KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - HLH LLC, a sustainable forestry company based on Hawaii Island, has launched Legacy Carbon, the first program in the world to produce certified carbon credits for the reforestation of endemic koa trees. It is also the only certified carbon credit program of any kind in Hawaii.
The program has been certified by the prestigious Gold Standard Foundation based in Switzerland. All Gold Standard projects must be implemented following best practice rules, including: local stakeholder engagement, robust design and transparent governance, and long-term, consistent and comparable measurement of outcomes. Once certified, projects are issued credits annually against independently audited climate and sustainable development outcomes.
Gold Standard, established by World Wildlife Fund and other NGOs to maximize positive environmental and social outcomes by ensuring quality, integrity, and strong governance in climate change initiatives, works with more than 1,100 projects in over 70 countries. With more than 40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e or "carbon credits") issued, Gold Standard projects have delivered billions of dollars in global greenhouse gas emission reductions and life-changing sustainable development in local communities. For more, visit goldstandard.org.
"Each of our certified projects undergoes a rigorous approval and monitoring process to ensure that our highest environmental and social standards are met," said Moriz Vohrer, technical director for Land Use and Forests at the Gold Standard Foundation. "The Legacy Carbon program is the first project in North America to receive our approval, and we are excited to work closely with HLH."
Dr. Lewis Rothstein, professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, co-founder of Legacy Carbon and alum of the University of Hawaii, said the program will help mitigate the serious threat of global climate change. "This program combines scientifically rigorous standards with exceptionally innovative technologies," he said. "It has set a new benchmark for forest carbon projects worldwide."
HLH uses a proprietary radio-frequency identification (RFID) geo-tagging technology that accurately verifies ongoing growth, maintenance, genealogy, and carbon sequestration data, so every purchaser of carbon credits can track the quantifiable impact of their purchase, with koa trees planted for permanent reforestation in the Hawaiian Legacy Forest.
"Our Hawaiian Legacy Forest is now the most intricately mapped forest in the world; and each person who has planted or sponsored a koa tree is responsible for this success," said Darrell Fox, Legacy Carbon co-founder and HLH COO. "This program will have a real, measurable positive impact on local communities and the environment."
For more on the Legacy Carbon program, click here.