Plan Vivo, an internationally recognised Standard for the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) is currently visiting the Solomon Islands.
The Scottish-based NGO certifies forest carbon projects that are led by local communities and are proud to certify several forest conservation projects within the Pacific Islands. The Standard has been running since the mid-1990s and is the longest running in the Voluntary Carbon Market.
Plan Vivo is recognised for having an ethical and fair-trade approach to carbon projects where communities receive income to protect nature. They are the only Standard that has a requirement where financial benefits are shared equitably among customary landowners and communities. Plan Vivo also brings a holistic approach to the Voluntary Carbon Market, with the benefits not just for climate, but also for nature and people.
‘’For Plan Vivo, high-integrity carbon projects are of critical importance to how we work’’ said Plan Vivo’s CEO Keith Bohannon. ‘’We are committed to projects that are led by communities as the custodians of their natural resources, and that ensure land and carbon rights remain with Indigenous people and customary landowners.’’
He added ‘’for us, this is not only the right approach, but also the most effective way to deliver a real and lasting impact. Plan Vivo certification provides an opportunity for local communities to protect their forests through sustainable carbon projects – as an alternative to logging and land-clearing.‘’
To date, Plan Vivo projects have delivered more than 7 million tonnes of planned CO2 emission reductions.
The impact of climate change and the importance of protecting and restoring forests has prompted an increased interest in carbon projects within the Pacific region. Through this regional visit, Plan Vivo hopes to strengthen understanding and trust in the Voluntary Carbon Market and advocate for community-centred approaches to carbon projects.
In the Solomon Islands, Plan Vivo works closely with the Nakau Programme and Gizo-based Natural Resources Development Foundation (NRDF), developing forest protection projects that are designed and implemented by Indigenous landowners.
During their trip, Plan Vivo visited the Babatana Rainforest Conservation Project on Choiseul, a project certified by the Plan Vivo Standard and the result of a partnership formed with the Sirebe Tribal Association, NRDF and the Nakau Programme.
The Sirebe Tribe has successfully protected more than 800 hectares of forest and generated more than 80,000 tonnes of verified emissions reductions. They have been participating in the Voluntary Carbon Market for almost two years, and the sale of carbon credits is shared equally across the community. This has allowed them to invest in water tanks, infrastructure and other community enterprises. Now, more Babatana Tribes are joining project and are close to certification with the Plan Vivo Standard, including the Siporae and Padezaka Tribes.
“Sirebe is a model that is now being replicated within the Babatana Rainforest Project, but it is also being picked up in other parts of the country,” says Wilko Bosma, Program Manager with NRDF and Nakau. “It is very unique that a tribe can find sustainable economic development through protecting their forest ecosystems. Tribes are rewarded for their commitment and vision to conserve their forest for future generations.”
Following the success of the Babatana project, there is now opportunity to replicate other similar projects in the Solomon Islands with support from the Solomon Islands Government. In addition to their Choiseul visit, Plan Vivo are meeting with government officials and the Ministries of Forests and Environment in Honiara to share insights about their Standard and how it ensures projects are truly community-owned and provide holistic benefits.