The Conservation Fund’s Go Zero® program is proud to announce the Gold Level verification of its third carbon-based reforestation project at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near Puxico, Missouri. Verification to the standards of the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) certifies that the project is meeting the objectives Go Zero outlined five years ago, including trapping carbon, providing habitat for wildlife and creating positive benefits for nearby communities.
In 2010, The Conservation Fund restored 367 acres of walnut, hickory, oak and cypress trees at Mingo NWR. As this forest matures, it is projected to trap an estimated 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which is equivalent to taking approximately 18,000 cars off the road.
“Verification demonstrates Go Zero’s commitment to delivering the climate, community and biodiversity benefits our donors and partners expect,” said Carrie Gombos, The Conservation Fund’s director of carbon compliance.
The CCBA standards were designed to promote land management activities that mitigate global climate change, improve the well-being of local communities and conserve biodiversity. This means that beyond just trapping carbon dioxide, Go Zero reforestation projects provide benefits for people and wildlife too, including hundreds of species of migratory birds and the endangered Indiana bat.
While Go Zero focuses on the design and implementation of each project, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the long-term land manager and steward, employing well-trained biologists and environmental professionals who provide regular reports from on-the-ground activity.
“Restoring these lands back to bottomland hardwood forest is not only good for the environment, it is a way for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide important habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife that utilize Mingo NWR. This project also benefits local people in the community who will get to enjoy these areas through hunting, birdwatching and wildlife photography,” said Ben Mense, refuge manager at Mingo NWR.
Companies and their customers, as well as individuals across the country, donate to Go Zero to offset greenhouse gas emissions from a variety of sources. Those donations have resulted in the restoration of more than 25,000 acres and the planting of 10 million trees. Restoration activities at Mingo NWR were made possible with donations from: Carfax, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Dell, Delta Airlines, Freshwater Institute, Gaiam, Land Rover Portland, New Jersey Natural Gas, L’Oréal, Travelocity and U-Haul International.
“At Dell, we seek to inspire sustainable practices throughout our entire ecosystem, making sustainability easier for our customers, communities and partners,” said Bruno Sarda, director of sustainable operations, Dell. “Since the start of our program with The Conservation Fund in 2007, Dell customers have been able to offset nearly half a million tons of carbon while supporting reforestation and green entrepreneurs. It’s a fantastic partnership for us.”
The Go Zero project at Mingo NWR was verified by SCS Global Services under its SCS Greenhouse Gas Verification Program.