Era Laguna Seca REDD+ Project Update
Laguna Seca REDD+ Project is being developed on approximately 8,300 hectares of managed forests in northwestern Belize and is designed to protect one of the largest intact tropical rainforests in the region, an area renowned for its biodiversity.
Era Ecosystem Services led the design and implementation of field inventories for the measurement of carbon on the Laguna Seca project, and spearheaded community engagement meetings to incorporate local needs into the overall project design. Additional project activities include regular forest patrols, regular carbon monitoring, increased forest management training for local workers, and increased economic opportunities for communities near the project area.
From June 27th through July 3rd, Steve Dettman, Director of Forestry for Era Ecosystem Services traveled to the western border dividing Belize from Guatemala for the final verification of the Laguna Seca REDD+ project. This project is being developed by the Forestland Group, a renowned US forest timber investment management organization (TIMO), on approximately 8,300 hectares of their managed forests.
Era managed the field inventory across this property that measured tree diameters, heights, and calculated carbon storage for the entire project area. In order to evaluate the accuracy of this work, Steve Dettman lead a group of reviewers from ANSI, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), and Environmental Services Inc. through the jungle to a variety of locations to identify local tree species, remeasure their diameters and heights, and review the GHG calculations. Along the way, the group saw troops of spider monkeys, flocks of the endangered ocellated turkey, and cougars.
The Laguna Seca REDD+ project is designed to protect one of the largest intact tropical rainforests in the region, an area renowned for its biodiversity. The project is located within the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, one of the most important wildlife corridors in the world, and is part of a Conservation International Biodiversity Hotspot. The property has been the site of multiple biodiversity studies since the 1980’s, conducted by Bruce and Carolyn Miller formerly with the Wildlife Conservation Society. This area provides habitat for large predators such as the jaguar, puma, and ocelot and also has a documented history of yellow-headed parrot (Amazona oratrix), regulose rainfrog (Craugasto sabrinus), Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii), Yucatan black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra), and Geoffrey’s spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi). There are long-term plans to monitor biodiversity throughout the project property using camera traps installed and managed by local biodiversity experts.
REDD+ project activities include regular forest patrols, regular carbon monitoring, increased forest management training for local workers, and increased economic opportunities for communities near the project area.
The Forestland Group intends for this Project to be a focal point for forest protection in the Selva Maya region and ecosystem, demonstrating how carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and community benefits can be concurrently achieved. As a result of the Project’s profile within Belize, it is expected that the Project will act as a catalyst for other REDD projects regionally. Discussions with the Belize Association of Private Protected Areas (BAPPA) have already resulted in contacts regarding additional conservation projects throughout Belize. The final review of this project is expected to be completed in September of this year.
For more information on this project, please see the full project profile here.