SCS Verifies Canada’s First VCS Forest Carbon Offset Project
Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has verified the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Darkwoods carbon offset project, the first Canadian carbon offset project verified to the widely recognized Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), and the largest private land purchase for conservation in Canadian history.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) will sell a portion of the carbon credits generated by this project to the Pacific Carbon Trust to offset the British Columbia government’s emissions. This will help the British Columbia government achieve the goals set forth in its Carbon Neutral Government Regulation. Vancouver-based Ecosystem Restoration Associates (ERA) will purchase the remaining credits. SCS verified the amount of carbon the project will remove from the atmosphere, allowing it to generate valuable carbon credits.
“The Darkwoods Carbon pilot project represents one of the highest quality forest carbon projects to date in North America and is an important achievement for the Nature Conservancy of Canada,” said Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, SCS senior vice president. “The unique methodology developed by the project team will benefit the entire carbon industry.”
The Darkwoods project, developed by 3GreenTree Ecosystem Services Ltd. and Ecosystem Restoration Associates, involves the purchase and protection of over 55,000 hectares (136,000 acres) of rugged forestlands in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. These forestlands store more than two million metric tons of carbon. Every year the trees and plants of Darkwoods absorb 30,000 metric tons of carbon. The land was purchased from Pluto Darkwoods, a company owned by the Duke of Germany, who had owned the property since 1967. Darkwoods contains remote valleys, mountains and lakes that provide vital habitat for dozens of at-risk species including bull trout, red-tailed chipmunk and western screech owl. It also provides a sanctuary for wide-ranging grizzly bears, cougars, wolves, elk and a herd of rare mountain caribou.
“Darkwoods has some of the most diverse forests in Canada – forests we need to ensure are well-managed over the long term,” said Environment Minister Terry Lake. “This forest carbon agreement secures enduring conservation of these important lands and a step forward in building British Columbia’s green economy.”
“We are always looking for unique strategies to fund the protection of Canada’s natural heritage,” said John Lounds, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “By harnessing the power of the carbon market, the Darkwoods Carbon pilot project represents an innovative new avenue for helping to fund great conservation projects.”
SCS has been providing global leadership in third-party sustainability and environmental certification, auditing, testing and standards development for more than 25 years. SCS programs span a wide range of industries including green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, retailing and carbon offset verification.
NCC is a private, non-profit, Canadian organization dedicated to protecting Canada’s most ecologically significant lands. Since 1962, NCC, the largest land conservation organization in the country, has conserved more than 800,000 ha of ecologically significant land. Guided by a mission to conserve areas of biological diversity for their intrinsic value and for the benefit of future generations, NCC is creating a lasting natural legacy for Canada.
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