Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, which is known by the acronym REDD+, is a type of payments for ecosystem services (PES) project and/or program.

Deforestation, particularly of tropical rainforests, is a global environmental problem. The loss of tropical rainforests emits greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the available habitat for a tremendous amount of terrestrial biodiversity, disrupts natural cycles such as the water cycle, and threatens the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities.

Tropical rainforest deforestation is largely attributable to the expansion of the commercial agricultural frontier and expansion of cattle ranching, along with slash-and-burn agriculture, charcoal production, and logging.

One method to help reduce deforestation pressures and to place value upon standing forests is REDD+. There are several types of REDD+ projects. For instance, there are avoided planned deforestation and avoided unplanned deforestation projects. An avoided unplanned deforestation project is when someone other than the landowner, such as a local community, is undertaking the activities that lead to deforestation. An avoided planned deforestation project is when the landowner has committed to forego deforestation after demonstrating their ability, intent, and legal permission to undertake deforestation. There are also REDD+ projects that aim to prevent mosaic deforestation and REDD+ projects that aim to prevent frontier deforestation. As explained by the standard body Verra, “Frontier deforestation is forest destruction that occurs along a discernible frontier, such as a new road cut into a forest. Mosaic deforestation, in contrast, occurs in patches across a forested area.” Foundation, through its subsidiary CarbonCo, has developed four REDD+ projects in the state of Acre, Brazil. These four Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation projects, are called the Russas, Valparaiso, Purus and Envira Amazonia Projects. Our Russas, Valparaiso, and Purus Projects are examples of avoided unplanned deforestation projects, while our Envira Amazonia Project is an example of an avoided planned deforestation project.

Each of our Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation projects have undergone independent validation and verification audits to two certification standards known as the Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standard. With the reduction of deforestation, the projects are able to issue verified emission reductions (known as carbon offsets). By supporting carbon offsets, the projects are able to raise revenue to finance a wide-variety of community projects and to undertake biodiversity studies. For instance, such community projects include building health clinics, renovating local schools, hiring agronomists to teach sustainable agriculture, and facilitating doctor and dentist visits.

To learn more about Foundation and our REDD+ projects, please visit