Located in eastern Maine, the Farm Cove Forest Carbon Project covers 19,118 acres (7,737 hectares) of land within the Farm Cove Community Forest. It is also the first Improved Forest Management forest carbon project located outside of California to achieve Climate Action Reserve (CAR) verification through the Rainforest Alliance—and, perhaps most impressive, is expected to eliminate over 800,000 tons of CO2 emissions over its 100 year lifespan (equivalent to the annual emissions of over 156,000 cars).
The project area is covered under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) forest management certificate for Downeast Lakes Land Trust—a local conservation nonprofit in Maine—and the 2011 audit was conducted simultaneously with the CAR verification audit.
“Downeast Lakes Land Trust is a leader, demonstrating that forest carbon projects can be combined with FSC forest certification to enhance the environmental and socio-economic benefits of each,” said Richard Donovan, senior vice president of the Rainforest Alliance. “The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.”
The project—which was developed by Finite Carbon, who also provided the carbon credit and sequestration calculations—has already reduced CO2 emissions by an estimated 200,000 tons and is expected to sequester an additional 600,000 tons of CO2 over the next 100 years, sequestering a total of 800,000 tons of CO2 emissions. Downeast Lakes Land Trust plans to use its expected proceeds from the sale of carbon credits to fund other conservation initiatives.
“Achieving Rainforest Alliance verification of our carbon credit project is an exciting step. We are focused on forest conservation and management to support the economic and environmental well-being of our community and region,” said Mark Berry, executive director of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust. “By participating in the market for carbon credits, we stand to gain financial resources toward our ongoing effort to conserve an additional 22,000 acres as Community Forest around Grand Lake Stream.”
The Rainforest Alliance provides a range of verification services to confirm that carbon projects are conservation-oriented and meet established international standards for carbon sequestration. The Climate Action Reserve Standard (CAR) provides a set of rigorous protocols, guidelines and tools to support the North American carbon market. By verifying projects according to the CAR Standard, the Rainforest Alliance encourages action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by ensuring the environmental integrity and financial benefit of emissions reduction projects.