This Week In Forest Carbon: Standardizing in 2012 to Branch Out in 2013

After tallying up the numbers for our yearly round up of the top ten stories in 2012 – as depicted by our readers – we find the majority of the spots being taken by validation/verification stories related to both domestic and international standards. For 2013, our readers foresee a growing emphasis on jurisdictional REDD+ efforts, which VCS and ACR launched methodologies for in 2012. Stay tuned to Ecosystem Marketplace to see if these two trends cross paths throughout the year!

After tallying up the numbers for our yearly round up of the top ten stories in 2012 – as depicted by our readers – we find the majority of the spots being taken by validation/verification stories related to both domestic and international standards. For 2013, our readers foresee a growing emphasis on jurisdictional REDD+ efforts, which VCS and ACR launched methodologies for in 2012. Stay tuned to Ecosystem Marketplace to see if these two trends cross paths throughout the year!

This article was originally published in the Forest Carbon newsletter. Click here to read the original.

17 January 2013 | With 2013 already bringing in new developments in the forest carbon market, Ecosystem Marketplace is taking a look back at the most memorable stories of 2012, according to our readers – who also shared their market predictions for 2013.  

A year ago, our readers accurately forecasted an emphasis on sub-national initiatives that would foster regional forest carbon markets, and a continued focus on the development of REDD outside the UN process.  The survey-based ranking showcased below of the most eye-catching stories in 2012 supports these trends.

REDD projects around the globe, some of which made it to our top ten list, consistently made headlines throughout last year as they took on validation and verification processes to both domestic and international standards. Meanwhile, both national and sub-national efforts were manifested – and some materialized – to develop domestic markets and/or enter international ones.


In 2013, our expert readers see an increased emphasis on jurisdictional and nested REDD approaches taking center stage; non-traditional sources of forestry finance; and the development of national and regional emissions trading schemes’ credibility. Check out the ranking below and read some insightful predictions from the forest carbon markets’ movers and shakers – including Forest Carbon News readers like you!


While you’re reading, know that you and thousands of other readers made 2012 the best year yet for Ecosystem Marketplace and Forest Carbon News readership! We look forward to providing reliable and transparent information again in the new year, thanks in part to those organizations that support our research.

Most recently, this includes the  Verified Carbon Standard, BioCarbon Group Pte. and the  Santiago Climate Exchange, which recently joined other donors to make our 2013 State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report a possibility. We’re now 15 donors away (at the $3K level) from being able to publish again in 2013 – can we count on your support? Email  Molly Peters-Stanley  to inquire.

Best wishes for a greener diet in 2013, from all of us here at Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace!


—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team

If you have comments or would like to submit news stories, write to us at [email protected].


Reader Retrospective 2012

A reader-ranked summary of the year’s top stories impacting the forest carbon market



10. Different Tones of REDD: With an evolving voluntary market and the possibility of new markets for REDD+ emerging from California,  indigenous views  on REDD+ remained divided throughout the year. While some groups strictly opposed projects fearing land grabs and constricting regulations, other communities embraced REDD+ proposals as an opportunity to maintain their traditional way of life and still another faction remained on the fence.  


9. Sounding the Alarm: Wildlife Works announced the release of their Code REDD campaign, which aims to create additional voluntary demand and stimulate  private sector  investment in REDD projects and credits. The initiative has so far secured five corporate champions.


8. Methodologies in Full Bloom Down Under: Australia’s  Carbon Farming Initiative  approved seven methodologies for developing carbon credits and as in the process of reviewing nineteen proposed  methodologies, among which are forestry-related proposals. Current methodologies cover activities ranging from landfill gas capture to forest planting.


7. Brazil Codes its Forests: Despite receiving mixed feedback from environmental and industry actors throughout the year, Brazil  approved revisions  to the country’s Forest Code in late 2012. Revisions include the creation of a  registry  of land holdings designed to better tracking environmental compliance and the expansion of forest cover parameters to include forests along rivers and hillsides.  


6. Brazilian Takeover: A Brazilian tie ensues in our sixth slot with ACR approving its first forest carbon project in Latin America – the Brazilian  Boa Vista afforestation/reforestation  carbon offset project, and the UNFCCC issuing over 4M tCERs to the Brazil-based Plantar reforestation project – the  first forestry-based tCER  issuance worldwide.  


