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If managed appropriately, a forest ecosystem such as the Municipal Forest Reserve (MFR), can generate carbon credits through a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (particularly carbon dioxide; CO2) and/or enhanced storage. These credits can then be used by individuals and companies to offset (mitigate) their own carbon emissions.
The UBC Partnership Group (UBC, 3Green Tree Consulting, and Coastal Douglas-Fir Partnership) estimates that the MFR has the potential to sequester approximately 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year (if all harvesting activities were stopped), dramatically contributing to the Municipality’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and presenting an opportunity to establish the MFR as a carbon offset project.
The UBC Partnership Group completed a study to determine the feasibility of a carbon offset project in North Cowichan. An initial review indicates that a carbon offset project in the MFR could provide an ongoing and stable revenue source for the municipality. One of the benefits of the forest carbon project are the multiple benefits it could provide in terms of ecosystem services. These can be broad ranging, including habitat improvements, water quality and quantity, recreation, etc.