Donations and Carbon Offsets Helping Carbontree Preserve Coastal Chilean Forest

January 2016

Thanks to Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris and their clients, Carbontree Conservation Fund has been able to help preserve rare ancient forestlands along the Chilean coastlineā€”forest filled with wonderful wildlife and cultural history.

The Valdivian Coastal Reserve also represents Chile's first Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) project. REDD projects represent a relatively new way of preserving forests, relating forest preservation to climate change and thus leveraging a new source of funds for preservation. The Valdivian Coastal Reserve contains some of the most dense temperate forests in existence, thus absorbing and storing huge amounts of carbon. Carbontree's contribution to this effort exemplifies this creative preservation tool.

For more than eight years now, Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris has been sending out opportunities for CES participants to offset some or all of the carbon emissions from their Cheesemens' trip. The message, included in the trip's invoice, is simple but important. It estimates the metric tons of carbon emitted per participant on a trip (e.g. 6.6 metric tons on a recent trip to Antarctica), then values those emissions according to current market rates for carbon offsets (e.g. $60). Those who wish to participate simply add that amount to the value on their invoice. The Cheesemans match that offset amount with a donation from the company and then the magical part begins.

The Valdivian Coastal Reserve was purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 2003, sparing it from ongoing habitat destruction by industrial timber interests. Stretched out along the Southern Coast of Chile, the Reserve protects globally significant examples of coastal Olivillo and Alerce forest. Alerce is among the oldest and largest trees in the world, and its genus name, Fitzroya, comes from Robert Fitzroy, the captain of the HMS Beagle, the ship that brought Charles Darwin to the Galapagos.

In and amongst such glorious trees can be found one of the smallest species of deer in the world, one of the largest woodpeckers, the Southern River Otter, and nearly 60 bird species, surviving nicely above, within, and below the forest canopy.

The Nature Conservancy, which manages the reserve, works closely with local villages and local agencies to see that traditional and sustainable activities remain a strong part of the heritage of the forest and coastline.

The project has received certification of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) Standard, which represent the highest levels of integrity achievable for forest carbon projects. The impacts of the project are continuously monitored, and have been verified by independent third party assessments under the VCS and CCBA standards.

Funds from Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris and its participating clients are going towards protection of the forest from poaching or illegal logging operations, towards building trails and interpretive displays, and towards paying off the debt from the initial establishment of the reserve. To date Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris has raised more than $85,000 for Valdivia conservation efforts and will continue to move carbon offset dollars and matching donations towards this incredible forest.

Cheesemans' clients and others can further advance the work at the Valdivian Coastal Reserve through individual or corporate donations to Carbontree Conservation Fund. Donate now to CarbonTree or contact Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris at (800) 527-5330 for more information.

State of Drought Emergency Declared in Tumbes, Peru

March 30, 2011

A state of emergency has been declared in Tumbes and several other parts of Northern Peru after the region received no rainfall during the last four months of the wet season. Droughts are a normal part of the cycle in the coastal dry forests of South America, but due to climate change and forest lost the trend is shorter growing seasons, less rainfall, and more erratic seasons. Desertification caused by deforestation in the region is a major contributor. The drought this year has created widespread crop failures and it is estimated that supplemental feed will have to be brought in for livestock in the region. Malnutrition is also a problem, and the government is struggling to provide basic nutrients to children and pregnant mothers. We expect that the drought will last until at least November, the beginning of the next rainy season. Smaller villages hope that they will be able to construct wells to get water from deeper down in order to survive the 8 long dry months ahead.

Note: Several local communities that are working with CarbonTree on the Angostura-Faical REDD project have been deeply affected by this drought. CarbonTree would like to express our deepest condolences to those communities and to hope that financing from the REDD project will assist in replanting areas in the buffer zone to help alleviate this problem in the future. If you would like to make a specific donation to help the people of Tumbes, please contact us.

New Protected Area in Tumbes, Peru!

March 16, 2011
Tumbes, Peru

After several years of pressure from local communities, regional governments, and NGOs, the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment (MINAM) and the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP), signed a Supreme Decree to establish the Regional Conservation Area (ACR) Angostura-Faical.

This 8,794.50 hectare property provides critical habitat for the endangered Grey-backed Hawk as well as many other endemic species of birds, reptiles, insects, and mammals. Bordered on two sides by Cerros de Amotape National Park, this parcel was one of the last remaining forested pieces in the Northwest Biosphere Reserve that did not have any level of protected status.

For years illegal logging operations, hunting, and grazing have depleted the natural resources of the area and allowed access to loggers entering the National Park to remove timber.

The area is unique in that it will be co-managed by the Regional Government and an association of 12 local communities.

Last August, the Regional Government of Tumbes, CarbonTree Conservation Fund, and Nature and Culture International signed an agreement to establish a carbon offset project in the area and all three entities have been pushing for legal protected status over the past few years. Critical to this effort were the countless local community members who have tirelessly worked towards the establishment of the protected area. Additionally, they have volunteered their time as voluntary park guards to reduce logging impact before the protected area could be established and participated in the field work for the carbon offset verification.

Landmark Carbon Agreement signed

Tumbes, Peru
August 28, 2010

Today, the Regional Government of Tumbes, Nature and Culture International, and CarbonTree Conservation Fund signed a landmark agreement that will create a sustainable source of funding for the proposed Angostura-Faical Regional Conservation Area and keep thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The three parties will work together to establish the protected area and to implement a Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) project which will benefit local communities. The project will be the first REDD project implemented in a South American Coastal Dry forest, and will also be the first project to be co-managed by the communities themselves in cooperation with a Peruvian regional government.