Tag Archives: 350

Rural Response for COP 16 – Sierra Gorda´s Carbon Offset Track Record

On the eve of the COP16 in Cancun, it´s time to talk about the alternatives.

I will be attending with Pati Ruiz Corzo www.sierragordamexico.wordpress.com to speak up about the viable alternatives to fight climate change from the trenches of conservation and the inclusion of vulnerable communities in high biodiversity areas like the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.  To make the point, we are taking a fact sheet and white paper that puts forward the innovative and tangible model that has been hard-won by the Sierra Gorda community members that have engaged in forest-based carbon projects with the Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda and its partner, Bosque Sustentable A.C.  Read it here: Basket of Ecosystem Services from the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve

For the last 10 years we have made every effort to fit the characteristics of the Sierra Gorda model into the Kyoto Protocol only to be hugely disappointed by the global dialogue that has made the bogus statement that fighting climate change will help fight poverty; it is just not true.  Cap & Trade so far has not touched ground (speaking to forestry that benefits rural landowners) and never will at this rate in the United Nations protocols. Then, thanks to a Forest Trends sponsored trip to Australia we saw the light – voluntary markets and national legislation.  Out with Kyoto, hello world.  The on-line platform to learn about Sierra Gorda´s carbon offsets where nature and communities have value: www.carbonneutralplanet.org

Breaking the voluntary carbon offsets ceiling. The United Nations Foundation took the risk and offset the emissions of their offices and travel with Sierra Gorda by signing a contract that was a collaborative effort with the pro-bono  support of Baker & McKenzie to make the first carbon offset transaction at US$10.00 per tCO2e.  At the time the World Bank´s BioCarbon Fund was considering Sierra Gorda´s project but at US$4.oo per ton – need I point out the same institution claimed be building a model to fight poverty and climate change, makes you say hmmmmmmmm.

And the battles continued, especially trying to certify Sierra Gorda´s carbon offsets in the certified voluntary market with the collaboration of The Katoomba Group, and yet Sierra Gorda continues to sell on a very voluntary basis.  One day we expect the CCB and the VCS certification to include the Sierra Gorda, but who knows.   So, since 2006 events like the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship Summit, the Triple Bottom Line Investment Forum, and foundations like AccioNatura (Spain) and World Land Trust (UK) and other non-regulated entities continue to donate for Carbon Offset units from the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.  You can too.

Sierra Gorda´s Track Record inVoluntary Carbon Offsets, 2006 to 2010
• 13 Transcations in 7 countries
• 11 Donations
• 28,387 tCO2e
• US $399,235

Sierra Gorda´s Ecosystem Services illustrated
Illustration of ecosystem services in the Sierra Gorda
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Celebrate with action

Clean up campaign poster for Bernal, QueretaroI got to see active citizenship that would make anyone proud. The town of Bernal was carrying out a clean up campaign in the rain on a Sunday and they were psyched.  Residents and tourists who climb or admire the huge monolith, la Peña de Bernal, picked up trash, separated out the plastic, cardboard and glass to recycle and held a ceremony in the main entrance to celebrate the job well done.  I loved the poster to call everyone to join in.  What can you do for your town?