CarbonFix Outlines Modifications to its Forest Protocol

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By David Diaz

A product of the German non-profit group CarbonFix, the CarbonFix Standard has been focused on afforestation and reforestation forest carbon projects since being first unveiled at the Bali climate talks in December 2007.   Version 3.0 of the CarbonFix Standards was released in August, 2009, and the board is now preparing to move to version 3.1 in October of this year. 

CarbonFix is one of the two major major offset standards using third-party verification (the other being Plan Vivo) which allow project developers to receive verified carbon credits  before the activities generating the emissions benefits have occurred (also known as "ex-ante" crediting). This strategy has opened opportunities for up-front financing for forest planting projects that often incur heavy costs from site preparation, project development, and tree planting before their climate benefits accrue.

On September 7, CarbonFix announced that the Technical Board would be considering new revisions to version 3.0 which are expected to be unveiled next month. 

Moriz Vohrer, Chairman of the Technical Board of CarbonFix gave us a few more details about what the considered amendments entail.  Read the full e-mail he sent to Ecosystem Marketplace describing the updates to the standard below.



From: ""
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 14:41:46 +0200 (CEST)
To:David Diaz
Subject: Re: update on version 3.1 of CarbonFix standard for Forest Carbon Newsletter


Hello David,

It's correct that the technical board is currently working on the revision of the standard - aiming to publish Version 3.1 in October. Not all proposals have yet been confirmed by the technical board, therefore the the following changes have to be seen under reserve of the procedures within the CarbonFix organisation (the confirmation of the technical board and the president).


1. New in Version 3.1 is the division of the buffer into a "buffer pool" and a "project specific buffer". Amongst others, this allows project developers which have insurance on their forest to also sell the credits of their "project specific buffer". This is especially interesting for forestation projects in industrialized countries.


2. With v3.1, it will be possible, that young forests, that are threatened to be cut down due to their uneconomic nature, can apply the CarbonFix Standard in order to get additional financial means through the sale of the carbon credits.


3. With Version 3.1 the additionality of a project will be restricted to 5 years. Project developers may re-confirm the validity of their additionality after this time. With this, CarbonFix wants to avoid that projects initially certify large project areas and only plant these areas over a long time in the future - while in the meanwhile the common practice within the host country changes.


4. Version 3.1 will introduce a new certification procedure which differentiates between “regular certifications" and so-called "Management Unit certifications”. This new type of certifications allows projects to add new areas to their project with a simplified certification procedure.


5. CFS v3.1 will allow also certification bodies accredited under the scheme of "Joint Implementation" scope AFOLU to certify projects according the CarbonFix Standard. Further, the technical board of CarbonFix is still in the process to evaluate the US accreditation scheme of ANSI (American National Standards Institute).


6. New is also the possibility to avoid double-counting of projects in industrialised countries by a paragraph in the sales contracts of the certificates stating that the buyer accepts the risk, that the growing forest might lead to effect that other companies within the host country will have to reduce less carbon.



I hope this gives you a good inside about the release of the new version in October.


Best wishes


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Moriz Vohrer
Chairman of the Technical Board

CarbonFix Standard
Friedrichstr. 15
70174 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone: +49 711 490 39 902
Fax: +49 711 490 39 600

Registration of the association: Germany - Amtsgericht Staufen, VR 429
President: Prof. Roland Irslinger
Vice-President: Holger Feser

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David Diaz is a Forest Carbon Associate with Ecosystem Marketplace.   He manages the Forest Carbon Portal, and can be reached at

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