MHLC Annual Board Retreat Focuses on Climate and Conservation

In late April, MHLC staff and members of our Board of Directors spent a Saturday learning about new ways conservation organizations are combating climate change through the sale of carbon credits. Staff from The Nature Conservancy presented their recent conservation projects, which protect forests being managed to sequester, or store, atmospheric carbon, a greenhouse gas.

Gabe Chapin of The Nature Conservancy teaches MHLC about carbon sequestration by visiting a project carbon plot.

Managed forests can process and store more carbon than those that are left alone. The Nature Conservancy has been working with carbon companies to estimate the carbon sequestered in an unmanaged forest. TNC then creates forest management plans to enhance forest structure and increase this carbon storage capacity in the trees over time. Forest plots are placed throughout the forest and serve as locations which will be visited regularly over the next ten years to estimate the increase in carbon sequestered by managed trees.

In the case of The Nature Conservancy, their carbon credits are calculated and then placed on the voluntary carbon market, a new market which is not mandatory, but invites large companies to voluntarily off-set their emissions by purchasing these carbon credits. The funds generated from the purchase of these credits then goes back into more forest conservation and forest management to sequester even more carbon, thus reducing carbon in the atmosphere and combating global warming.

MHLC spent the morning learning about this up-and-coming conservation method to battle global warming, with the afternoon focused on upcoming conservation projects MHLC is working on which will protect climate-resilient lands. Special thanks to The Nature Conservancy and their project partners for hosting our staff and Board for this climate and conservation focused event!

Sarah Walsh
Conservation Director

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