Offset Carbon: The Amazonian Rainforest Protection in Peru

The Madre De Dios region of south east Peru, is the area which our offset carbon partners are funding almost 100,000 hectares of protection for the Amazonian rainforest. In 2019, it was measured that around three-football fields worth of rainforest are lost every single second! By helping fund this region, Superlings, both the brand and the customers, are directly helping the prevention of around 660,000 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

The Peruvian project promotes healthy wildlife habitat and rewilding, as well as sustainable management of the current area, and long-term conservation for many decades to come. This will help combat future deforestation of the forest’s carbon stocks.

Background

After fossil fuel burning, deforestation is the next leading cause of climate change. As stated in the Paris Agreement, the planet’s future depends on tropical rainforests being restocked, protected and conserved to slow down and reverse the damage humans have already caused.

Aside from overseas political persuasion to help nations tackle this themselves, the carbon offset market is able to assist by protecting large swathes of forest through a specific project type, Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+).

A REDD+ project can be thought of as placing an area of forest under protection through long term forest management. Without forest management, there is no entity in place to prevent unsustainable removal of forest cover. 2018 research on REDD+ projects in the Brazilian Amazon found that on small holdings were around 4x smaller.

REDD+ projects are not without their technical and political challenges, they are therefore considered a higher risk project than other types, e.g. installing a wind farm. At Offset Earth, our ethos accepts that many climate change solutions are not perfect, however in lieu of flawless alternatives, we will not veto them. There are ways to de-risk REDD+ projects on an individual basis, through quality certification and additional verification.

Certification

The Madre de Dios Amazon REDD Project is certified by two internationally recognised standards: Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), and Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards (CCBS). This project meets the criteria for Gold Level for “Exceptional Benefits to Biodiversity”.

View this project on the VCS registry.

Additional verification

This project is subject to exceptional monitoring from technology company, Pachama. Pachama can monitor and verify carbon stocks at a level of detail not normally seen in REDD+ projects. Using machine learning, satellite imagery and other techniques such as LiDAR, they are able to actively report to the project developer and certifier to additionally verify reported carbon reductions.

Pachama use remote sensing technologies to measure aboveground biomass (ABG), which includes the stem, stump, branches, bark, seeds and foliage. The data is a product of annually composited satellite imagery, field observations, and LiDAR data.

Forest Protection

For each acre of forest protected, the threat of deforestation and degradation is removed. By protecting an additional 687 million acres of forest, this solution could avoid carbon dioxide emissions totaling 6.2 gigatons by 2050. Perhaps more importantly, this solution could bring the total protected forest area to almost 2.3 billion acres, securing an estimated protected stock of 245 gigatons of carbon, roughly equivalent to over 895 gigatons of carbon dioxide if released into the atmosphere. Financials are not projected, as they are not incurred at the landholder level.

Our contributions go towards supporting projects that are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Here are the goals recognised by the Madre de Dios Amazon REDD Project project: