High-quality nature-based projects deliver climate benefits, protect biodiversity, and support the rural communities that manage forests. Amidst increasing scrutiny, leading companies need modern, dynamic criteria to find the very best forest projects.

Introducing Pachama’s Project Evaluation Criteria 2.0

At Pachama, we take quality seriously. Over the past three years, we’ve evaluated over 150 forest carbon projects certified by the world’s four largest voluntary carbon registries, and we’ve learned a few things! For months, our passionate forest scientists, technologists, and carbon market experts have pored over our past results and recent research to develop the second iteration of our Project Evaluation Criteria. With this updated approach, we raise our quality bar even higher, advancing a more transparent and high-integrity carbon market that reflects the latest advancements in technology and scientific research. We hope this brings us one step closer to the modern carbon market that our planet demands.

The Pachama Quality Standard 

What do we mean by ‘quality’? Every forest conservation or restoration project listed on the Pachama Marketplace must adhere to our five core standards: 

  1. Accurate: the project’s emissions reductions have been conservatively quantified 
  2. Additional: emissions reductions would not have occurred without the incentive of carbon credits
  3. Durable: the project delivers a long-lasting climate impact ensured by continuous monitoring and public reporting
  4. Net: the project has not simply moved deforestation from one place to another, producing no net climate benefit 
  5. Beyond Carbon: the project causes no net harm and delivers biodiversity and community benefits

Project Evaluation Criteria 2.0

To ensure every forest project on Pachama’s Marketplace upholds our Quality Standard, we’ve developed the Project Evaluation Criteria 2.0. The criteria include quality checks every project must pass. Remote sensing is core to many of these checks; however, it can’t tell the whole story, so we also surface important insights relevant to carbon credit quality. Check out an overview of each of our checks below.

We are committed to continuously improving our Criteria as we advance our technology and uncover new research. While we recognize there are many projects in the market that are delivering climate and community benefits, our latest Project Evaluation Criteria elevates a subset of quality projects that we believe best exemplify the future of carbon markets

To scale forest restoration at the rate required to meet The Paris Agreement targets, we see technology playing an even more critical role. Our long-term vision is to use technology earlier in project development, effecting a more streamlined and cost-effective verification process, and ensuring equitable benefit sharing with frontline communities. This tech-enabled future will ultimately allow us to bring more high-quality projects to market faster. 

In the meantime, we’ll continue to share our ongoing research and learnings with market participants, experts, and the general public. Pachama is devoted to transparency, and we want our evaluation process to be accessible to all. For a more detailed explanation of our new Criteria click below, and feel free to reach out with any questions or feedback at [email protected]

Want to go deeper? Learn more about each of our Quality Checks.


The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn Ralph Waldo Emerson