Insight from COP18


December 5, 2012



Spotlighting far-reaching progress on sustainable forestry and agriculture in the fight against climate change

When and Where?

Wednesday, December 5, 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM (EST)
Register for this webinar at the link:


Jeff Hayward, director of the Rainforest Alliance’s climate program


A webinar on the progress of the COP18 Climate Summit now underway in Doha, Qatar through December 7. Jeff Hayward will offer his insights into current developments at COP18 while discussing the Rainforest Alliance’s work to protect forests (including technical and financial support for REDD [Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation]), promote sustainable agriculture and forestry, encourage social and environmental safeguards and advocate for funding to help farmers, foresters and local communities worldwide mitigate and adapt to climate change. Q&A to follow overview and discussion.

Rainforest Alliance Background

The Rainforest Alliance™ is a global leader in sustainability certification of agriculture and forestry, sectors that account for up to 30 percent of global carbon emissions. A co-founder of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the largest FSC certifier, the Rainforest Alliance has certified more than 177 million acres (72 million hectares) of sustainably managed forests, along with thousands of forest-product manufacturing companies. About 10 percent of the world’s forests are now under certified sustainable management, with total acreage growing 20 percent annually. 

The Rainforest Alliance offers accredited carbon offset verification and validation services, auditing forestry and agroforestry projects for compliance with major internationally recognized standards, helping facilitate the continuing growth of carbon markets and of REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation). For example, the organization recently validated the first-ever FSC-certified REDD project in the Amazon, protecting 67,700 acres (27,400 hectares) of rainforest in the Para State of Brazil. 

The Rainforest Alliance works to support REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation plus forest conservation) with standards and tools that help forest managers and farmers reduce emissions, conduct carbon accounting and access climate financing and the benefits of selling carbon offsets while avoiding negative social and environmental impacts. The Rainforest Alliance recently collaborated with the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance, and Fauna and Flora International on auser-friendly manual for land-based carbon projects on conducting cost-effective and credible social and biodiversity impact assessments.

The Rainforest Alliance’s work in agriculture is based on the comprehensive Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) Standard, which includes requirements for curbing deforestation and other ecosystem damage. Over a quarter of a million farms worldwide are Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM for the sustainable production of agricultural products including plantation crops that drive deforestation, such as oil palm, sugar and soy. The Rainforest Alliance also developed the SAN Climate Module, which promotes the adoption of climate-smart farm practices that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase carbon sequestration and build capacity of farms to adapt to climate change. The Rainforest Alliance’s work with farmers to implement climate-friendly farming provides models for low carbon development, from coffee farms in Mexico and Nicaragua to cocoa farms in western Ghana. These efforts promote reforestation, help farmers adapt to and mitigate climate change and pioneer credible methods for measuring and verifying sequestered carbon. 

In addition to certifying the production of crops, the Rainforest Alliance also certifies ranches for sustainable cattle production according to the new SAN Standard that manage grasses, conserve trees and reduce emissions. The first cattle ranches to earn certification are in the Mato Grosso state of western Brazil, and cover a total area of 79,000 acres (32,000 hectares). Livestock grazing covers 26 percent of the Earth’s land area and accounts for 18 percent of GHG emissions.

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