Using the Trees to Save the Forest

The Nature Conservancy of Canada Launches North America's Largest Forest Carbon Credit Project

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VANCOUVER, June 8, 2011 /CNW/ - The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), Canada's leading private land conservation organization, announces the largest forest carbon project to date in North America. Developed through a rigorous procedure involving numerous advisors, and meeting international standards, this sale of carbon credits is raising the bar for conservation in Canada and contributes in excess of $4 million for NCC's conservation work.

"We are always looking for unique strategies to fund the protection of Canada's natural heritage," says John Lounds, President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. "By harnessing the power of the carbon market, the Darkwoods Carbon pilot project represents an innovative new avenue for helping to fund great conservation projects."

By carefully assessing and validating the natural features that NCC works to protect—in this case the forests of Darkwoods, a 136,000 acre (55,000 hectare) project area in south-eastern British Columbia — NCC and its advisors have created a ground-breaking carbon project that, through the sale of carbon credits, will generate funding to support long term conservation. The initial sale is of carbon credits that are the equivalent of 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, to Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT) and ERA Ecosystem Restoration Associates. 

"Darkwoods has some of the most diverse forests in Canada - forests we need to ensure are well-managed over the long term," says B.C.'s Environment Minister Terry Lake. "This forest carbon agreement secures enduring conservation of these important lands and a step forward in building B.C.'s green economy."

The Darkwoods Carbon pilot project represents the first of its kind in Canada. It is one of the highest quality and largest forest carbon projects to date in North America.  Carbon financing enables NCC to successfully carry out the stewardship of Darkwoods, resulting in additional carbon being sequestered over time, in comparison to what would have happened had the property been logged in the absence of NCC's conservation efforts. 

This project also opens the door for other landowners and conservation groups to consider the use of carbon credits (and this approach) as a means of helping finance the conservation of natural areas that are also longstanding carbon sinks.

A key component of this pilot project is to ensure it remains authentically conservation-based at every step, meaning that NCC sought partners who have indicated a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint.  

"The Darkwoods Carbon pilot project represents one of the highest quality forest carbon projects to date in North America and is an important achievement for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The unique methodology developed by the project team will benefit the entire carbon industry," said Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, Senior Vice President of Scientific Certification Systems, a third-party validator on the Darkwoods Carbon pilot project.

The long-term protection of Darkwoods will support a diversity of plants, animals and ecological communities that thrive on the property, including an endangered herd of mountain caribou and an isolated population of grizzly bear.


  • The forests of Darkwoods contain more than 17 different tree species, one of the highest diversity of trees in British Columbia.
  • Darkwoods is home to 19 confirmed threatened or endangered species.
  • 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions are approximately equal to the emissions of 120,000 SUV's or 200,000 small North American cars in a year.
  • Carbon credits can be traded to counterbalance the production of greenhouse gases generated by industry, transportation or other activities.

How the Nature Conservancy of Canada is using trees
to save the forest with associates

Ecosystem Restoration Associates and 3Green Tree Ecosystem Services:

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) worked closely with 3GreenTree Ecosystem Services and ERA Ecosystem Restoration Associates to develop a unique Improved Forest Management methodology for quantifying the amount of carbon stored in Temperate and Boreal Forests where timber harvesting is planned.

Vancouver-based pioneer in carbon projects, ERA, has purchased 250,000 credits, which will flow into to the European voluntary market through their German partners, the Forest Carbon Group AG.

Dr. Robert Falls of ERA stated, "Darkwoods represents a major step forward for British Columbia and Canada in recognizing the important role our forests play in climate mitigation, while demonstrating that forests have multiple economic values, of which carbon is one.  I'd like to recognize NCC and 3GT for showing leadership in developing this project, and congratulate PCT and FCG for supporting it in the marketplace.  ERA is proud to have participated in making the Darkwoods Carbon Project a reality and we look forward to helping further establish BC and Canada as a leader within the green economy."

3GreenTree Ecosystem Services is a Vancouver-based full service forest ecosystem asset development, acquisition and management company.

The Forest Carbon Group AG is a German based organization that helps companies balance the effects of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their production facilities or products, using carbon credits from both reforestation and forest protection projects around the world.

Auditors Det Norske Veritas, Rainforest Alliance, and Scientific Certification Systems

This methodology was approved by Det Norske Veritas and Rainforest Alliance to the internationally recognized Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).  The Darkwoods carbon project was validated by Rainforest Alliance and verified by Scientific Certification Systems, two of the worlds leading independent carbon auditors.  Successful validation and verification by these bodies ensures the project meets the highest international standards for accountability, making the Darkwoods Carbon Project one that produces and maintains tangible environmental benefits over the life of the project.

Pacific Carbon Trust

Four hundred and fifty thousand credits have also been sold to Pacific Carbon Trust, the BC Crown corporation set up to deliver high quality BC-based credits to its clients, including the province's public sector organizations. 
"Canada's largest private forest conservation project will be supported through its carbon values helping the Province meet its commitment to being the first jurisdiction in North America to be carbon neutral," says Pacific Carbon Trust CEO Scott MacDonald. "The development of this project has also created pioneering jobs in carbon quantification, measurement, project development and protocol work - contributing to BC's leadership in North America's rapidly growing green economy."

Learn More

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is a leading land conservation organization, having helped protect more than 800,000 hectares of ecologically significant land nationwide.

Pacific Carbon Trust is a Crown corporation established to deliver high-quality carbon offsets to help clients meet their carbon reduction goals and to support the growth of BC's low-carbon economy.

Ecosystem Restoration Associates is a Vancouver-based pioneer in forest-based carbon offset programs and project development.

For stunning still photos, visit

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as follows:


Photo :


SOURCE Nature Conservancy of Canada

For further information:

Nature Conservancy of Canada 
Jane Gilbert
Chief Communications Officer
416-932-3202 / cell 647-273-4873

Lesley Marian Neilson
Communications Manager, BC Region
250-661-2969  / cell 250-661-2969

Ecosystem Restoration Associates 
David Rokoss
Director, Business Development

Pacific Carbon Trust 
Hope Hickli
Associate, Marketing and Communications


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