With nearly 90 percent of its total area covered by woodlands, there are almost certainly more trees in the State of Maine than there are people—making it the perfect site for the first Improved Forest Management carbon project to be formally launched outside of California.
The Farm Cove Forest Carbon Project, located in eastern Maine, now covers slightly more than 19,000 acres within the 27,000-acre Farm Cove Community Forest. It has been verified by the Rainforest Alliance as a Climate Action Reserve (CAR).
The project which was developed by Finite Carbon—a Wayne, Penn.-based developer of forest carbon offsets—is expected to sequester 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the next 100 years.
The New York City-based Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Its Climate Action Reserve was first launched in 2001 as the State of California’s Climate Action Registry—and, since that time, has helped 415 public and private organizations statewide to voluntarily calculate and publicly report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Specifically, the Climate Action Reserve:
- Establishes high-level quality standards for carbon offset projects
- Oversees independent third-party verification bodies
- Issues carbon credits generated from such projects
- Tracks the transaction of credits over time in a transparent, publicly-accessible system
The Farm Cove Forest Carbon Project area–which was purchased on December 18 for conservation purposes by the Downeast Lakes Land Trust and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation—also has been awarded the Minneapolis-based Forest Stewardship Council‘s Forest Management Certificate. The 2011 FSC audit was conducted simultaneously with the CAR verification audit. Downeast Lakes Land Trust plans to use its expected proceeds from the sale of carbon credits to fund other conservation initiatives.
“Downeast Lakes Land Trust is a leader, demonstrating that forest carbon projects can be combined with FSC forest certification to enhance the environmental and socio-economic benefits of each,” said Richard Donovan, senior vice president of the Rainforest Alliance. “The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.”
“Achieving Rainforest Alliance verification of our carbon credit project is an exciting step. We are focused on forest conservation and management to support the economic and environmental well-being of our community and region,” added Mark Berry, executive director of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust. “By participating in the market for carbon credits, we stand to gain financial resources toward our ongoing effort to conserve an additional 22,000 acres as community forest around Grand Lake Stream.”
Edited by Jamie Epstein