By Stephen Leahy*
UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 6, 2010 (Tierramérica)
The “Procuenca Initiative” in the Andes region of western Colombia may be the first in the world to sell certified forest carbon credits with a biodiversity protection component. But alarms are sounding about the potential negative social and environmental consequences.
Under way since 2001, the programme will begin to operate in the international market next year, having received official registration Apr. 16 under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
Part of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, in force since 2005, the CDM allows industrialised countries to earn credits for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases by investing in projects in developing countries that expand their capacity to absorb the carbon emissions.
Procuenca is expected to auction credits for some 350,000 tonnes of carbon that has been sequestered since the project began, initiative director Francisco Ocampo told Tierramérica through a translator.
At the current market value of 20 dollars per tonne, the total would be 7 million dollars for a struggling community, one that is still suffering from the collapse of coffee prices more than a decade ago.
“This project demonstrates the international importance of these forests for carbon storage,” said Ocampo. Continue reading