Forests: Taking Root in the Voluntary Carbon Markets

Over the past year, the term 'REDD' (reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation) has
risen from obscure acronym to hot-button issue for policymakers, conservation groups, investors
and academics across the globe, with good reason: deforestation accounts for roughly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions—more emissions than the transportation sector world-wide.

While the role of REDD in both the international and emerging US regulated systems is being hammered out, the voluntary carbon markets are serving not only as a testing ground for the development of REDD carbon credits, but also building up expertise and generating immediate action. This publication is designed to introduce practitioners to the carbon markets, in particular the voluntary markets, and the current climate for reforestation, afforestation and REDD projects generating carbon credits. It is a collection of articles and one book chapter commissioned by the Ecosystem Marketplace.

The Ecosystem Marketplace is a web-based, non-profit information service created three years ago to help spur the development of environmental markets worldwide. It is a leading source of
information on markets and payments for ecosystem services such as water quality, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity. The organization is built on the belief that by providing reliable
information on prices, regulation, science, and other market-relevant factors, markets for ecosystem
services will one day become a fundamental part of our economic system, helping give value to environmental services that, for too long, have been taken for granted. The Ecosystem Marketplace
is a project of the DC- based non-profit Forest Trends.

These articles were compiled to serve as context and provide background for the Tanzania Katoomba conference, held in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania from September 16-18, 2008. The conference is the thirteenth in a series of Katoomba conferences designed to stimulate and strengthen environmental markets around the world.

Launched in Katoomba, Australia, in 1999, the Katoomba Group is an international working group
composed of leading thinkers and practitioners from academia, industry and government, all committed to enhancing the integrity of ecosystems through market solutions that are efficient, effective and equitable. The group is a sister project of the Ecosystem Marketplace and is also sponsored by Forest Trends.