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VCS Teams with CCB Standards to Support Development of High Social and Environmental Value Projects

VCS Teams with CCB Standards to Support Development of High Social and Environmental Value Projects

(Washington, D.C.) – The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) will now manage the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards (CCB Standards), one of the most widely applied and respected tools to measure the community and biodiversity impacts of land-based carbon projects. Empirical evidence shows that communities and biodiversity can reap significant benefits from projects that conserve forest, plant trees, improve agricultural land management, as well as a number of other activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or enhance carbon stocks. The CCB Standards help such projects credibly assess and consistently report on their non-carbon impacts.

“We have long known that projects that reduce GHG emissions can simultaneously unlock many more tangible benefits for communities and ecosystems. Our ability to manage the VCS and CCB Standards together will, over time, facilitate the more efficient verification and reporting of climate, social and environmental benefits,” said VCS Chief Executive Officer David Antonioli. “Further, bringing the CCB Standards onboard enables the VCS to provide an independent non-carbon benefits platform to meet project developers’ evolving needs.”

The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) developed the CCB Standards, and its members – CARE,Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, the Rainforest Alliance and Wildlife Conservation Society -are now entrusting the VCS with management of those standards going forward. Ecosystem Marketplace’s State of the Forest Carbon Market 2013 reported that credits from projects using both the VCS and CCB Standards accounted for 16 percent of transacted credits within the voluntary carbon market while simultaneously improving communities and the ecosystems on which they depend.

“This represents a critical next step in the continued growth of the CCB Standards,” said CCBA Director Joanna Durbin. “All of the CCBA member organizations are excited to have the VCS bring its expertise in running a robust, globally applicable environmental standard and program to further strengthen the reach and impact of the CCB Standards.”

Moving forward, the VCS will assume the day-to-day management of the CCB Standards, while the current members of the CCBA will continue to guide the standards as part of a newly formed steering committee. This committee will be co-chaired by CCBA Director Joanna Durbin and VCS Sustainable Landscapes Director Toby Janson-Smith, who himself was involved in the development of the CCB Standards while at Conservation International.

Project developers should expect no immediate changes to either standard and those using either or both standards can continue to contact the same email addresses for both CCB Standards and VCS for inquiries or to submit documentation. For now, the only thing that will change is where those communications go, namely, the VCS team will respond to all communications.

“Our team has worked closely with the CCBA for months to facilitate this transition and are fully prepared to help project developers navigate both standards,” said Mr. Antonioli. “Over the longer term, we will continue to look for ways to better integrate both standards in a manner that provides developers with the most streamlined process possible, while still ensuring that all projects maintain the highest social and environmental integrity.”

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About the CCBA:

The CCBA is a unique partnership of leading international NGOs that was founded in 2003 with a mission to stimulate and promote land management activities that credibly mitigate global climate change, improve the well-being and reduce the poverty of local communities, and conserve biodiversity. The CCBA brings together diverse stakeholders through a transparent and inclusive participatory process to develop standards that stimulate, identify and promote high quality multiple-benefit land management activities. In addition to the CCB Standards, the CCBA has also facilitated the development of the REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards (SES) that support government-led REDD+ programs that make a substantial contribution to human rights, poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation goals while avoiding social or environmental harm. For more information see www.climate-standards.org .

About the VCS:

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 VCS has become one of the world’s most widely used carbon accounting standards. VCS has revolutionized the voluntary carbon market by developing trusted tools, such as standardized methods that streamline the project approval process, reduce transaction costs and enhance transparency.  As the international market continues to evolve, VCS has also brought new programmatic innovations that allow for emission reductions achieved by government programs addressing deforestation to be accounted for on a larger scale. Across the world, projects and programs using the VCS Standard have issued more than 155 million Verified Carbon Units (VCUs). For more information, see www.v-c-s.org