This press release was published by Ecosphere+ and Althelia on 21st May. It has subsequently been covered by Business Green and Carbon Pulse.
First-of-its-kind REDD+ carbon credit integrated into Peru’s plan to achieve Paris targets[London, 21 May]: Althelia Funds (Althelia) and Ecosphere+ are delighted to announce that REDD+ carbon credits generated by the Tambopata-Bahuaja Reserve and Cordillera Azul National Park REDD+ projects in Peru have been formally acknowledged by the Peruvian Ministry of Environment (MINAM), a key step forward in the framework of its climate policy and national emissions reductions commitments.
This marks a global first as no country yet has commenced the process to officially integrate REDD+ carbon credits into their “nationally determined contribution” (NDC) plan to achieve the goal of limiting the rise of global average temperature, as set-out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. The recognition of national protected area REDD+ projects by MINAM, and their contribution to Peru’s national climate and REDD+ policy, is a significant step in demonstrating how protecting threatened high conservation value and high carbon stock forests is scalable and replicable not only in Peru but in other countries with vulnerable protected areas.
The project developers and the implementing partners on the ground, CIMA and AIDER, hand-in-hand with Althelia, have worked closely with the Peruvian government through the Peruvian National Service for Protected Areas (SERNANP) to align the emissions reductions generated by the Tambopata-Bahuaja and Cordillera Azul projects with Peru’s national forest emission reference level. This means that carbon credits generated at a local level and sold outside of the country between 2015 and 2018 will be deducted from the Peruvian national inventory avoiding any potential double-counting, whilst also demonstrating how private sector- and civil society-led action to mitigate climate change at a local level can contribute to wider international efforts. The projects will continue to exist after 2018 and will nest into the national forest emissions reference level, using this national emissions baseline.
Forest conservation projects, such as the Tambopata-Bahuaja and Cordillera Azul projects, are vital to meeting the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and generate verified and audited carbon credits, which can be used by organisations and governments to reach their sustainability and emissions reductions targets, endorsed by a key party. Deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for about 10% of global emissions, so eliminating these emissions will be critical in stabilising global climate. Furthermore, the land-use sector is the only major source of greenhouse gases that has the potential to become a substantial carbon sink, in that reforestation and other land-use changes have the potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Under the guidelines of the Paris Agreement, every signatory country submitted an INDC, which detailed their emissions and the actions each would take to reduce this figure – all with the aim of limiting the rise in global average temperature to below 2°C. In its 2015 INDC proposal, the Peruvian government proposed a reduction of emissions equivalent to 30% in relation to the GHG emissions projected for 2030.
Peru’s development of a transitional pathway is leading the way among forest countries who wish to recognise the importance of existing REDD+ projects toward achievement of NDC goals. Therefore these now represent the currently available “best in class” host country-approved, project-based carbon credits.
Sylvain Goupille, Managing Partner of Althelia, said, “Althelia has always been at the forefront of conservation finance, ensuring much needed private capital is directed to protecting critical ecosystems. Our partnership with CIMA, AIDER and the Peruvian government demonstrates the high level of measurable positive social and environmental impact our investments have. This approach is entirely scalable and replicable, so it offers a template for countries around the world who are also committed to tackling climate change. We are working closely with Peru to scale up our current partnership and replicate this model elsewhere.”
Lisa Walker, CEO of Ecosphere+, said, “Due to this recognition, we now have access to the most advanced project-based REDD+ carbon credits that are compatible with Peru’s Paris implementation strategy, enabling our customers to anticipate future regulations and attain their climate and sustainability outcomes. Not only does it finance a transition to sustainable land use and commodity production, but it causes a chain reaction of other positive impacts such as protecting biodiversity, supporting endangered species, empowering women and bringing new jobs to local communities.”
Adding to this, Pedro Gamboa, Chief of the National Service of Protected Areas of Peru (SERNANP), commented, “Protected Natural Areas are of critical importance for the conservation of biological diversity throughout the world. It is absolutely vital that we conserve the carbon stored in our protected areas, conserve biodiversity, and protect the livelihoods of local communities in their buffer zones – this is the way that we will preserve for posterity the natural resources of our nation and our planet. From SERNANP, we are pleased to work in partnership with Althelia and Ecosphere + in the Tambopata National Reserve, the Bahuaja- Sonene and Cordillera Azul National Parks, and we see this as a significant step towards reaching the goals set-out in the Paris Agreement. ”
Notes to Editors
About Althelia Funds
ALTHELIA Funds is an experienced and recognised asset manager with an impact-driven approach to investment aligning strong financial returns with measurable environmental and social impact. It is the product of the recent acquisition of Althelia Ecosphere, a pioneer Impact Investor in the natural capital space, by Mirova, the leading European Responsible Investment platform, and is committed to be the leading global natural capital fund manager.
Althelia Funds manages investments that deliver financial returns that are fully aligned with the conservation of nature and sustainable social development. We leverage expertise and capital to define pathways for innovative solutions to the climate and environmental challenges facing society today.
Ecosphere+ is a certified B Corporation helping companies create and implement nature-based solutions that enable them to succeed in a world aligned with global climate and development goals.
As part of the impact investment Althelia Climate Fund, Ecosphere+ brings to market the largest portfolio of forest conservation projects in the world, generating verified carbon credits and measurable sustainable development impacts. These carbon credits are part of a growing natural asset class at least as important as renewables in the fight to slow climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and vital to achieving the Paris Agreement goals.
By expanding the carbon markets to new sectors such as retail, and creating further demand for forest-based carbon credits, Ecosphere+ is at the very heart of the movement that is using climate or conservation finance to protect critical ecosystems, and inspiring businesses and consumers to take much needed climate action.
The Peruvian National Service of Natural Protected Areas by the State – SERNANP, is a public body attached to the Ministry of the Environment since May 2008. Its mission is to ensure the conservation of the country’s Natural Protected Areas, their biological diversity and the maintenance of their environmental services. To achieve this, SERNANP has developed international cooperation projects and agreements with civil society and various institutions. SERNANP is the governing body of the National System of Natural Protected Areas by the State (Sinanpe), and in its capacity as a technical-normative authority, it carries out its work in coordination with regional and local governments, as well as with owners of properties recognised as private conservation areas.
The mission of SERNANP is to conduct the System of Natural Protected Areas of Peru with an ecosystemic, integral and participatory perspective, in order to sustainably manage its biological diversity and maintain ecosystem services that provide benefits to society.
Footnotes: There are about 25 national protected areas and millions of hectares of new potential protected areas in the Peruvian Amazon where REDD+ used by the Parks Authority, SERNANP, could provide a sustainable financing mechanism in the future in the same way as for the Tambopata National Reserve, Bahuaja Sonene National Park and Cordillera Azul National Park.  The Centro de Conservación, Investigación y Manejo de Áreas Naturales – Cordillera Azul (CIMA) is our implementing partner for the Cordillera Azul project. CIMA undertakes and promotes research, production and dissemination of knowledge as well as the design and validation of management models for nature conservation with a strong emphasis on strengthening communities and sustainably managing natural resources.  The Asociacion para la Investigacion y Desarollo Integral (AIDER) implements our Tambopata project. AIDER is a Peruvian NGO leader in environmental conservation and sustainable development with over two decades of work and expertise promoting forest resource management and social responsibility.  ‘Nesting’ is a process which integrates the carbon accounting of national, subnational and local project activities, helping to cut down on double counting and improve the accuracy of emissions calculations.  https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/solutions/stop-deforestation/deforestation-global-warming-carbon-emissions.html