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Forest Carbon Validation & Verification

The Rainforest Alliance focuses on market-based solutions to the world’s most urgent social and environmental problems, including climate change. Forest carbon projects that promote and reward sustainable resource management and carbon sequestration can be powerful market-based tools for mitigating climate change and providing communities and land managers with payments for the carbon services they provide. Whether a project’s carbon credits are traded through voluntary markets or emerging compliance markets, carbon financing has the potential to promote significant reductions in deforestation and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and spur further investment in and demand for projects of this type.

The success of these markets, however, depends upon investor confidence in the credibility of a project’s carbon offsets and the way that they are being measured and verified. This in turn requires a reputable third party that can independently evaluate a project and determine whether it complies with the criteria of an accepted carbon standard. Through validation and verification, as well as carbon project design and development, the Rainforest Alliance works to strengthen the supply side of the market so that forest managers and forest-dependent communities can earn financial rewards for their efforts.

Our Extensive Carbon Expertise

The Rainforest Alliance’s team of recognized carbon experts has extensive auditing experience in GHG programs and methodologies and has led the way in strengthening carbon markets for the benefit of forest communities around the world:

  • We conduct independent audits of forest carbon projects. Accredited under , ISO 14065:2013—the international benchmark for GHG validation and verification bodies—the Rainforest Alliance assesses projects against leading carbon standards to evaluate their degree of conformance with a standard’s essential requirements and the accuracy of their emission-reduction and carbon-credit claims. As of July 2014, we have conducted 60 validations and 28 verifications1, covering more than 55 different carbon projects and 10.3 million acres (4,169,851 hectares) of land in 24 countries—from Mexico, Guatemala and Brazil to Mozambique, Kenya and Indonesia. Visit our forest carbon projects page to learn more.
  • We evaluate the credibility of carbon project methodologies. We evaluate the credibility of carbon project methodologies. We evaluate new and modified carbon accounting methodologies that are used to implement forest carbon projects. We verify that these methodologies meet the rigorous requirements set by carbon standard organizations and that they can be effectively interpreted, applied and replicated by project developers. We have assessed methodologies for a variety of REDD+ project types, such as avoided deforestation, Improved Forest Management (IFM) and afforestation/reforestation projects. Learn more about the methodologies we have verified.
  • We provide technical guidance and support to carbon standard organizations, carbon project developers and businesses. The Rainforest Alliance helps carbon standard organizations maintain the highest quality in carbon accounting. We create training materials and tools for carbon project developers and communities to assist with project implementation. We also provide guidance to businesses that want to invest in credible carbon projects, start their own projects or implement climate-smart practices and reduce emissions within their supply chains. Learn more about how we can help your business.
  • We actively participate on the technical advisory boards and steering committees for various carbon standards.

    Our affiliations include:
    • Member of the Verified Carbon Standard Association (VCS) AFOLU Steering Committee
    • VCSA-approved AFOLU Expert for REDD and Improved Forest Management
    • Member of the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Alliance
    • CCB Standards Committee member
    • Gold Standard Climate-Smart Agriculture and Afforestation/Reforestation Advisory Panel member

Are you interested in having the Rainforest Alliance conduct an audit of a forest carbon project or review a methodology? Please submit an inquiry.

  1. Validation: A third-party evaluation that confirms that a project uses recognized and reliable methods for reducing GHG emissions or demonstrating community and biodiversity benefits. Verification: A third-party confirmation of GHG reductions and community and biodiversity benefits that have already occurred.

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