REDD+ stands for countries' efforts to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
In order to protect the entirety of the land and the endemic/endangered species, we intend to use approximately 6,000 hectares of land (initially due to set up costs and verification fees) to implement an REDD+ project and become accredited through the Verified Carbon Standards agency (VCS) with carbon credits or Verified Carbon Units (VCU) which we can sell on the international carbon stock markets or to private individuals or companies.
REDD+ is a standard which has to be met before carbon credits can be issued. Carbon credits are awarded to projects which create 1 metric tonne of C02 above a baseline scenario. Without the carbon project the most profitable use of the land for the owners would be to sell it, most probably being purchased by a logging or farming company. This is our baseline scenario. By implementing the REDD+ project Ecuador Forest of Clouds will ensure the protection of the land and the trees which absorb the carbon from the atmosphere. We will initially use the 6,000 hectares of the land as a carbon sink to sequester the carbon. Each hectare will sequester approximately 230 metric tonnes of C02 per year.
By striving for the CCB Gold Standard our VCUs will have the added benefit of the Gold Certificate Label which will inform buyers that our project is one of High Conservation Values which again makes our projects VCUs more attractive to the ecologically conscious buyers.
"...Gold Level certification is offered to projects that provide significant support to assist communities and/or biodiversity in adapting to the impacts of climate change, or to projects that conserve biodiversity at sites of global significance for biodiversity conservation that meet the vulnerability and irreplaceability criteria of Key Biodiversity Areas (IUCN, 2007)..."
Deforestation and forest degradation are the second leading cause of global warming, responsible for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which makes the loss and depletion of forests a major issue for climate change. In some countries, deforestation and forest degradation together are by far the main source of national greenhouse gas emissions. Eighty percent of the Earth’s above-ground terrestrial carbon and forty percent of below-ground terrestrial carbon is stored in forests. In addition to the large contribution of deforestation and forest degradation to global emissions, combating both has been identified as one of the most cost-effective ways to lower emissions.
Currently, there appears to be a consensus that the issue of deforestation and forest degradation must be effectively tackled as it would otherwise limit the options available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gas concentrations and increases in temperature to acceptable levels. Any reduction in the rate of deforestation and forest degradation has the benefit of avoiding a significant source of carbon emissions and reducing other environmental and social problems associated with deforestation.
Unlike afforestation and reforestation activities, which generally cause small annual changes in carbon stocks over long periods of time, stemming deforestation causes large changes in carbon stocks over a short period of time. Most emissions from deforestation take place rapidly, whereas carbon removal from the atmosphere through afforestation and reforestation activities is a slow process.
In addition to mitigating climate change; stopping deforestation and forest degradation; supporting sustainable forest management, The project will conserve water resources and prevents flooding; reduce run-off; control soil erosion; reduce river siltation; protects fisheries; provide investment in hydropower facilities; preserve biodiversity; and will preserve culture and traditions. With all that at stake it is clear what has to happen. With all the services that forests provide both to humanity and the natural world, there is now widespread understanding of a simple yet profound fact—that forests are more important left standing, than cut.