There are concerns that the Gold Standard Requirements on forests (A/R and IFM) could lead to a significant increase in plantations.
Gold Standard does not regard plantations as inherently negative. Rather, we believe that plantations can, when sustainably designed and managed, lead to an increase of ecosystem services and employment in rural areas. Our rules only allow plantations if they:
• Are designed and managed in cooperation with stakeholders
• Bring income and jobs to local people
• Maintain and manage water resources and soil nutrients
• Absorb and store carbon
• Include corridors for wild animals
• Protect critical areas for plants and animals
• Enhance degraded areas
We are supported by the WWF programme on New Generation Plantations.
Note that all Gold Standard projects must prove how they go “beyond business as usual”. This means that a normal forest plantation, which could be financed also without the benefits from carbon credits, cannot be certified under Gold Standard.