International leaders have called for greater integrity in carbon accounting to ensure the long-term success of voluntary carbon markets. To meet this need, the American Forest Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and TerraCarbon have pioneered a new approach for calculating a carbon benefit that increases accuracy and transparency. This new methodology does not base its calculations on the commonly used projected baseline, which can be limiting. Rather, this methodology uses a dynamic baseline, which makes it possible to accurately attribute a carbon project and its associated forest practices as the sole intervention responsible for the additional carbon sequestration and storage. This new methodology is approved by Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard.
A first-of-its-kind carbon accounting methodology for Improved Forest Management (IFM), designed to provide more measurable proof of climate impact and to solve access challenges for small forest landowners, has officially been approved for use in the United States and around the world.
Developed by the American Forest Foundation (AFF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to be used for the organizations’ Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP), the methodology was approved by Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard, the world’s most widely used voluntary greenhouse gas program, after a rigorous, multi-year evaluation process.
While carbon markets are always evolving, there’s one constant: the need for collective action. The work of the Family Forest Carbon Program is possible thanks to the efforts and support of our buyers, donors and scientific partners. That’s why the American Forest Foundation was excited to host the first-ever Family Forest Carbon Program Partner Retreat last week, bringing together climate leaders across sectors and industries.
Revenue from carbon markets can provide the income landowners need to keep their land and help it flourish with climate-smart forestry practices.
Partners gathered in Shrewsbury, Vermont to see the impact of the Family Forest Carbon Program firsthand, meet one of the program’s enrolled forest owners and discuss opportunities for scaling the program to unlock the potential of thousands more forest owners in the years to come.
The American Forest Foundation (AFF), a national conservation non-profit that specializes in family-owned forestland, today announced that Bank of America has provided a $230,000 grant to help support AFF’s Family Forest Carbon Program. The program is uniquely designed to provide small-acreage and underserved landowners access to carbon markets.
The next stop in our look at the American Tree Farm Systems’ Standards of Sustainability brings us to Standard #6 Forest Aesthetics. Standard #6 recommends that forest management activities recognize the value of forest aesthetics and these values should be included during management planning.
Forest aesthetics deals with how the forest looks to landowners, neighbors, foresters, and the general public. This standard comes into play mainly when logging is performed on a property. Logging and other management activities on your property can cause aesthetic concerns such as slash on the ground, ruts, clear cuts, and broken or bent trees. Although some of these are temporary, logging alters the appearance of a forest which can be off-putting to people. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but to many any logging operation, “looks bad.” Logging is generally messy to the casual observer, but there are ways in which logging or other forms of management may be made less so.
Some recommendations for aesthetically pleasing forest management involve the time of year management is done. Logging and other management projects may be better to be done in the winter because the frozen ground and snow cover leads to less soil disturbance. Road building is better when done in a dryer time of the year leading to cleaner looking project. Other recommendations refer to how management should be conducted. Some examples include placing landings out of public view, inputting a bend or turn in the entrance road to block view of the harvest, and closing and revegetating a logging road with wildlife-friendly plants after a project is completed. These steps and more can make a project look better and help prevent issues involving forest aesthetics.
However, some of those recommendations imply that the public should be offended by viewing a log landing, or a harvest, at all. Instead, one of the most effective ways to address concerns regarding forest aesthetics, is educating landowners, who in turn may educate their neighbors or others on the logging process. It is an important part of any logging operation, or management activity to review the potential work, as well as expectations of how a harvest may look during and after its completion. Visiting logging operations with permission of other landowners and loggers, during the operation and after it is complete, as well as visiting one that was completed years before, may help a landowner and others understand forest aesthetics, and realistic expectations of logging operations.
Below are some resources that provide further explanation and recommendations regarding forest aesthetics for your property:
University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension’s Good Forestry in the Granite State: http://extension.unh.edu/goodforestry/toc.htm.
Voluntary Harvesting Guidelines for LANDOWNERS IN VERMONT. Chapter 2: https://fpr.vermont.gov/sites/fpr/files/Forest_and_Forestry/Forest_Management/Library/VHG_FINAL_COVER.p.
Even just a few years ago, investing in carbon projects and purchasing carbon credits was a difficult task for companies that did not always yield clear results. Companies had to do their due diligence and individually vet through projects with all sorts of varying carbon standards, purchasing credits from programs where the measured carbon impact was opaque at best. Today, the carbon landscape is changing for the better. Today’s carbon markets demand higher transparency, accountability, and carbon integrity. Companies now can more easily distinguish between the programs making credible carbon claims and those that do not. This trend toward quality allows companies to truly lead change in the Voluntary Carbon Market when deciding who to partner with.
Choosing partners that align with your company’s climate targets and sustainability goals is key. At the American Forest Foundation, the Family Forest Carbon Program provides options for carbon buyers, donors, and investors to get involved in the development of a catalytic improved forest management project that delivers a credible carbon benefit.
To help ignite the scale of investment needed to tackle the wildfire issue, AFF partnered with Risk Management Solutions to develop a replicable approach to quantify avoided losses from wildfire to residential, commercial, and industrial infrastructure.
What do you think of when you think of Earth Day? Clean-ups at the local park? Recycling events? A peaceful walk? Pleas for donations? All of the above?
For many of us, Earth Day involves one or more of those things. And rightly so. They are all good for the planet and, importantly, for bringing more of us into the realm of environmental stewardship.
Family forests can shape the future of our planet before Earth Day, after Earth Day and every day in between. That’s why we’re not waiting until tomorrow. The opportunity and the impact are too great.
The voluntary carbon market is growing exponentially as companies across sectors step up to address their carbon emissions. By providing carbon credits for the private sector, the voluntary carbon market plays an essential role in bridging the finance gap between public and private climate action while also helping companies reach their sustainability targets. However, the guidance for buying credits remains unclear, and many companies are left without direction when it comes to understanding the ever-evolving carbon markets.
For carbon buyers navigating this new market, it is valuable to see how peers are evaluating projects and making progress on their carbon reduction journey. Earlier this year, the American Forest Foundation hosted a webinar with Greenbiz on Ensuring High Integrity When Purchasing Carbon Credits to discuss how to evaluate carbon credits and highlight our carbon project, the Family Forest Carbon Program.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 8, 2022) – The American Forest Foundation (AFF), a national conservation organization that works to deliver meaningful conservation impact through the empowerment of family forest owners, responds to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $1 billion investment through the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities.
American Forest Foundation (AFF) President and CEO Rita Hite said:
“We at the American Forest Foundation are excited by the focus and unprecedented investment USDA is placing on our forests and farmland for our climate, which will unlock significant market opportunities for landowners in rural America, helping them contribute more to tackling climate change while achieving their land goals.