Assessment of Project Piaba’s potential for forest carbon offset

Project Piaba “is a non-profit organization which studies and fosters an environmentally and socially beneficial home-aquarium fish trade.”  As a part of their mission, Project Piaba recently had an external assessment of opportunities for the organization to contribute to carbon sequestration, including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) projects in the Rio Negro Basin of Amazonas State, Brazil.  This assessment, conducted by CarbonCo, LLC, benefits Project Piaba by identifying future possible plans and the issues that might arise from certain decisions. This assessment included a visit to the region to meet with local communities, representatives from Project Piaba, and other relevant stakeholders.

The assessment concluded that Project Piaba has three potential options to pursue in regard to carbon projects, each increasing in scope and requirements. These three pathways indicate the scalability of carbon-related work based on prioritization and the level of commitment that is decided to be allocated.

1.) Promote fisheries in association with carbon sequestration potential. Fisheries provide an alternative to timber harvesting and obtaining healthy fisheries and floodplains are possible without undertaking a certified REDD+ project.

This option would be to promote high-level climate change benefits in marketing schemes and as a basis to obtain further support for the initiative, without undertaking a certified REDD+ project.  If Project Piaba opts to highlight climate change benefits, without undertaking a certified REDD+ project, the quantity of carbon dioxide stored in the forests, among other key points, will be important to consider.

2.) Align work in the local area with REDD+ work being done at the state-level.

This option would be for Project Piaba to progress over time and with additional resources to align its work with the local municipalities of Barcelos and Santa Isabel do Rio Negro to pursue an integrated carbon program. The State’s unique stock-flow-risk approach (if formally adopted) will reward remote locations for their conservation and stewardship of natural resources, which could directly benefit Project Piaba’s work, along with the local communities and host municipalities.

3.) Develop a standalone REDD+ forest carbon offset project.

The third and most difficult, costly, and time-consuming option would be to develop a standalone REDD+ forest carbon offset project, with the option of aligning the standalone REDD+ project with the ongoing work in Amazonas at a later date.  A “forest carbon offset,” is a metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)—the emission of which is avoided or newly stored by trees which absorb CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store it within their growing biomass (trunk, branches, leaves and root systems). There are several reasons why this is the most challenging phase including the low regional deforestation rate in the area, the unclear commitment from the municipality to enroll their lands into a minimum 30-year project lifetime, and the relatively high development costs (i.e., particularly the costs of a forest carbon inventory and the costs of modeling a project-specific deforestation baseline).  There is no assurance until the work is complete whether or not the costs to complete this work will outweigh the potential revenue, so more assessment is needed before this stage begins.

For more information, please see: CarbonCo’s Project Piaba Full Consulting Report.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.