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Pachama Releases Project Evaluation Criteria 2.2

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Whats new in forests?

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At Pachama, we are committed to surfacing the world’s highest-quality forest carbon projects so businesses can be confident in the climate impact of their investments. In September 2022, we overhauled our evaluation process with Project Evaluation Criteria 2.0, and in June 2023, we made several improvements with Evaluation Criteria 2.1.

Continuing to build on learnings and technology advancements, we are excited to introduce our next version update. Project Evaluation Criteria 2.2 will ensure we continue to surface the highest-integrity projects while also offering biodiversity insights to help businesses make investment decisions with impact data beyond carbon.

What’s new?

Our latest update includes a suite of new biodiversity insights, advancements in our proprietary technology, and criteria improvements and expansion to support agroforestry.

Going beyond carbon: quantifying biodiversity impacts 

  • The update: The benefits of forest carbon projects extend far beyond the carbon they sequester. Protecting and restoring forests provides critical habitat for countless species, reduces extinction rates, and produces valuable ecosystem services. We are excited to now offer biodiversity insights as part of our evaluation process, including the impact of conservation or restoration on biodiversity, species extinction risk and threats, and context about the region.
  • What it means for businesses investing through Pachama: We know that optimizing investments for impact is critical, and when it comes to forests, quantifying biodiversity impacts is a key factor in understanding their unique value. Every customer will now have access to measurable biodiversity insights through project-specific evaluation reports. With interactive graphics and expert scientific commentary, buyers can make informed decisions and share compelling project stories with stakeholders.

Expanding our AI-enabled baseline technology

  • The update: With our 2.1 version update, we announced the implementation of our Dynamic Control Area Baseline. This announcement marked the first-ever AI-based tool used to evaluate baselines dynamically, representing a significant improvement from the status quo. We are thrilled to share that after considerable testing and validation, we have expanded our regional capabilities and will now use our baseline tech to evaluate avoided deforestation projects in Peru and Colombia in addition to Brazil. Learn more about the advantages of a dynamic baseline here and see a technical deep dive here.
  • What it means for businesses investing through Pachama: Our Dynamic Control Area Baseline provides increased confidence in a project’s baseline quality and assurance that carbon credits equal real and additional emissions reductions. This technology is the most advanced in the industry and the first to offer a dynamic view of project performance alongside a stronger understanding of risk with the quantification of baseline uncertainty.

Supporting agroforestry projects and continually improving ARR criteria

  • The update: We are making several improvements to our ARR criteria. First, we will now be able to evaluate agroforestry projects with a modification to our native species check. Pachama will accept agroforestry projects if >60% of the trees planted are native, excluding food species. Second, we are updating our project boundary check to allow for expert scientific review to better account for grouped projects.
  • What it means for businesses investing through Pachama: The capability to evaluate agroforestry opens up new supply opportunities for high-quality removals projects. Agroforestry is a subset of ARR projects that offers unique community benefits. This style of project meets farmers and small landholders where they are, allowing them to continue to make an income on crops while also reforesting and sequestering carbon.

What’s next?

  • Expansion and model improvement: Pachama is working to expand the use of our Dynamic Control Area Baseline to more regions globally. We also expect key improvements to our current approach to further improve our baseline confidence.
  • Ecological impact insights: While biodiversity is a crucial benefit of forest carbon projects, there are many other benefits, from soil health to water and air quality. In a future update, we plan to expand our criteria to elevate new insights on ecosystem services.
  • Methods and technical documentation: Pachama is committed to transparency and will continue publicly sharing learnings and results. We have already shared some of these results for avoided deforestation projects in our research brief, and we plan to formally publish our methods and results through an academic peer review process.

Subscribe to our newsletter to read future blog posts and learn about our progress on each of these fronts! We welcome your questions or feedback at [email protected]. For media inquiries, please contact us at [email protected].

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