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The Rainforest Standard is the world’s first carbon credit standard to fully integrate requirements and protocols for carbon accounting, socio-cultural/socio-economic impacts, and biodiversity outcomes.  It is the product of a four-year collaboration among five leading environmental trust funds based in five Amazon Basin countries and Columbia University’s Center for Environment, Economy, and Society.

The Rainforest Standard’s overarching goal is to conserve natural forests, their biodiversity, and the sustainable livelihoods they provide using real, additional and permanent reductions in CO2e emissions resulting from forest conservation in order to generate long-term revenue streams from the sale of forest carbon credits.

The Rainforest Standard’s underlying principle is that emission reductions must be permanent to justify credit revenues, and reductions will not be permanent unless economic benefits flow fairly to all local forest users and owners, who would otherwise have no stake in their permanence.

The Rainforest Standard’s commitment to an integrated standard is based on the fundamental understanding that the environment, economy, and society are “in it together”; one cannot thrive if the others do not thrive as well.  


Reducing removals of any natural forest inside Protected Areas will be able to earn a special form of RFS Credit known as RFS Protected Area CreditsTM (RFS|PAC™) in recognition of the fact that removals may occur in Protected Areas despite their “protected” status because Protected Area managers often lack sufficient resources to keep these forests secure through an integrated process that engages forest users. The RFS|PAC™ is designed to:

Support Governmental Authority efforts to fund Protected Areas against well-documented persistent threats to Protected Areas; and 

Enable Governmental Authorities to help fund Protected Area Management Plans, including RFS Best Practices PA Protocols.  These enhanced management plans with their detailed set of activities are developed in cooperation with local participants to protect forests, biodiversity, and the socio-economic and socio-cultural values of local communities.

Important features of RFS Protected Area Credits™ include: (a) proceeds from their sale must be used solely for the social, environmental, and economic well-being of the Protected Area and any Rightsholders in the Protected Area; (b) the credits cannot be resold or transferred by the initial purchaser, and therefore will not be subject to market price fluctuations or speculation; (c) credit purchase agreements will be long-term and performance-based, and (d) the RFS|PAC™ is a special exception to the usual Legal Additionality Test under The RFS™.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY POLICY                                                                                                    

No copyright, intellectual property, or privacy law or regulation promulgated by a Governmental Authority shall be violated. 

DATA POLICY                                                                                                                                

  1. All original data and metadata necessary to interpret any data cited by a Proponent ExpertAssigned Expert,Referee, or Commentator shall be published on the Project webpage with no restrictions to access or use of the data.
  2. Metadata should meet the standards necessary for understanding and replication of the study by others.
  3. Generally, spatially defined data must have explicit geographic coordinates accurate to within 4m; however, within defined plots coordinates shall accurate to within 0.1 m.
  4. Metadata structure should meet Ecological Metadata Language (EML) standards, and should include tables of metadata of standard format.


Executive Summary - English    Sumário Executivo - Portuguese
Resumen ejecutivo - Spanish  RIO+20 Brochure


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