Carbon Finance as a solution to the protection and protection of landscapes
The VERRA international certification standard, founded in 2005 with the aim of contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions by improving livelihoods and protecting the planet's natural resources, supports action for climate and sustainable development with standards, tools and programs that assess the environmental and social impacts that can contribute with funding to support and increase these benefits in a credible, transparent and reliable manner.
VERRA has recently published an article dedicated to the importance of Carbon Finance, also as a possible solution to the protection and protection of landscapes. In recent weeks we have witnessed a frightening increase in forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon. This crisis has raised a series of alarms all over the world and, once again, has raised the important question on how we can best protect the natural resources of our planet.
Forest fires in Brazil are of human origin
It is important to keep in mind that fires that endanger lives and ecosystems are not natural phenomena; they are a consequence of man-made deforestation. A significant part of the forest landscape has been eliminated for the purpose of grazing livestock. A second important factor that fuels these fires are the extreme drought events that are becoming increasingly common.
This means that the fires taking place are occurring as a direct result of the use of this land for unsustainable agricultural purposes, which is driven by the fact that these practices have a greater economic value and are more profitable than the protection and restoration of the forest. Addressing funding to protect and restore forests is therefore essential if we are to succeed in preserving these ecosystems.
Forests play a critical role in the fight against climate change
Forests play an essential role in the fight against climate change as they offer some of the greatest opportunities both to mitigate emissions and to increase seizure.
The mitigation projects related to the protection and protection of forests, able to generate certified carbon credits, include multiple activities, from work to protect native forests, to better and correct management of productive forests, to the planting of trees to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. These projects in fact allow owners to sell carbon credits generated by project activities, so there is also an economic incentive to preserve the forests, rather than reduce them. Such projects can therefore play a key role in preserving the Amazon rainforest.
The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) program, managed by Verra, has certified numerous projects in the Brazilian Amazon to finance forest protection. The program includes a mechanism to ensure that the credits issued remain "permanent" (ie, to ensure that real reductions have been achieved).
The risk assessment tool, used to calculate the number of credits to be deposited in the pool, takes into account the natural risk (such as fires) and provides incentives for active fire management. When reversals occur (for example, in the event of a forest fire), these "buffer" credits are canceled to ensure that the credits issued still represent a real reduction in emissions. In short, the buffer pool works much like an insurance policy, protecting losses from reversals.
The Amazon is one of the most important ecosystems to protect in the fight against global climate change, today more than ever
Deforestation, mainly driven by the conversion of land for agricultural purposes and the related economic incentive, is one of the main causes of these fires. In contrast, forest projects assign economic value to the carbon stored in the forest and provide an incentive to keep it alive.
However, offsetting through the carbon credits generated by the project cannot be the only approach to fighting climate change. We need national commitments and global agreements to reduce emissions and increase carbon sequestration, as well as the active commitment of the private sector.
Supporting countries and communities in their progress towards sustainable development and reduced emissions, thus reducing deforestation and improving livelihood dynamics, will achieve a more lasting change. Forest carbon emissions projects and the funding needed to develop them are a key element in this puzzle.