Over 30,000 acres of land in the Lower Mississippi Valley have been converted back to bottomland hardwood forests under the nation’s first forest carbon offset project to earn registration with the widely respected Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). TerraCarbon announced its support in the registration and monitoring of the project, and Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) announced its verification of the project.
The project, estimated to remove more than 6 million tons of carbon dioxide over its 60-year term, was funded by Dynegy, Inc. and involved planting trees on state and federally protected lands in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Oklahoma. TerraCarbon prepared the project design documentation for registration and implemented the first monitoring event; SCS validated the project design and verified that the project has removed more than 521,144 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere since its inception. Together, SCS and TerraCarbon provide companies with support services to quantify and certify the climate benefits of offset projects, helping justify further investments in activities that fight climate change, such as reforestation.
“The Lower Mississippi Valley offset project not only represents a way forward in combating climate change, it also restores one of the area’s biologically valuable forest areas,” said Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, Senior Vice President of SCS.
Most of the Lower Mississippi Valley’s original bottomland forests was removed by logging in the early 1900s and was further reduced by conversion to agriculture in the 1960s and 70s. Less than 30% of the original forest cover in the Lower Mississippi Valley remains today. Under the project, lands were replanted with native bottomland hardwood species including bald cypress and bottomland oaks. In addition to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the project restores important habitat for waterfowl, migrant songbirds, and other wildlife, and helps local communities by reducing soil erosion, increasing flood storage, and improving water quality.
Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing and standards development for more than 25 years. SCS programs span a wide cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in forestry, fisheries, food and agriculture, green building, product manufacturing, retailing and more. http://www.scscertified.com
TerraCarbon LLC is an advisory firm that supports the development of forest and land based projects that reduce greenhouse gases. TerraCarbon provides technical, transaction, and strategic advisory services to the world’s leading conservation organizations, forward-thinking corporations, and environmental market investors.http://www.terracarbon.com