Land-Based Carbon Mitigation Projects in Mexico
According to recent studies, deforestation accounts for about 20 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. That's because trees soak up carbon dioxide when they grow and release it when they rot and burn. A UN climate conference in Bali last month agreed to launch pilot projects to grant developing countries credits for slowing deforestation under a new long-term climate pact beyond 2012.
That is sure to create new incentives for projects like Rainforest2Reef , an NGO that operates in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and is working to protect the forests of the Selva Maya, or Mayan Jungle. In just seven years, Rainforest2Reef has signed agreements to permanently protect more than 300,000 acres of prime jaguar habitat in the Southwestern Buffer Zone of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve through conservation lease agreements with the ejidos, or local communal management groups.Slash and burn agriculture and real estate development are currently the biggest threats to the Selva Maya. If planned development projects are carried out, experts predict that more than 750,000 acres of the Selva Maya will be lost and roughly 225 million tons of carbon will be released into the atmosphere in the next 30 years. By preventing logging and burning of these forests, Rainforest2Reef has prevented millions of tons of carbon stored in these trees from entering the atmosphere.
Rainforest2Reef is currently in the process of quantifying and verifying the carbon stored in the rainforest to sell carbon offsets using the most rigorous standards available to evaluate land-based carbon mitigation projects: with the Environmental Resources Trust and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance. Rainforest2Reef