Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the allowable activities within the Conservation Area?
Permitted activities include the rehabilitation of degraded areas by eradication of invasive species (e.g. Imperata grasses), the planting of indigenous pioneer species and native species with the intention to restore the area to its near-natural habitat for long-term conservation. Also traditional uses by indigenous populations, eco-tourism and most non-wood forest products are acceptable.
2. What are the activities within the Commercial Buffer Zone?
Activities that are beneficial to the local communities and those that do not constitute a risk to the conservation area or to social values. Possible activities are agroforestry, small-scale community driven plantations, cash-crops, renewable energy production, sustainable infrastructure development and other land uses that are in line with principles and criteria of the GCS.
3. Am I actually conserving the natural habitat by purchasing Conservation Credit Units?
Yes, CCUs are increasing the value of the natural habitat. The landowners receive a direct benefit, and local populations are benefiting from the commercial buffer zone activities. By purchasing CCUs, there is a direct effect on the restoration or rehabilitation of the natural environment.
4. What are Conservation Credit Units?
Units to measure the volume of ecosystem service conservation directly related to project activity. CCUs are scientifically sound and 3rd party verified and valid for one-year.
5. How are Conservation Credit Units calculated?
CCUs are based on the approved ecosystem service methodology to which the conservation area is approved. The first approved methodology equates one CCU to one ton of CO2 equivalent in above-ground vegetation. But they also can quantify biodiversity, freshwater availability, nutrients, etc. There are no restrictions to a single area hosting CCUs from more than one approved methodologies simultaneously. CCUs are sold on an annual basis for the duration of the project timeframe.
6. What types of Conservation Credit Units are possible?
CCUs may be stem from ecosystem services from the following ecosystem service functions:
- Methodology 1: Above-Ground Carbon
- Methodology 2: Below-Ground Carbon (under development)
- Water (under development)
- Biodiversity (under development)
- Nutrients (under development)