Carbon offset funds enabled the conservation of 417.9 hectares of forestland on Quadra Island that would have previously been logged or converted to vacation home developments.
How it works
Quadra Island is an island off the eastern coast of Vancouver Island. It is the largest of the Discovery Islands located within the Strathcona Regional District. It serves as a popular destination for tourists and vacationers and substantial logging occurs on the island.
The purpose of the Quadra Island Forestland Conservation Project (Quadra Project) is to meet two main objectives: reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) levels and conserve site-specific features. GHG levels were reduced by protecting 417.9 hectares of forestland previously slotted for conversion to vacation home development and continued logging activity. The specific site was chosen because it includes: Remnant Coastal Western Hemlock second growth forests; the opportunity to establish connectivity between existing parks—which allows its wildlife to move from one park to another safely; as well as important archaeological sites and a historic Aboriginal portage route.
Carbon offsets made it happen
Because of this site’s important features, the Province has been wanting to officially protect the area for almost 20 years. The critical barrier to them doing so was insufficient capital to purchase the property. In 2014, through the contributions of a diverse group of donors, a land trade, and the promise of funding from carbon offsets, the Province was able to reach an agreement to purchase the project site. Included in these contributions was funding from Offsetters and partners to secure carbon rights from the protection of the project area.
The project area has been transferred from private to public ownership in order to realize land use goals identified through a participatory planning process. It is now included in and managed by BC Parks and accessible to the public for recreational values. The area is now available for tourists and local community members for hiking, camping, kayaking and other recreational activities, the value of which would have been diminished by logging and residential development. These features are important to the existing significant (and future) recreational tourism in the area and associated financial benefit to the region.