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 and 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”.