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Environment & Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson today (Tuesday 22 November) visited the Milton of Mathers Farm near Montrose to present Scotland’s first Woodland Carbon Code certificate.
The 17.4 hectare project - funded as a carbon capture scheme by The Green Insurance Company - has seen a mix of native species planted in two small valleys to capture carbon emissions from vehicles insured by the company.
The new Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) – was developed by the Forestry Commission with input from industry experts and launched in July 2011.
This new national standard sets out good practice requirements for woodland carbon capture projects ensuring they are sustainably managed; and will deliver the carbon savings they claim. As part of the certification process each project is assessed by independent, accredited organizations. Registered schemes also remain eligible for Scotland Rural Development Programme funding.
During his visit, Mr Stevenson said:
“Planting the right tree in the right place is a valuable way of ‘locking up’ carbon, which is fundamental to our ambition to tackle climate change, but quantifying the process has – until now – been confusing for many people.
“The Code offers clarity and a means of verifying the results against the claims being made. For the first time it offers investors assurance that the schemes they are investing in really will deliver carbon benefits.
“It’s an innovative approach to encouraging investment and delivering climate change mitigation and, being the first project to achieve certification in the UK, the scheme here at Milton of Maithers is an important landmark.
“I was delighted to present the project partners with their certificate, which I hope will be the first of many more across Scotland.”
Twenty eight projects are now registered across the UK (of which 15 are in Scotland). These will provide around 1,800ha of new woodland and sequester - over a 100 year period - the equivalent of around 620,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
As well as farm owner and manager, Jim Reid of J D Reid & Partners, Mr Stevenson also met with Jim Reilly of SAC, James Hepburne Scott of Forest Carbon Ltd, Tim Bailey of SFQC Ltd and Gordon Ross of the Green Insurance Company, all of whom were involved in the scheme.
The register and further information about the Code can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/carboncode
1) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate, managing, enhancing and expanding the 660,000 hectare national forest estate in ways that continue to deliver benefits to Scotland’s people, communities, biodiversity and economy. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
2) Scottish forestry is playing its part in helping tackle climate change. With trees naturally locking up carbon, they have a significant role in reducing the affects of climate change. The use of wood as a fuel will also help reduce harmful greenhouse emissions and Forestry Commission Scotland is working hard to promote small scale woodfuel developments across the country.
3) Two certification companies, Scottish Food Quality Certification Ltd ( www.sfqc.co.uk/ ) (who assessed the Milton of Mathers project) and SGS UK Ltd (www.uk.sgs.com/ ) are approved to assess WCC projects. Both have contributed to a pilot programme to develop the procedures used to certify projects against the Code.
1) Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a’ riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
2) Airson agallamhan anns a’ Ghàidhlig, cuiribh fios gu Oifigear Leasachaidh Gàidhlig a’ Choimisean, Louise Nicilleathain air 01463 725 038