JAKARTA, Indonesia, Sept. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Indonesia's Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve, the world´s largest REDD+ forest preservation project, in terms of total verified emissions to date, has retained the coveted Triple Gold ranking under the global Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standards. Rimba Raya is one of only four projects globally to be verified to meet the CCB's Triple Gold level.
The ranking means Rimba Raya meets exceptional targets in providing benefits for adapting to climate change, significant benefits for supporting communities around the project and protecting and nurturing the project's rich and endangered plant and animal species, including Orangutans.
For investors and the Indonesian government and local government, this reassures them that the project meets and exceeds the highest standards available. Retaining Triple Gold is important for Indonesia's efforts to protect forests as part of its long-term commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ahead of the UN climate talks at the end of the year in Paris.
"Rimba Raya was designed to set the standard for REDD projects. Our Triple Gold rating indicates to us that we're meeting those goals and continuing to provide a leadership role in REDD," said Todd Lemons, Founder and Chairman of InfiniteEARTH, the developer of Rimba Raya."
Rimba Raya covers nearly 65,000 hectares of peat swamp forest in Seruyan district in Central Kalimantan province on Borneo Island. We provide livelihood programmes and employment for 10 adjacent communities who directly benefit for the sales of carbon offsets the project generates to major clients, including Allianz and Microsoft.
Our staffs have developed strong relationships with local communities and the local government by listening carefully to everyone's needs.
"I have seen that RRC grows together with other stakeholders such as local government (Bupati and team) and the community. Without their support and trust, RRC will not be able to come this far. We began from zero and grew to hero by providing essential benefits to all stakeholders. They have all worked very hard to make our dream come true and contribute something to the larger global scope by pioneering the first REDD+ project in Indonesia for the benefit of our future generations."
- Djonni Andhella, President Director, PT Rimba Raya Conservation
During a recent audit, the project was verified to have met the CCB Triple Gold level and to have produced reduced emissions by a 4,393,291 tonnes of CO2-equivalent between 01 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. Over the life of the project, Rimba Raya, by preserving and rehabilitating the forest concession area, is expected to provide emission reductions of more than 120 million tonnes - about the annual emissions of 26 million average cars. A large portion of the sales flow back to the communities and the forest conservation and rehabilitation programmes.
The Rimba Raya project is audited annually to ensure it maintains the highest standards.
"It is exciting to be involved in the Rimba Raya project as it continues to develop and deliver multiple benefits to the communities, the environment and the fragile biodiversity of our area. The Rimba Raya team, which continues to grow, has done a fantastic job caring for the project area and its stakeholders," said Jim Procanik, Managing Director of InfiniteEARTH."
ABOUT THE CCB GOLD STANDARDS
CCB is part of the globally recognised Verified Carbon Standard, or VCS.
Achieving verification to the CCB Standards with Climate Adaptation, Community and Biodiversity Gold Levels means that the project has been designed and implemented in accordance with three optional criteria, in addition to the 17 required criteria. Gold Level achievements help to identify projects that go above and beyond the minimum requirements for delivery of climate, community and biodiversity benefits. In order to achieve verification to the CCB Standards with Climate Adaptation, Community and Biodiversity Gold Levels, projects must:
- Provide significant support to communities and/or biodiversity to adapt to anticipated impacts and risks of climate change;
- Be smallholder/community-led, implemented on land that they own or manage and/or target benefits to globally poorer communities, deliver equitable benefits to smallholder/community members; and
- Conserve biodiversity at sites of global significance for biodiversity conservation.
ABOUT RIMBA RAYA
PT Rimba Raya Conservation is Indonesian-owned and co-manages the RImba Raya Biodiversity Reserve with its developer, InfiniteEARTH. It received its ecosystem restoration license from the government of Indonesia in 2013 and has rapidly built up an expert programme team on the ground and in Jakarta.
The project aims to reduce Indonesia's greenhouse gas emissions, assist local communities and protect the endangered Borneo Orangutan by preserving 64,977 hectares of tropical peat swamp forest.
Forming a critical buffer zone to Tanjung Puting National Park in the Seruyan River watershed, Rimba Raya is rich in biodiversity, including several flagship species such as the Orangutan, Clouded Leopard, Gibbon, Probiscis Monkey, and Asian Sun Bear. Project revenues have been able to fund rehabilitation programs, environmental education programs, as well as support Orangutan Foundation International. We also provide employment through native tree species replanting, created local plant nurseries and have supported the development of handicrafts programmes and a very successful garbage bank recycling initiative.
In 2007, the project area was under imminent threat of planned deforestation; the area was gazetted by the provincial governmental to be converted into four palm oil estates. This area has now officially been re-designated as a Conservation Forest resulting from project developer infiniteEARTH's successful bid to win the approval of Indonesia's first "Ecosystem Conservation & Restoration" concession license for a REDD project.
The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve is the largest-ever REDD+ project to have its emission vetted and confirmed under the Verified Carbon Standard, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an average of four million tonnes per year.
InfiniteEARTH developed the world's first REDD methodology and is the original project developer of the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve, the first REDD project to be validated under the VCS/CCB standards. InfiniteEARTH continues to co-manage the project with PT Rimba Raya.
At InfiniteEARTH, our ultimate mission is to move the world from an unsustainable extractive economy to a sustainable replacement economy by changing the way the world views the consumption and pricing of goods and services.
This starts by helping companies find creative ways of engaging their customers in the process of sustainability. In doing so, the connection between corporate and customer values are reinforced and brand affinity enhanced. Our efforts to reduce consumption will never completely eliminate the heavy demands we place on the planet, but we can compensate through replacement with environmental offset initiatives.