EPM REDD+ project
The project aims to protect the forests that border four hydroelectric dams belonging to the Medellin Public Utility Company (Empresas Publicas de Medellin; EPM): Miraflores, Riogrande I, Porce II and Porce III, with a total forest area of 5,648Ha. Principle drivers of deforestation are: (i) the expansion of the agricultural frontier including cattle; (ii) selective extraction of valuable timber; (iii ) extraction of firewood; (iv) construction; and (v) illegal coca cultivation. The project areas all belong to EPM.
The project received validation under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standard Second Edition in December 2013 (Biodiversity Gold Level). It has not been submitted for VCS validation since the extra cost would not be covered by the expected proceeds of sale of the credits. EPM pursued CCB certification on its own as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda and because it wants to play an active role in the development of REDD+ in Colombia.
Planned mitigation activities include: (i) control y vigilancia; (ii) timber production; (iii) reforesting for sustainable timber and firewood harvesting: (iv) agro-forestry; (v) efficent cookstoves.
Additional activities include environmental education and the creation of a biodiversity corridor.
Land tenure arrangements and carbon rights
The project areas are private property belonging to EPM. Of the total 12,000 Ha surrouding the three damns, 5,648 Ha were chosen for the project.