The Conservation Coast REDD+ Project in Guatemala and Sumatra Merang Peatland Project in Indonesia have recently earned recognition as two of the top six natural climate solutions projects globally by the NCS Alliance. These projects – named “lighthouses” – passed rigorous screening criteria designed to identify the leaders in delivering transformational, cross-cutting outcomes for climate, nature and people. The projects exemplify both the success and process of linking carbon projects to the Voluntary Carbon Market and are named lighthouses to shine the light on what can be achieved with the right investments into nature.
Commenting on the recognition, Lisa Walker, CEO of Ecosphere+, said: “We are delighted that the Conservation Coast and Sumatra Merang projects have been selected as lighthouse finalists. Recognising and distinguishing high-impact NCS projects, and how they generate carbon credits, is vital to underpinning confidence in the carbon market and increasing trust and transparency. The lighthouse programme highlights best-practice in a still too often opaque market, and demonstrates how projects with effective governance and robust safeguards for nature and people can deliver key core benefits and meaningful positive outcomes. We’re thrilled to be able to bring these high-integrity solutions to market.”
Marco Cerezo, CEO of FUNDAECO – the project developer for the Conservation Coast – said: “We are honoured that the Conservation Coast has been selected as a lighthouse project by the NCS Alliance, recognising the efforts of so many stakeholders over the years to drive meaningful change in this region of Guatemala. The REDD+ mechanism has allowed our project to gain access to long-term, sustainable finance, without which we could not be delivering the conservation work that is so vitally needed here on the Conservation Coast. We’re looking forward to helping other projects and buyers in the carbon market learn from both our mistakes and successes to drive similar action for planet and people.”
Jeffrey Chatellier, CEO of Forest Carbon – the project developer for the Sumatra Merang Peatland Project – said: “The Sumatra Merang Peatland Project started with less than 1% forest cover in 2016 after a major fire. We’ve been able to restore the water levels in this natural wetland, which accelerated forest regrowth. Now more than 24% of the project area has closed canopy forest cover. This is a unique aspect of our project and an example of how markets can accelerate tropical wetland restoration and deliver co-benefits to communities and biodiversity. We’re thrilled this work has been recognised by the lighthouse programme.”
This recognition was awarded by the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance, an initiative convened by the World Economic Forum and WBCSD. The NCS Alliance exists to support nature-positive, cost-effective climate actions, and focuses on demand-side integrity, investment in high-quality projects and mainstreaming awareness about the role of NCS.
To launch the six finalists, the NCS Alliance hosted two events featuring representatives from each project who spoke about unique project approaches, challenges, successes and lessons learnt. These launch events can be found here. Case studies highlighting both projects can also be found here.