-Press Release orginally published on the FSC website, 18 September
The announcement was made at the Annual Conference of The Gold Standard Foundation in Geneva. The partnership includes the CarbonFix Standard, which will be acquired by The Gold Standard to form their new carbon accounting module for forest carbon projects.
The parties laid down their ambitions and activities in a Memorandum of Understanding, which recognizes the FSC approach to social and environmental safeguards and the Gold Standard approach to carbon certification, respectively. The explored model for future collaboration foresees the Gold Standard build upon the global FSC Principles & Criteria for responsible forest management and will in return enable FSC to rely on The Gold Standard's robust approach to carbon accounting and benefit-sharing when FSC certified forest operations seek carbon finance.
"For many of our stakeholders, FSC’s partnership with The Gold Standard is a 'dream team' constellation, as it brings together the two most highly respected standards in their respective fields, who are best-placed to create the new benchmark for forest carbon projects", says Stefan Salvador, Manager of the FSC Ecosystem Services Program. "We are delighted to see and support a consolidation of carbon standards that recognize FSC's spearheading role in defining, incentivizing and monitoring responsible forest management."
The MoU’s ambitious work program over the coming year will provide an extensive analysis of the modalities, opportunities and challenges for an alignment between the certification schemes and will include:
● An assessment of market opportunities and challenges for an aligned approach towards the certification of forest carbon projects.
● A gap analysis of the standard setting, accreditation and certification procedures of the systems.
● An analysis of the compatibility (congruence and complementarity) of FSC and The Gold Standard.
● An exploration of any reputational risks arising from the Parties' schemes being associated with each other, their constituents, and new market mechanisms, buyers and claims.
● An overall examination of how the various systems can be jointly applied and mutually aligned in the most effective and credible manner, so that the schemes' beneficiaries and constituents receive the highest value from the collaborative approach chosen.
The feasibility of aligning the schemes’ approaches in the broader field of emerging ecosystem services markets, an area where FSC recently entered with its GEF co-funded project “ForCES – Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services”, will also be explored.
For more information about this partnership, visit the FSC website