5. Anything but Standard: An impressive three-way tie pulls in market actors from Acre to VCS to fifth place. The  Gold Standard  acquired the CarbonFix standard and announced new alliances with the Forest Stewardship Council and Fairtrade, while another partnership was established between  Markit  and Brazil’s Acre to develop a REDD+ credits registry. Returning to standards, VCS approved its first  soil carbon methodology.  


4. Back on Track: The Rimba Raya REDD Project, the world’s first project to develop and navigate a REDD methodology through the VCS process,  opened for business  once more after being interrupted a year earlier when Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry promised half the project’s territory to a palm oil company.  


3. Costa Rica Banks the First Funds: Costa Rica became the first country to receive an approval from the  World Bank  to access performance-based payments through the  Carbon Fund  under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. The country’s proposal is quasi-national in scope, taking on a mosaic approach across 341,000 ha that represent estimated emission reductions of almost 30 MtCO2.  


2. REDD, the New Black: Jurisdictional nested REDD (JNR) takes the second spot, with both  VCS  and  ACR  releasing JNR methodologies to help jurisdictions scale up emissions reductions beyond project-level activities. From Brazil to Laos, initial JNR pilots and assessments are testing the waters.


1. Building in Colombia: VCS and Fundacion Natura signed an  MOU  agreeing to jointly establish the necessary framework for a Colombian voluntary carbon market, and promote the development of this new emerging market and the advantages of carbon neutrality to Colombian companies.



Carbon Crystal Ball 2013

What forest carbon market movers and shakers are saying about 2013.  


Gary Gero

Climate Action Reserve

“California will make real progress in developing a framework for including REDD in the California compliance market in the future… California Carbon Offset prices will exceed all other carbon offsets in the market.”


Majella Clarke

SUFORD Project, Indufor

“The UNFCCC will continue to debate financing and MRV for REDD+ throughout 2013 meaning that the voluntary carbon market will remain the only option for land-based offsets. VCS will continue its dominance as a source of generating VERs from REDD+ projects. Increasing interest in the VCS Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ is expected as demonstration projects using the methodology get off the ground. The Gold Standard’s new set of rules and procedures to certify land use and forest projects in mid 2013 will be much anticipated. The development of national and regional emission trading schemes will continue throughout 2013 potentially providing new possibilities in the near future for trading verified emission reductions from land based projects.”


Lucas Demuelenaere


“Initiatives designed to “nest” REDD+ pilot projects within jurisdictional frameworks… are full of promises and should boost the recognition of forestry’s role in mitigating climate change in the near future. Importantly, these actions could bridge together a possible compliance market and the various voluntary initiatives underway, and contribute to raise awareness around the critical need for an efficient REDD+ mechanism. We can expect these nascent initiatives to have a growing recognition and deeply influence the international negotiations on REDD+.”

Chandler Van Voorhis

Green Trees

“REDD+ will continue to be a government to government action moving at a glacial speed. Despite a lake of evidence, that taxes lower emissions, the Carbon Tax will gain momentum in the US as the country searches for more and more revenue. Tax credits that are tradable and tranferable will be the new arena for forestry finance.”

Georg Schattney

Forest Carbon Group

“We expect that demand for small to medium size projects with high social and environmental benefits will continue to grow in voluntary markets – despite agony of compliance markets.”

Raquel Orejas

Nature Services Peru

“Early stage REDD+ projects might pick up from international programs such as FCPF and FIP. Two big stories we will need to follow. First, how the California cap and trade program will boost clean energy projects and how indigenous REDD+ will develop in the region with highest supply of REDD+ carbon credits, Latin America.”

Pieter van Midwoud

The Gold Standard Foundation

“In the voluntary market, The Gold Standard, Fairtrade and FSC cooperations are delivering the trust and track record that corporate buyers are looking for and that was, until now, missing in the land use and forest carbon sectors. National and regional carbon schemes now have the ability to join these ‘best of class’ initiatives to bring credibility to their own markets.”


“Brazil’s 2012/2013 deforestation figures will show a large increase compared with their much lauded 2011/2012 figures, changes that are likely to be attributable at least in part to amendments in their forest code. REDD+ at the UNFCCC will continue to falter without increased financial commitments, but the pace of development outside the negotiations will maintain momentum: new major bilateral agreements for REDD+ will emerge outside traditional donor/recipient relationships, to include countries in central Africa; private and public sector donors will cooperate to deliver a preliminary agreement for the development of an ‘Advanced Market Commitment’ for REDD+ in Indonesia; and a jurisdictional scale REDD+ project will be operational in at least one country before the end of 2013.  There will be an increased emphasis on addressing the commodity drivers of deforestation through collaboration with major investors and commodity producers, and FLEGT style carrot and stick initiatives will emerge for major commodities such as palm oil.”





