Vicky Kelly

The Natural Forest Standard (NFS) is a newly-developed standard focused on the conservation of natural forests. It has been designed to complement the current array of carbon standards and forest initiatives within the voluntary carbon market, by being specific in its design.

The Natural Forest Standard is aimed at certifying the carbon, social and biodiversity benefits of medium to large-scale natural forestry projects that are at risk from deforestation and degradation. The Standard recognises the global importance of natural forests in climate regulation and maintenance of biodiversity by integrating these values into one all-encompassing Standard. The NFS is designed to mobilise resources for the conservation and restoration of natural forests in ways that benefit local and indigenous communities as well as ensuring there is no net loss of biodiversity in the project areas.

In brief, the key focuses and features of the Standard are:
• Focus on Natural Forests at risk from deforestation and degradation
• Integration of social, biodiversity and carbon values
• Excludes commercial forestry
• Medium to large-scale projects
• Conservation and restoration of natural forests
• Unified, risk-based performance benchmark to provide baselines
• Bridging the gap between community-based/local carbon offset projects and national/Government programmes.