Another tool in NCC’s arsenal against climate change

Darkwoods, British Columbia (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Darkwoods, British Columbia (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

March 21, 2016 | by Rob Wilson

Few issues are as pressing for Canada, and the world, as the need for us to address climate change in a meaningful way. Thankfully the work of conservation organizations such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) allows us to do so each and every day.

In NCC’s case, we are already the stewards of Canada’s largest single private land acquisition for conservation, known as Darkwoods, which has become one of North America’s largest forestry carbon offset projects.

High quality, conservation-based carbon offsets can help companies achieve important social goals while they work towards reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. In fact in many leading international carbon programs, offsets play a critical role in facilitating companies’ compliance with emission targets.

Conservation-based carbon offsets provide companies and individuals with the chance to meaningfully contribute to the conservation of important landscapes while implementing strategies to reduce their emissions.

Darkwoods carbon credits are certified by the world’s leading international voluntary market standard the Verified Carbon Standard. The project is also certified by the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance standard for its enormous non-carbon values, such as providing habitat for endangered species, creating wildlife corridors, protecting multiple watersheds and, of course, protecting thousands of trees that store carbon.

Misty Darkwoods forest, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Misty Darkwoods forest, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Darkwoods is truly a unique landscape, given its wide diversity of tree species and the existence of old-growth forests. From mountain peaks ranging over 2,400 metres (over 8,000 feet) high, to lush valley bottoms, Darkwoods stores enormous amounts of carbon within its varied landscape. Protecting this carbon from being released is one of the most important features of the carbon project. NCC accomplishes this by conserving lands and creating buffers to ensure that the carbon that is stored there, stays there.

Organizations such as Environics Communications, among others, have purchased carbon offsets from the Darkwoods project in order to offset their corporate carbon footprints while they continue to find ways of reducing emissions through operational efficiencies. Many organizations have chosen to purchase Darkwoods carbon offsets as it represents an outstanding way of supporting NCC’s conservation mission while taking responsibility for their own carbon footprints. It’s a way of showing leadership in terms of addressing climate change and contributing to the conservation of carbon “sinks” that are critical components of Canada’s forests and lands.

The sale of offsets from landscapes like Darkwoods is just one more tool in NCC's arsenal to help ensure that our conservation work can continue.

Rob Wilson (Photo by Brian Yungblut)

About the Author

Rob Wilson is the director of conservation finance for the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

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