A Letter to TerraCarbon’s Clients and Partners
On behalf of the TerraCarbon team, we want to thank our clients and partners for their tireless efforts over the past 12 tiring months to advance conservation and the fight for a safe climate.
The pandemic brought new challenges for our clients and partners in 2020, particularly for those working with communities with little access to healthcare or with livelihoods impacted by the loss of tourism. And it highlighted the need and the value of sustainable sources of finance, like carbon finance, to create resilient outcomes for nature and for communities.
Like many others, over the past year, we have had to adapt the way we work and to find new ways to support projects remotely. Our usual field visits to survey site conditions, to gather data, to meet with stakeholders and to train field staff have been replaced by zoom meetings, screen shares, and cell phone and Facetime calls from the field to do the same. It hasn’t always been ideal, but it has worked. Together with our clients and partners, we made important progress in 2020 to expand offset methodologies, to bring new nature-based projects to market, and to advise on key natural climate solution initiatives. Highlights in 2020 included:
Approval of a new agricultural land soil methodology that can generate income for farmers to implement improved practices (Link).
Development of an innovative IFM methodology to estimate baseline emissions using control plots measured concurrently with the project to bring carbon finance to family forest owners in the U.S. (Link).
Development of new approaches to quantifying non-carbon (co) benefits, including the benefit to chimpanzees of forest protection in Tanzania (Link) and the flood reduction benefits to people of mangrove and tidal marsh restoration and conservation (Link).
New projects completing registration included two REDD projects in Tanzania protecting 300,000+ hectares of savannah woodland and miombo forest (Link, Link), and two IFM projects protecting mixed forests in the northeast and in the southeast U.S.
Advised strategic studies on the future of offsets and natural climate solutions and feasibility studies for large scale conservation projects in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and the U.S.
As we look to the year head, we are encouraged by the increase in climate commitments being made by governments and businesses. At the same time, we are keenly aware that significant reductions in emissions from fossil fuels and from land use are needed in the next 10 years. Significant scaling of efforts across all sectors, including in the land sector, is required and only possible with increased stakeholder capacity, accounting integrity, and equity outcomes. With this in mind, our priorities in 2021 include:
Emphasizing landscape level initiatives that can have an impact at scale.
Expanding our staff resources and advisory support for agricultural climate solutions (Link).
Advancing efforts to update and improve methodologies in the land sector that support the highest accounting quality and integrity.
Prioritizing and supporting projects that promote inclusion and equity for those impacted by conservation activities and by climate change.
Seeking opportunities to build capacity and partnerships with our clients and within the industry.
It’s our honor to be part of your work. We look forward to supporting your conservation efforts in 2021 and the years ahead to create a safer climate and a healthier planet for all.
Scott Settelmyer and David Shoch