Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods Completes Feasibility Study for Climate Action Reserve and American Carbon Registry Carbon Offset Generation

Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods (HLH) today announced the completion of an independent feasibility study to assess the economic viability of afforestation carbon offsets using a native tree species (Acacia koa). The model was tested using both the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and American Carbon Registry (ACR) carbon offset protocols. The assessment reveals that mid-size to smaller scale private landowners do indeed have options to generate carbon offset projects that are commercially viable. Under the HLH proprietary business model, private land owners can choose to work under two prominent offset standards in both the compliance and voluntary carbon markets to deploy reforestation techniques that restore degraded land.

Up until now, afforestation projects in the United States have been ruled out as a cost effective way to generate carbon offsets. This assessment of the HLH silviculture model serves as a proof of concept for privately owned land in Hawaii. Family landowners can now monetize additional revenue streams beyond traditional timber markets without having to subdivide their land for commercial development. “For the first time, we illustrate that landowners can leverage carbon finance to permanently restore native species throughout the Hawaiian Islands,” said Darrell Fox HLH COO.

“The timing of this report is auspicious, coming on the heels of the APEC Summit in Honolulu. Many of the nations that attended have island or coastal populations that are vulnerable to any increase in sea level. They have deeply felt concerns about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions and the impact they may have on climate and sea level,” said CEO Jeffrey Dunster.

Projects using the Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods’ business model sequester carbon emissions (C02e) and help to reestablish native koa which is endemic to Hawaii. Project activities include planting genetically diverse native species, controlling and eliminating invasive species, and moving away from harvest rotation periods that is currently the standard practice in plantation forestry. Outcomes of the project will help return the Hawaiian forest to a natural state with improved water production, enhanced open space, increased biodiversity, improved air quality and a more robust native habitat.

“American Carbon Registry provides a transparent and workable framework for small landowners to quantify and transact high-quality, verified emissions reductions from reforestation projects,” said Mary Grady, Director of Business Development for American Carbon Registry (ACR). “Our mission is to catalyze markets to improve the environment, and the Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods project is a perfect example of the critical contribution that carbon finance can make towards that important objective.”


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