Indonesia project boosts global forest CO2 market
* Likely to be first fully validated REDD project under VCS
* Approval of methodology boost for REDD projects
By David Fogarty and Sunanda Creagh
SINGAPORE/JAKARTA, Aug 24 (Reuters) - An Indonesian project aimed at saving a vast tract of rainforest has past a milestone seen as a boost in the development of a global market in forest carbon credits.
That market under the U.N.-backed scheme reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) could eventually be worth billions of dollars annually and is central to the goal of driving private sector involvement in forest protection.
The Rimba Raya conservation project covers nearly 100,000 ha (250,000 acres) of carbon-rich peat swamp forest in the province of Central Kalimantan on Borneo island. Forests soak up large amounts of carbon dioxide and scientists say curbing deforestation is a key way to fight climate change.
The project has earned the first-ever approval of an accounting method for measuring the reduction in carbon emissions under REDD and is being developed by InfiniteEARTH, with funding from Shell (RDSa.L: Quote), Gazprom Market and Trading (GAZP.MM: Quote) and the Clinton Foundation.
The Voluntary Carbon Standard programme, the most respected standard for voluntary carbon offsets, approved the methodology after it passed a mandated double auditing process. Continued...