Kinship Conservation Fellows 2013

Kinship Conservation Fellows invites conservation professionals with 5+ years of experience to apply to its selective month-long environmental leadership curriculum this summer, delivered by a faculty of global experts who work closely with each carefully selected cohort of Fellows to explore fresh ways to apply market-based approaches to environmental concerns. Applications are due by January 26.

~ Learn more  HERE




Carbon Program Intern – Ecosystem Marketplace

Ecosystem Marketplace is seeking a paid part-time or full-time intern for our Carbon Program for a four- to six-month commitment. In return for this commitment, the intern will receive invaluable contacts and experience in liaising with international conservation NGOs, for profits and development multilaterals; executing survey research for an international market report; helping to plan/execute an international report launch event; and recommendations as merited.

~ View listing  HERE

Program Manager – Rainforest Foundation US

Rainforest Foundation is looking for a program manager to implement natural resource management and community mapping program activities, and provide technical guidance to the Foundation’s partners on issues related to natural resource management, community mapping and climate change.  

~ View listing  HERE

Two Positions – Terra Global Capital

Terra Global Capital is looking to fill two positions in support of Zambia’s government to address the drivers of deforestation and degradation and strengthen forest management in the Eastern Province of Zambia. The Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist will be responsible for daily M&E activities, monitor program progress, while training and building M&E capacity. The Chief of Party will serve as the principal liaison with USAID/Zambia and other key entities, while providing overall leadership management for the program.  

~ View first listing  HERE  and second listing  HERE

Multiple Positions, FCMC – Tetra Tech ARD

Tetra Tech ARD is looking to fill a couple of positions in its Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities program, including a REDD+ Operations and Logistics Assistant and a REDD+ Deputy Social Science and Environmental Specialist Task Lead.

~ View first listing  HERE  and second listing  HERE

Two Positions – World Resources Institute

The World Resources Institute is looking to fill two positions in its Washington, DC headquarters. One research intern will assist WRI’s “Climate Finance and the Private Sector” project in drafting two working papers that map climate-relevant investments, while another intern will help WRI’s Governance of Forests Initiative conduct research on governance best practices for forest laws, policies, and processes.

~ View first listing  HERE  and second listing  HERE

Chief of Party, Community-Based Forest Management Program – World Wildlife Fund

WWF is looking for a Chief of Party to assume technical leadership and administrative oversight over the anticipated USAID-funded community based forest management program for REDD+ readiness in Zambia.  

~ View listing  HERE  



Senior Program Officer – The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC)

RECOFTC is looking for a senior program officer to help RECOFTC’s People, Forest and Climate Change thematic area coordinate analysis and capacity building in relation to climate mitigation and adaptation, providing strategic direction, while maintaining and expending strategic networks with other organizations dealing with climate change in Asia and the Pacific regions.

~ View listing  HERE



Deputy Chief of Party, LEAF Program – Winrock International

Winrock is looking for a Deputy Chief of Party to help provide operational and technical leadership for its Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) program, which is intended to help target countries build capacity for REDD+.

~ View listing  HERE  



Brazil Director – Verified Carbon Standard

The Verified Carbon Standard is looking for a director to build the foundation for a long-term VCS presence in Brazil, with an emphasis on engaging Brazilian policymakers and other market stakeholders and learning to advocate on behalf of the VCS on jurisdictional nested REDD+ and other VCS initiatives.

~ View listing  HERE



Climate and Forests Intern, Africa Team – ClientEarth

ClientEarth is seeking a voluntary intern to work with its Climate and Forest programme in London. The intern will help with research and analysis of legal and policy matters related to FLEGT and REDD+ processes in Ghana, the Republic of Congo, and Gabon.

~ View listing  HERE  



Post-Doctoral Fellow, Global Comparative Study on REDD+ – CIFOR

CIFOR is seeking a fellow to contribute to developing policy-relevant conclusions on institutional design for specific country and regional contexts – to be integrated and supported by the Global Comparative Study on REDD+ and attached to the Forests and Governance Programme.

~ View listing  HERE  







The Forest Carbon Portal provides relevant daily news, a bi-weekly news brief, feature articles, a calendar of events, a searchable member directory, a jobs board, a library of tools and resources. The Portal also includes the Forest Carbon Project Inventory, an international database of projects including those in the pipeline. Projects are described with consistent ‘nutrition labels’ and allow viewers to contact project developers.



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