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BC invites public review of forestry offset rules

Dec. 1, 2010, Vancouver – The British Columbia government is releasing proposed requirements for forest-based carbon offset projects that could help unlock new revenue for forest managers and help industry reduce emissions.


December 1, 2010
By Ministry of Environment; Ministry of Forests Mines & Lands; Ministry of Aboriginal Relations & Rec

Dec. 1, 2010, Vancouver – The British
Columbia government is releasing proposed requirements for forest-based carbon
offset projects that could help unlock new revenue for forest managers and help
industry reduce emissions. The draft Forest Carbon Offset Protocol will guide
development of offset projects on private and public land in British Columbia.
Forest managers who undertake activities that meet the protocol requirements
would generate offsets that they could sell on the carbon offset market.
Activities would have to go beyond a “business-as-usual” approach and could
include planting trees, restoring forests, harvesting and managing forests in
new ways, and protecting sensitive areas from development.

Pacific Carbon Trust, one of the largest
offset buyers in British Columbia, anticipates up to one-third of its estimated
one million tonne portfolio could come from forest carbon offsets. The protocol
will position projects as viable within domestic and international offset
markets, resulting in new economic opportunities for British Columbia,
including First Nations.

“Forestry is one of BC’s most important
natural assets and has a significant role to play in BC’s growing offset
market,” says Pacific Carbon Trust CEO Scott MacDonald. “This protocol has been
developed to reflect the province’s unique forest management practices and will
ensure BC offsets are high quality and credible.”

“Through existing reconciliation agreements
with the Haida and Coastal First Nations, the stage has been set for new
opportunities relating to forest carbon offsets,” says Barry Penner, minister
of Aboriginal relations and reconciliation. “This includes the new draft
protocol for public consultation that will support forest conservation, the
planting of new forests, and improved forest management offset projects to be
developed.”

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The public review period closes on Monday,
January 31, 2011. Final approval is expected in early 2011. To review the draft
Forest Carbon Offset Protocol, visit:
www.env.gov.bc.ca/cas/mitigation/fcop.html.


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