2016 was the biggest year for project verifications in CCB Standards history. Almost 20% of all currently active projects verified.
Verification is the second step in the CCB Standards certification process; it confirms that the project is achieving the benefits it set out to create and repeats periodically for the lifespan of the project.
Last year, more projects than ever before confirmed the benefits they achieve under the CCB Standards. 2016 was a year of cumulative effects. Many projects in 2016 simply reached their five-year deadline for verification. However, just as many projects completed repeat verifications, with some even opting to verify annually. This higher level of investment in CCB Standards verification could be due in part to the fact that the CCB label tends to add value to carbon credits, as reported by Forest Trends.
Projects that verified in 2016 ran the gamut of CCB Program project types and stages. The Tambopata Project in Peru verified for the third time in 2016. This REDD+ project supports local forest governance and provides for forest patrols to protect the reserve against deforestation.
The Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation Project in Indonesia restores peatland ecosystems to store carbon, protects orangutan habitat and provides clean water for surrounding villages. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the project achieved validation and verification to all three (Climate, Community and Biodiversity) Gold Level criteria.
The Grand Cote and Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuges Restoration Initiative, which also verified for the first time this year, restores native bottomland hardwood forests in the Red River and lower Mississippi River valleys, where habitat loss is more pronounced than in any other area of the United States. Though this project does sequester carbon, it does not issue carbon credits, and so belongs to a growing cadre of projects using the CCB Standards as their primary means of certification.
Of course, these are just a few of the 20 projects that verified this year. We look forward to more repeat and first-time verifications, particularly for projects pursuing innovative activities to achieve their goals and earn verification to the CCB Standards.