top of page
Video still 6.png

Frequently Asked Questions

WoodpeckerDriftwoodSunrise copy.jpg

Photo: Salish Eye Productions

  • What is the BigCoast Forest Climate Initiative?
    The BigCoast Forest Climate Initiative (BigCoast Forest) reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the life of the project while generating an economic return for Mosaic Forest Management (Mosaic). The initiative conserves 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) of unique forest ecosystems on Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and Coastal British Columbia. By committing timberlands to a nature-based climate solution, we increase carbon storage and avoid future GHG emissions. BigCoast Forest is a grouped project, allowing for the addition of project activity instances (areas and interested property owners) following project validation. This facilitates further climate conservation in the region. Through a growing mix of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives and timber harvest, Mosaic can drive sustainable economic value for our company and provide sustainable products that are a part of the solution to climate change. We also have 5 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals certified to our project’s credits, enabling our customers to officially apply those to their ESG goals. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the credits will flow each year to the Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA) Innovation Program and the Pacific Salmon Foundation to support scientific and First Nations cultural research on and around the project lands.​ This research aims to identify ecological and cultural priorities within the project lands to inform long-term decision-making on and around the project lands.
  • How will you ensure that Mosaic is living up to its commitment?
    BigCoast Forest is independently audited under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the world’s most widely used, transparent, and rigorous voluntary GHG program. All VCS projects are subject to regular monitoring and audits, including in the field, by qualified independent third-party auditors to ensure compliance with Verra’s VCS rigorous standards. Mosaic is a leader in sustainable forest management and responsible stewardship. We will continue to report on the progress we make – like we do on all our ESG initiatives – including progress that we make on attracting new partners and identifying additional areas of land to increase our impact. Customers and the public are invited to contact us anytime to learn more about the project or inquire about a field tour.
  • What are Verra, VCS, and AFOLU?
    Verra is a global non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC. They act as the Secretariat for the various environmental standards and programs under their management. The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is one of seven programs developed by Verra to encourage environmental and sustainable development efforts and drive large-scale investment to sustain them. Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) is the project category encompassing all standards relating to nature-based projects. BigCoast Forest utilizes the VM0012 – Improved Forest Management in Temperate and Boreal Forests, logged to protected AFOLU Standard.
  • How do I know the credits created by BigCoast Forest are real and credible?
    BigCoast Forest has been verified to the most recent versions of the standards and methodologies set out by the VCS and managed by Verra. All credits verified under any VCS program, including those generated by BigCoast Forest, are rigorously audited to the following quality assurance principles: Additional: BigCoast Forest exceeds the likeliest “business-as-usual” scenario and demonstrates that CO2 reductions/removals would not occur without the revenue from the sale of VCUs (credits). Mosaic’s primary business is growing trees and delivering logs to customers. Carbon credits are a complementary component of our business, and our timber harvest levels were reduced significantly to reflect the change in the use of the project lands. Real and Measurable: BigCoast Forest applies an approved methodology (VM0012) to ensure reductions/removals have already taken place and are measurable. Mosaic’s underlying forest inventory is extremely precise, regularly audited, and used to ensure credits are calculated precisely for each timber stand in the project, including whether that stand would have previously been entirely harvested or partially harvested. Many stands in the project are included solely for eco-cultural reasons that contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and are verified in that regard as co-benefits to improve the overall quality of this nature-based climate initiative. Conservative: BigCoast Forest uses conservative assumptions, values, and procedures to ensure reductions/removals are not overstated. These assumptions, values, and procedures are based on actual historical practices implemented by Mosaic. Permanent: BigCoast Forest ensures reductions/removals are not lost due to unforeseen events such as fire, disease, or pests. A portion of credits are kept in a buffer (insurance) account and can be accessed in case of rare loss events. These risks are continually assessed during each verification, and if required, the amount of credits kept in the buffer account is adjusted. Independently Verified: BigCoast Forest has contracted an approved third-party auditor, a validation/verification body (VVB), to confirm that the project design meets the VCS criteria and that all reductions and removals are quantified according to the VCS requirements and criteria. Uniquely numbered and transparently listed: BigCoast Forest is registered with the Verra Registry to ensure each VCU is assigned a unique serial number and listed on the registry. VCUs issued to BigCoast Forest can be viewed here.
  • How do BigCoast Forest Improved Forest Management (IFM) credits differ from REDD+?
    BigCoast Forest has applied an Improved Forest Management (IFM) framework, which enables forest management activities that result in increased carbon stocks within forests and/or reduce GHG emissions from forestry activities when compared to business-as-usual forestry practices. Whereas REDD+ is a framework used in the forestry sector in developing countries that reduces emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the sustainable management of forests and conservation of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. BigCoast Forest exists in a highly regulated environment, requiring intense audit procedures to verify critical project components such as baseline and additionality to ensure the legitimacy and climate impact resulting from the project.
  • Does the BigCoast Forest Initiative provide any co-benefits?
    BigCoast Forest is a private land project that uses the appropriate historical baselines. We’ve purposefully designed the project to include more ecologically important lands despite those features not directly contributing to Verified Carbon Units (VCUs). Moreover, it involves major additional voluntary features with each VCU, including certified nature-based United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDVISta): Climate Action; Clean Water and Sanitation; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life on Land; and Life Below Water. We are the first forest owner to achieve Gold Level Progressive Aboriginal Relations certification. BigCoast Forest supports local Indigenous cultural co-benefits, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA) Innovation Program and the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
  • How does the BigCoast Forest Climate Initiative account for the effects of reducing harvest levels on the timber industry? Won’t this initiative cause other companies to harvest more?
    In carbon terminology, the effects a project has on the harvest levels of other landowners in the industry is called market leakage. An assessment for market leakage was conducted at the time of validation. The assessment considered market leakage effects on the local, regional, national, and global forest products markets and reviewed aspects of each market, transportation costs, regulation barriers, and market variability. In future verifications (audits), market leakage will be reassessed to additional criteria, including product substitutability and biomass ratio comparisons. As a result of the assessment, a percentage of the VCUs that would have been issued to BigCoast Forest are deducted from the total due to any market leakage effects.
bottom of page