If we value our forests, then we need an economy that values them, too.
Dogwood Alliance has been the driving force of change among industries reliant on the resources of Southern forests since 1996.
Ten years ago, we initiated a unique collaborative between conservation organizations, landowners and corporate partners like Staples, Forestland Group and Columbia Forest Products to innovate solutions that are driving the shift to a 21st century economy, that maintain and financially value our standing forests and the ecosystem services they provide. We called it the Carbon Canopy Project.
A report from the project, Carbon Canopy: Lessons from Nearly a Decade of Developing Forest Carbon Projects in Southern Appalachia, includes valuable technical, economic, and social knowledge that was gained and should serve as a roadmap for using the carbon market to protect forests and improve management in working forest landscapes.
Carbon Canopy was a ground-breaking initiative that gave landowners financial incentive to preserve their forests so that they didn’t have to choose between clearcutting and conservation. The project placed real economic value on carbon sequestration and on ecosystem services, like climate change protection, clean air and water as well as biodiversity. With Carbon Canopy, companies developed a mechanism for doing something about their environmental impact, taking into account the real cost of doing business, and ensuring our forests’ ecosystem services endure.
Ultimately the project led to increased protection for thousands of acres of forests in the Southern Appalachians and generated several new initiatives across the region.