Within a relatively short period of time, says Durbin, the CCB Standards
have been recognised as one of the best tools for measuring the quality of
forest carbon projects, and have proved especially important in the design
phase of many projects. By early 2009, over 170 project developers had
contacted the Alliance to enquire about using its standards. These represent
the majority of existing or planned forest carbon projects.
‘The original project developers were largely NGOs,’ says Durbin, ‘but
the private sector is now getting involved in the trade and we get
organisations telling us, “we’ve got a great project and we’ve found a
buyer, but the buyer is insisting that we have CCB Standards”.’
Many investors and buyers are attracted by the standards because they
help them to demonstrate their green credentials. Project developers have
found that they improve their access to markets, and they have enabled some
to gain a premium for their carbon.
CIFOR scientists Daniel Murdiyarso, Louis Verchot (formerly of ICRAF) and
Bruno Locatelli (formerly of CATIE–CIRAD, the Centre de coopération
internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement) contributed
to the standards.
The first edition of the standards reflected the Kyoto Protocol’s
stipulation that forest carbon projects under the Clean Development
Mechanism could involve reforestation and afforestation, but not avoided
deforestation. The second edition reflects the importance of projects that
will reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). The
new standards were launched at Forest Day 2, a side event co-organised by
CIFOR at the 14th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of
Under the first set of standards, the CCBA awarded five projects with a
gold rating. This was given to projects that targeted the poorest and most
vulnerable communities, conserved biodiversity in sites of global
significance, and provided significant support to help communities adapt to
climate change. The second edition of CCB Standards introduced stricter
criteria for gold rating.
The CCBA now plans to assist in the development of national standards in
countries as far afield as Ecuador, Madagascar and Nepal, which have
expressed an interest in piloting them. The standards could help governments
to check the contribution carbon projects make to their sustainable
development. National standards will be devised in partnership with civil
society, groups representing indigenous peoples and local and international
research agencies, including CIFOR, ICRAF and CATIE.