- Lead-organizer: Red de Fondos Ambientales de Latinoamérica y el Caribe (Redlac)
- 15:30 - 17:00
- Date: 18 Jun 2012
- Room: T-3
THE RAINFOREST STANDARD: Integrating Social, Environmental, and Econom
Organizing partnersSeven partners:
1. Center for Environment, Economy and Society
2. Columbia University (CEES)
3. Fondo para la Acción Ambiental y la Niñez (Fondo Acción)
4. Fondo de Promoción de las Áreas Naturales Protegidas del Perú (PROFONANPE)
5. Fundo Brasileiro para Biodiversidade (FUNBIO)
6. Fondo Ambiental Nacional (FAN)
7. PUMA Fondo Ambiental.
IntroductionTHE RAINFOREST STANDARD (RFS) Founding Members will host a side event in Rio + 20 meeting to present the RFS. The RFS integrates protocols for carbon accounting, socio-cultural-economic impact, and biodiversity outcomes in the belief that reducing carbon emissions from removals of biomass in forestland will not be effective or permanent without benefits flowing to all local stakeholders, and should produce an economic benefit that results in the protection of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. In this way, the RFS is the first fully integrated forest carbon emissions reduction standard that was built specifically for REDD and built by institutions in the countries in which it is to be deployed.
Detailed programmeSpeakers: Don Melnick, José Luis Gómez, Rosa Lemos, Diego Burneo, Alberto Paniagua, Juan Carlos Chávez
Five leading environmental trust funds (ETFs) operating in South America?s Amazon Basin have joined with Columbia University?s Center for Environment, Economy, and Society (CEES) to develop The Rainforest Standard (RFS), a comprehensive set of tools and protocols for using market mechanisms to reduce carbon emissions and provide an economic alternative for forest dwelling communities and commercial enterprises in the Amazon. The South American ETF partners are: Bolivia?s PUMA Fondo Ambiental, Brazil?s Fundo Brasileiro para a Biodiversidade, Colombia?s Fondo para la Acción Ambiental y la Niñez, Ecuador?s Fondo Ambiental Nacional and Peru?s Fondo de Promoción para las Áreas Naturales Protegidas del Perú.
ETFs are flexible structures that raise and invest funds towards biodiversity conservation in partnership with multiple stakeholders ? NGOs, community based organizations, government agencies and private companies. ETFs act as financing mechanisms and have been recognized as one of the most effective mechanisms to ensure long term commitment to biodiversity conservation and protected areas management programs. CEES was formed in 2006 under the auspices of Columbia University?s Faculty of Arts and Sciences with the underlying premise that local environments, economies, and societies are interdependent: none can thrive in the long run if all three do not thrive - they are all ?in it together." To bridge the gap between conservation science and business CEES focuses on applied research and implementation, as well as professional development and education.
These institutions, Founding Members of THE RAINFOREST STANDARD, met in June 2008 in Sao Paolo, Brazil, with the aim of making a significant contribution to reducing forest carbon emissions in the Amazon by reducing the conversion of forested land. All six institutions were convinced that ?avoided deforestation? projects could be made attractive to the carbon markets, facilitate long-term conservation of tropical forests, and benefit the human communities that live in and around them. They analyzed the need for a new standard that responded to ecological conditions and social realities of the Amazon region and the demands of emerging markets.
THE RAINFOREST STANDARD is a standardized set of protocols for generating tradable credits earned when carbon emissions from biomass in forested lands are reduced below those that would have occurred if the project had not been implemented. The protocols delineate reference procedures designed to be applied straightforwardly to obtain consistent results. The RFS requires carbon emission reductions to be real, additional, and permanent.
Central to THE RAINFOREST STANDARD is that RFS Credits cannot be earned unless the project and its activities are consistent with both long-term sustainable benefits to forest owners and forest-dwelling peoples and the persistence of the biodiversity within the project area. Both conditions are monitored, reported upon, and verified throughout the life of a RFS Project. Thus, the RAINFOREST STANDARD makes a concrete contribution to the possibility of real green economies by filling the gap in integration of social, environmental, and high quality carbon accounting in rainforest standards.
The RFS maximizes Credibility, Practicability, Marketability, and Compatibility. Credibility refers to whether a specified component of the standard is a valid measure: i.e. that it actually measures what it is intended to measure. Several components can be subjected to this test. For example, at the highest level, goals of the standard can be tested for credibility: can ?increases? or ?decreases? in carbon stocks be meaningfully measured? Credibility is also applicable to methods for monitoring, measuring, or verifying whether the goal can be, is being, or has been achieved. Is the measure of free, prior informed consent sufficiently objective and invariable to be credible?
Practicability refers to whether the standard offers participants predictability, efficiency, and cost controls throughout the review process. The validation and monitoring, reporting, and verification processes are designed to be as frictionless, straightforward, and standardized as possible. The RFS provides timelines to ensure participants can plan their activities and enter into agreements within the timeframes that make financial arrangements less susceptible to price fluctuations. To that end, the RFS protocols minimize reviewer discretion and maximize protocols that are objectively and replicably assessed.
Marketability refers to sufficient certainty for sellers and buyers that any credits generated by a standard are real, permanent, additional, transferred in accordance with law, produce benefits for all stakeholders consistent with their goals, and pursuant to a project plan agreed to by all stakeholders after they have been adequately informed. Compatibility refers to the effort to make RFS protocols and crediting consistent with the requirements, guidelines, and practices of governmental authorities and with the crediting regimes of other compliance markets
The RFS recognizes that for a standard to attract significant levels of investment all the following are required: credibility in the world at large; practicability for project proponents and developers; marketability for buyers and sellers; and compatibility with governmental authorities and compliance markets.