The Nicaforest Program has 490 hectares of land under management and aims to contribute to the creation of a sustainable value-chain by working closely with local landowners in a Shared Benefit Scheme. The program plants teak and other valuable species for future timber production and added-value wood production as well as other measures aimed at increasing resilience in the local municipalities.
The project protects the remaining patches of native vegetation and creates additional conservation areas on the banks of rivers and other watersheds. The forests offer a natural habitat for native animals and plants, protect and enrich the soil, save and filter water and contribute to the mitigation of the greenhouse effect.
The Nicaforest Program is in its pilot phase and is certified by Gold Standard and Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC). The Norwegian company Across Forest AS is the promoter and the subsidiary, Nicaforest Plantations S.a in Santo Tomas, Chontales region in Nicaragua, is operating the program in Nicaragua.
Reduced deforestation and degradation
This program has planted approximately 360.000 trees in 4 different farms: Amelia farm, Santa Elena farm, Rosario de Fatima farm and Santa Maria farm.
As of the end of 2018, this program sequestered 45.624 tCO2e (Ex Post) and 32.460 tCO2e are estimated future sequestering (Ex Ante).
Natural Forests and Bio-diversity protected
Since we are planting on deforested land only, approximately 25-30% of the farms are conservation areas where natural forests are left protected. Enhancing native biodiversity and wildlife.
In most farms there are rivers and creeks. Rivers and creeks are very important for preserving biodiversity and soil. To protect the natural growth close to waterways and avoid any negative effect from the planting activities, harvesting is not permitted within 100 meters of the river and creek.
Boardering to REDD+ zones
The Nicaforest High Impact Reforestation Program is boardering prioritized REDD+ zone by Nicaraguan Government and Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF);
By establishing teak plantations on deforested areas, the project has provided more than 200 jobs during the planting periods and approximately 30 permanent jobs to maintain forest management to the highest standards. Employment comes with salary contracts, social security and equal pay for men and women.
Additional income source for farmers
By signing a Shared Benefit Agreement with Nicaforest, the farmers are able to enter the international timber and carbon market, something that would not have been possible without this program. This represents an additional long-term source of income, enabling farmers to benefit from a diversified strategy.
Transfer of technology and know-how
Training and education of staff is an important part of operations. Forestry techniques and issues related to health and safety are an important part of this training. Furthermore, students from universities of natural sciences participate in programs enabling them to complete their education through field studies.
Strengthening food security
To utilize available land the program developed a system for landless people to grow food crops (i.e., beans) in between the tree-rows. In total more than 70 ton where harvested in this Pilot Program.
Increased community resilience
The diversification of income sources for the farmers as they benefit from the timber and carbon market together with the increase in employment opportunities, increases community resilience locally and regionally.
The VCS Program is the world’s most widely used voluntary GHG program. Over 1,840 certified VCS projects have collectively reduced or removed more than 984 million tonnes of carbon and other GHG emissions from the atmosphere.
Individuals and corporations around the world are recognizing the importance of reducing their GHG emissions. As a result, many of them are reducing their carbon footprints through energy efficiency and other measures. Quite often, however, it is not possible for these entities to meet their targets or eliminate their carbon footprint, at least in the near term, with internal reductions alone, and they need a flexible mechanism to achieve these aspirational goals. Enter the carbon markets.
By using the carbon markets, entities can neutralize, or offset, their emissions by retiring carbon credits generated by projects that are reducing GHG emissions elsewhere. Of course, it is critical to ensure, or verify, that the emission reductions generated by these projects are actually occurring. This is the work of the VCS Program – to ensure the credibility of emission reduction projects.
Once projects have been certified against the VCS Program’s rigorous set of rules and requirements, project developers can be issued tradable GHG credits that we call Verified Carbon Units (VCUs). Those VCUs can then be sold on the open market and retired by individuals and companies as a means to offset their own emissions. Over time, this flexibility channels financing to clean, innovative businesses and technologies.
Verra’s role is to develop and administer the program. We provide oversight to all operational components of the VCS Program and we are responsible for updating the VCS rules such that they ensure the quality of VCUs. The development of the VCS Program is supported by the VCS Program Advisory Group, a multi-stakeholder body that helps ensure that the VCS Program continues to serve its users in an effective and efficient manner and drives practical and robust solutions to mitigate climate change.