About the NFS


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The Natural Forest Standard (NFS) complements the current array of carbon standards and forest initiatives because it is aimed specifically at certifying the carbon benefits and biodiversity impacts of medium to large-scale projects aimed at conservation and restoration of natural forests at risk of deforestation and degradation. Carbon, biodiversity and social benefits are all accounted for under the standard making it a holistic approach to the conservation of natural capital within forests.

Forest conservation and restoration initiatives can be roughly split into two groups: those that act from central government downwards (establishment of protected areas, forest governance initiatives, national scale REDD+ programmes, national reforestation programmes), and those that act directly at local levels (integrated conservation & development projects, local forest management initiatives, community carbon offset projects).

Centralised initiatives often find it difficult to efficiently channel resources to areas at risk or most in need of restoration, and are often hampered by bureaucracy and institutional barriers. Local initiatives are often difficult to replicate or scale-up to cover extensive areas of forest at risk.  This standard aims to bridge the divide between “top down” and “bottom up” interventions, with a focus on natural forest and non-commercial forest management.

The standard enables projects that effectively conserve or restore natural forests at risk of deforestation and degradation to be issued with Natural Capital Credits (NCCs), denominated in tonnes CO2e of avoided GHG emissions and rated in terms of biodiversity. The Standard uses the unique Normative Biodiversity Metric, which is directly related to the type of land within a project area, in terms of pristineness, and it also accounts for specific species within a project area.  The Standard also requires that project activities provide positive impacts and enhancements to local communities and include participatory actions and benefits.

“It is our hope that a standard focused on the conservation and restoration of natural forests will provide greater resources for reducing deforestation and degradation in areas of global ecological significance.”

The Sapuciaia, or Monkey-nut tree, with it’s striking pink leaves, stands out in an area of natural Amazon rainforest to the south of Manaus, in Amazonas.  A Natural Forest Standard project proposal has been submitted in this area of the Amazon, near where this photograph was taken.

Next: Features of the NFS 

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