THE CASE FOR PRESERVATION IN HIGH FOREST, LOW DEFORESTATION JURISDICTIONS
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For years, the world has been seeking ways to preserve nature at scale. However, existing approaches have not been fully successful in achieving this.
The loss of existing forests is estimated to be about six times worse for the climate. If destroyed, they will release a much higher level of stored carbon into the atmosphere, ruin rich biodiversity and the habitats of millions, and could take decades or centuries to regenerate.
Our planet's last intact forests are under mounting threat of irreversible, permanent loss if new approaches to protect them are not urgently supported.
PRESERVING INTACT FORESTS IS MORE IMPACTFUL THAN RESTORING DEFORESTED AREAS
There is a special classification for jurisdictions with high forest cover and low historical rates of deforestation.
Classified as ‘High Forest, Low Deforestation’ (HFLD), there are currently a dozen countries and nearly 40 subnational jurisdictions globally that, together, contain a quarter of the world’s existing forests. That’s close to a billion hectares of mainly intact forests, locking in billions of tonnes of carbon.
While nearly all forests will eventually face threats, carbon credits have, until recently, focused predominantly on areas that have already experienced high rates of deforestation. Perversely, this has meant that forests in HFLD jurisdictions were overlooked until they were under immediate threat or after they had been cut.
SCALING OF FINANCIAL INCENTIVES URGENTLY NEEDED TO PRESERVE OUR LAST INTACT FORESTS
Soon, carbon credits from HFLD jurisdictions will be available under two reputable standards, ART-TREES and the World Bank FCPF, offering a market-based incentive to preserve nature at scale.
These credits will be available for investment and purchase, with the potential to protect some of the most critical forest areas remaining on the planet. Like other high-quality credits, these HFLD credits employ very conservative benchmarks to quantify the beneficial contribution of HFLD jurisdictions to global climate mitigation.
CREDITS FROM HFLD JURISDICTIONS PLAY AN ONGOING ROLE IN BUTTRESSING THE INTEGRITY OF ALL FOREST CREDITS
Carbon credits provide a readily available market-based solution for protecting intact forests at a time when ambitious action is urgently needed.
Climate Impact X, Conservation International, Emergent, Natural Climate Solutions Alliance and the Wildlife Conservation Society have come together to help ambitious companies make more informed decisions about using credits from HFLD jurisdictions within broader climate mitigation portfolios.
SUPPORTING HFLD JURISDICTIONS
Amazonas has currently 97% of its natural cover preserved, or more than 1.5 million km of forests. These forests are providing, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, environmental services fundamental for the planet's climate balance. At the same time, more than 50% of our population lives below the poverty line. The cost of maintaining this extensive forest area, which provides services for the entire planet, is almost exclusively under the responsibility of the State of Amazonas. In that sense, more than an emissions reduction mechanism, HFLD credits can allow the valuation of standing forests while at the same time contributing to the reduction of social inequalities in the Amazon. To me, this is an opportunity for climate justice for these regions, which, like ours, have a double challenge: to keep their forest resources standing and, at the same rate, to reduce poverty.
(Translated from Portuguese)
Wilson Lima, Governor of State of Amazonas, Brazil
Together, we can make forests worth more alive than dead. To discuss how your company can purchase credits from HFLD jurisdictions when available, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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