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CONAF and VCS Announce World’s First National Governmental JNR Agreement

(Santiago, Chile) – For the first time ever, a national government has joined forces with a carbon emissions standard to combat forestry emissions on a countrywide level, thanks to a new agreement announced today by the Chilean National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) and the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). VCS signed a similar agreement at the subnational level with the State of Acre in Brazil earlier this year.

This collaboration will allow Chile to efficiently harmonize and synchronize its criteria for forest carbon projects with VCS rules and requirements. One of the most prestigious international standards in the world, the VCS serves as the backbone for the majority of forest carbon credits transacted in the global voluntary carbon market. This agreement will provide both the government and project developers clear guidelines to follow when designing and implementing forest conservation and restoration efforts.

The agreement, signed by the Executive Director of CONAF, Eduardo Vial Ruiz-Tagle, and VCS Chief Executive Officer, David Antonioli, emphasizes CONAF’s work in developing a “Forest Management Plan for the Environmental Service of Carbon Capture” (PMSACC). The PMSACC will be adapted to meet VCS requirements, and CONAF will institutionalize a series of its own requirements for forest carbon projects. This will provide developers with much needed certainty to better plan projects and programs. The VCS Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR) guidelines will be considered as one possible approach under the PMSACC.

“The forests of Chile and South America represent some of the world’s best opportunities for emission reductions and carbon sequestration. This is why VCS established a regional office in Santiago and is making major strides to help jurisdictions reach their carbon reduction goals across the continent,” said VCS Chief Executive Officer David Antonioli. “This landmark agreement will allow activities at both national and project scales to ensure robust jurisdictional accounting while incentivizing private sector action. This agreement should serve as a shining example of a viable and streamlined way forward for other countries looking to scale up their greenhouse gas mitigation programs in the forest sector.”

“One of our obligations at the government level is to develop projects in the forestry sector that allow our forests to increase their ability to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this, we are working on a ‘Platform for the Generation and Trading of Carbon Credits from the Forestry Sector in Chile’ (PBCCh). The agreement with VCS is an important advancement for this, as it allows us to harmonize the criteria of these projects with an international standard,” said CONAF’s Executive Director, Eduardo Vial Ruiz-Tagle.

Under PMSACC, new technical instruments are being developed to regulate the use of natural resources in each of the different forest types that exist throughout Chile. Activities that will reduce emissions will fall into one or more of three categories of eligible project activities under the VCS: Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR), and Improved Forest Management (IFM). When fully implemented, this agreement will increase the scale of emission reductions from these activities at a national level in Chile.

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Founded in 2005 by the Climate Group, the International Emissions Trading Association, the World Economic Forum, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Verified Carbon Standard has become one of the world’s most widely used carbon accounting standards. VCS has revolutionized the market developing trusted and innovative tools, as well as pioneering efforts to develop standardized methods that will streamline the project approval process, reduce transaction costs and enhance transparency. Across the world, projects using the VCS Standard have issued more than 100 million credits.

The National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) is Chile’s national forestry service under the Ministry of Agriculture, created in 1970. CONAF’s mission is: “To contribute to the development of the country through the sustainable management of forest ecosystems and the mitigation of climate change impacts, the promotion and oversight of forestry and environmental legislation, the protection of natural vegetation resources, and the administration of the Protected Wild Areas of the State (SNASPE) for current and future generations.”