First International Pilot Launches in Canada
Morrison Mast
Morrison Mast
11 August, 2022 min read

NCX is proud to announce the launch of its first international forest carbon project in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The pilot project, implemented in collaboration with Community Forests International, a registered Canadian charity, brings together over 60 private landowners who have committed to sequester carbon by deferring timber harvests on their forestland. In total, this project encompasses over 65,000 forested acres in the Wabanaki-Acadian forest, an endangered forest-type limited to the Maritime Provinces of Canada and parts of New England.

The Wabanaki-Acadian forest. Photo © Community Forests International

NCX collaborated with Community Forests International (CFI) to develop the project. CFI has been working with small private forest landowners and forest professionals in the Maritime Provinces for the past 10 years on sustainable forestry practices, and has been a leading voice both regionally and nationally for the development of carbon programs that meet the needs of small- and medium-sized woodlot owners in Canada. CFI co-founder Zach Melanson was closely involved in the rollout of the pilot: “The NCX model is a game-changer for Maritimes landowners. It opens up a whole new product class from our forests — one that favours growing trees longer, and allows the people living closest with forests to be compensated for this increased carbon drawdown. It’s really a unique offering with the potential to support rural communities to manage forests for a multitude of values”. 

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have some of the highest percentages of privately-held forestland in the country, which makes this region an ideal candidate for the NCX harvest deferral program. The NCX program can bring a valuable source of income to landowners who treat their standing timber as a long-term investment, yet face intense pressure from the logging industry to clearcut, even if timber is before its prime. 

This work lays the foundation for a broader expansion across the region, and eventually into other provinces in Canada. At a time when over half of Fortune 500 CEOs say they plan to reach net-zero emissions by midcentury, Canada’s forests represent one of the largest carbon sinks in the world and a massive untapped supply of carbon sequestration and avoided emissions credits in a supply-constrained market. 

In addition to sequestering carbon on the landscape, the NCX program has the potential to deliver regional climate resilience outcomes at scale. The Wabanaki-Acadian Forest is unique in that it is made up of tree species found both in the boreal forests to the north, and northern hardwood species found to the south. Today, less than 5% of this forest remains in pre-colonial condition, and it has been listed as one of North America’s most endangered forests. A century of intensive timber production and clear-cutting has converted most of it to younger, single-age stands of mostly boreal species which make the ecosystem as a whole less resilient in the face of a warming climate. At scale, higher landowner enrollment in the NCX program in the Maritime Provinces not only has the potential to deliver these global and local climate outcomes, but biodiversity and water quality outcomes to boot.

NCX will continue to collaborate with CFI over the coming months to bring this program to more landowners in the Maritime provinces, and to connect these landowners to net-zero pioneers in Canada and beyond who have made a commitment to Canadian communities and the environment.  

NCX members, CFI staff, and a participating landowner, visit a woodlot in Nova Scotia in preparation for the launch of the pilot forest carbon program. Photo © Natural Capital Exchange

Get Involved

If you are a Canadian forest owner interested in learning more about the NCX program, add yourself to our distribution list and stay updated on our expansion efforts in Canada. NCX is actively working to expand program eligibility more broadly in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in 2023.

If you are an organization interested in supporting the expansion of this project by purchasing Canadian-sourced carbon credits, you can do so by contacting us.

Community Forests International

Community Forests International works in Canada and Zanzibar to help protect and restore forests, support communities adapt to climate change, build economic prosperity, and champion social equality. Learn more about their work.

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about the author

Morrison Mast

Morrison Mast

New Markets Manager
Morrison Mast is a New Markets Manager and Canada Program Lead at NCX. He holds a dual BS in biology and environmental policy from the College of William and Mary, and earned an MBA and MS in environment and resources from Stanford University while focusing on conservation finance, nature-positive impact investing, and climate tech entrepreneurship. Morrison began his career as a Fulbright researcher working on sustainable development and biodiversity conservation with rural communities in Latin America and Southern Africa. Before joining NCX, he worked with Blue Forest Conservation, the Stanford Graduate School of Business Impact Fund, The Finance for Biodiversity Initiative, and served as Director of Conservation Programs for Smithsonian Student Adventures.