Atmospheric Benefit Sharing Agreement

April 8, 2021 at 10:27 am

One of the key elements to enable these agreements is the Forest-Carbon Offset Protocol (FCOP), developed in coordination between the province and the Pacific Carbon Trust. The FCOP provides guides for the processes used for carbon modeling in the forest ecosystem. Atmospheric Benefit Sharing Agreements (ABSA) allow First Nations to sell emission credits. These agreements illustrate First Nations ownership and the right to sell tonnes of carbon in local or international carbon markets. Over the past decade, Cheakamus` ownership regime has also changed significantly, as the B.C government – which, in the absence of formal contracts, controls the vast majority of the province`s forested areas – has begun a process of reconciliation with First Nations. In 2005, the government asked the Municipality of Whistler (in the heart of Cheakamus), Squamish and Lil`wat to submit a proposal for a community forest, which would mean that they would have the right to cultivate and harvest the forest. The agreement became official in 2009 and gave the country economic control over the country for the first time in centuries. Satnam Manhas, Program Manager for Forest and Ecosystem Services at Ecotrust Canada, said the CO2 agreement was just in time. “For municipalities to believe that these [offset] things were real and not games, we had to start showing local results,” he said. Ecotrust considered following other sources of income for the forest – a fee for ecosystem services for recreation was an idea – but ultimately opted for co2 offsets, “because we think it would have the greatest impact on Canada.” In addition, the name of the Cheakamus communal forest coincided with other changes in B.C – changes that would open up another source of income.

In 2008, the provincial government decided to become carbon neutral and require all public sector organizations to offset emissions they could not reduce. Politics has created a unique opportunity for Cheakamus. As Cole said, “the benefits of the forest should not come from the tribes themselves.” Instead, they come from living trees in the form of stored carbon. This concept had a B.C precedent. In 2011, the provincial government began signing Atmospheric Benefit Sharing Agreements (ABSA) with First Nations to allow them to develop and sell CO2 offsets generated by the protection of the Great Bear Forest. After long and sometimes confusing negotiations, Cheakamus became the first Canadian forest property to reach such an agreement on May 7, 2015. The agreements apply from the date B.C and each of the First Nations sign them and apply until March 31, 2025. Each of these agreements is reviewed every five years. These agreements are not the only ones, they can only be concluded if the First Nation has signed a reconciliation agreement. But it wasn`t easy, at least not at first. Ecotrust Canada, which has long worked with the communal forest, has partnered with Brinkman Climate to transform the Cheakamus carbon plant into compensation – the emission reductions that the community forest has been able to sell to the government in a market of $12 per tonne on average. Although the communal forest agreement granted timber harvesting rights to Squamish, Lil`wat and the City of Whistler, as well as other unforly produced products, the government demanded a completely new agreement on the transfer of rights to the management and monetization of the atmosphere itself.

Great Bear Carbon Credit Corporation conducts the annual audit of the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project and sells carbon credits to THE Great Bear Forest Carbon Project generated by OM GREAT BEARTM to companies that want to reduce their environmental impact.