By Monica Allaby, Communications Advisor, Posted on April 6, 2021

Community Forests International is building an aggregated family forest carbon offsets project with support from the Investment Readiness Program

Sackville, NB: Today Community Forests International announced that it is in the process of building an aggregated forest carbon project — the first project of its kind in Canada. The goal of this project is to make carbon markets more accessible to individual forest landowners by enabling them to pool their lands together in a larger group project.

“Forest carbon offsets projects are currently out of reach for small landowners. Individually, they cannot achieve the economies of scale necessary to meet international protocols and access markets” says Zach Melanson, Program Director at Community Forests International. “This project will alleviate the structural and technical barriers landowners face so that they can manage their forests sustainably, while making some returns.”

Over the past year, the organization has completed substantial preparatory work, including determining the platform methodology and financial model, and is now seeking investment partners to pilot this new citizen-focused approach. In addition, Community Forests International has created preliminary forest carbon inventories and management plans for ten landowners who collectively manage almost 5,000 acres of land.

Dozens of landowners have already expressed interest in Community Forests International’s forest carbon offsets projects. “We know that many landowners want to manage their forests with ecological integrity, but overbearing market forces have made it very difficult to do so,” says Melanson. “If we’re successful, this platform will open up a brand-new revenue stream for landowners. We’re excited about this approach because it involves everyday people solving the climate crisis — the most important challenge of our time.”

The project is supported by the Investment Readiness Program, which is funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy.

“As the regional partner for the Investment Readiness Program we are excited to see the adaptations and innovation shown by Community Forest International over the past year,” says Harry Daley, Direct of Community Investment & Learning at the Saint John Community Foundation. “The scope of their work highlights the impact of these types of investment and the potential of social finance investing moving forward.”

Quick Facts

  • Community Forests International is building the first aggregated forest carbon project in Canada.
  • Aggregated carbon projects allow individual citizens to pool their lands together in a single project, achieving the economies of scale necessary to access carbon markets.
  • The project is supported by the Investment Readiness Program, which is funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy.

About Community Forests International:  Community Forests International is charity that works to protect and restore the climate by enabling communities and forests to thrive together. The organization has created several forest carbon offsets projects in New Brunswick, protecting more than 1,200 acres of mature forest in the process.

About the Investment Readiness Program: Funded by the Government of Canada, the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) supports social purpose organizations as they contribute to solving pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges across Canada. Its goal is to help social purpose organizations build their capacity to participate in Canada’s growing social finance market and prepare for the Government of Canada’s broader investment in social finance via the Social Finance Fund.

About Community Foundations of Canada: Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) is the national leadership organization for Canada’s 191 local community foundations. Working with community foundations across the country, CFC helps drive local solutions for national change on the issues that matter most to Canadians.

Media Contacts

Monica Allaby, Communications Advisor at Community Forests International