User Register / Login

Family Forests: An Untapped Powerhouse in Climate Mitigation

May 01, 2020 |

This article was originally published on The Nature Conservancy.

“We have long known that nature has a remarkable ability to absorb and store carbon. And by protecting, restoring and sustainably managing forests, farms, wetlands and grasslands, we can enhance that ability to provide greater mitigation. For example, a recent study led by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) estimated that improved forest management could mitigate 267 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year in the U.S.—equivalent to taking 57 million cars off the road. These natural climate solutions also provide a host of other benefits, including conserving valuable habitat, protecting biodiversity, and restoring watersheds that improve water supplies and reduce flood risk.

TNC and Amazon are partnering to launch natural climate solutions with family forest owners in one of the premier conservation landscapes in North America. TNC scientists have identified a network of lands that are disproportionately important both for conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change. This key network is critical to allow nature to move and adapt in response to a changing climate. The 179 million-acre Blue Ridge to Boreal landscape is the centerpiece of the network in the eastern U.S., holding more than half of the area’s carbon stocks.

…The Blue Ridge to Boreal region is dominated by family forestland with tremendous potential for carbon sequestration through improved management approaches. Family-owned forests in the eastern U.S. face unprecedented challenges due to climate change, including declines in valuable tree species, the spread of forest pests and pathogens, and more frequent intense weather, threatening the economic viability of the forestry industry, and making carbon sequestration a critical opportunity for income generation. In national surveys, family forest owners cite beauty, wildlife and nature as the top reasons they own forestland, making them natural partners in improving management, thereby creating new revenue generation opportunities.

With these priorities in mind, the American Forest Foundation and TNC have partnered to develop the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP) to remove the barriers smaller landowners often face—carbon market access, lack of forest management expertise and cost—to help them optimize the carbon storage potential of the 290 million acres of privately owned U.S. forestland.

The FFCP model provides incentive payments to landowners to implement sustainable practices that sequester additional carbon. In return, the landowners partner with the FFCP to bring carbon credits to market. The FFCP manages all aspects of carbon project development, sustainable forest management planning, verification, and more, with carbon credit revenues funding the model.”

Read on at: The Nature Conservancy

Benefit from the Coalition’s unique overview of the capitals approach and community, gain insights into the latest thinking and developments and receive newsletters and project updates.