VCS Approves Improved Forest Management (IFM) Methodology to Protect Temperate and Boreal Forest Properties

New methodology would support conversion of private properties to protected areas

26 April 2011 – A new methodology to quantify the greenhouse gas benefits of projects that convert privately owned properties slated for harvest into protected areas has been approved for use under the VCS Program.

Developed by 3GreenTree and Ecosystem Restoration Associates, the methodology can be used to calculate and monitor greenhouse gas emission changes on privately owned properties in temperate or boreal forests. The methodology is applicable to properties where timber harvesting is planned and there is very low risk of unplanned or illegal removal of biomass.

The methodology is tailored to suit properties that are undergoing changes in ownership or management practices. Projects that achieve the GHG reductions by converting such properties to protected or managed conservation forest areas can issue and sell verified GHG credits, known as Verified Carbon Units, or VCUs.

“This approach provides a meaningful new way for privately owned areas in temperate forests to finance their own protection where otherwise they would be harvested,” said VCS CEO David Antonioli. “This carbon finance opens up a whole new avenue for protecting remaining temperate and boreal forests for property owners who would rather conserve than harvest trees.”

The approach, called Improved Forest Management on Privately Owned Properties in Temperate and Boreal Forests, was assessed by two independent auditors under the VCS Methodology Approval Process. Approval means projects may use the methodology to quantify emission reductions and removals and issue VCUs.

The first independent auditor to review the methodology was DNV. The second, Rainforest Alliance, was contracted directly by the VCS Association. All assessment reports and other documents are available on the VCS website.