has signed an avoided deforestation deal with the government of Cambodia.

The project, which is currently undergoing third party validation, expects to reduce emissions from deforestation by 8.5 million tons of carbon dioxide over 30 years. Terra Global Capital is seeking accreditation for the project under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS), a certification scheme.

Terra’s partners include Community Forestry International, Pact, Cambodia’s Forestry Administration, and nine community forestry groups.

“These agreements mark the culmination of years of effort to secure legal forest tenure for communities while at the same time cementing an agreement between the Government and communities to collaborate in conserving forest carbon over the next several decades,” said Terra in a statement.

Cambodia has one of Asia’s highest rates of forest loss. Between 2000 and 2005 the country lost 29% of its primary forests, while overall deforestation was 218,800 hectares of forest per year, according to figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

REDD (Reducing Emissions from Degradation and Deforestation) is a proposed climate change mitigation mechanism where industrialized countries would compensate developing countries for protecting their forests. REDD will be a hot topic at U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen this December.

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