FINANCING GLOBAL FORESTS THROUGH MONITORING, CERTIFICATION SCHEMES AND USER-NETWORKS
Submitting InstitutionUniversity of Edinburgh
Unit of AssessmentEarth Systems and Environmental Sciences
Summary Impact TypeEnvironmental
Research Subject Area(s)
Mathematical Sciences: Statistics
Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science and Management
Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences: Forestry Sciences
Summary of the impact
Impacts: I) Development of carbon credit certification schemes,
including the expansion by the Gold Standard Foundation into land-use and
forestry and the creation of the Natural Forest Standard by Ecometrica Ltd
(both in 2012). II) Enhanced cross-sector collaboration for the
quantification of forest-loss risks and implications for financing risks,
through the 2011 creation of a Forest Finance Risk Network (FFRN).
Significance and reach: The Gold Standard Foundation represents
nine forestry projects worldwide (benefiting >8,500 people) and over
1.8million ha. of Brazilian land is managed through two Natural Forest
Standard projects. The FFRN connects 80 member organizations globally.
Underpinned by: Research into carbon emissions associated with
forest-loss, undertaken at the University of Edinburgh (2005 onwards).
Numbered references relate to research outputs in Section 3.
The start and end dates of continuous employment in the School of
GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, are shown along with the most recent
/ current position of each researcher.
Patenaude, Lecturer in Forests and Carbon Management (2005 onwards)
Woodhouse, Professor of Applied Earth Observation (1999 onwards)
Nichol, Senior Lecturer (2002 onwards)
Malthus, Senior Lecturer in Remote Sensing (1994 - 2009)
Research overview and context
Carbon gains and losses in woodland represent, in many parts of the
world, a significant fraction of carbon market requirements as laid down
by the Kyoto Protocol. Research at the University of Edinburgh led by
Patenaude since 2005 has investigated two aspects of such processes.
Firstly, examining and understanding the techniques available (the
combination of financial and technical instruments) to meet carbon market
requirements. This work has led to the development of new ways of
monitoring and modelling carbon gains and losses in woodlands. Secondly,
investigating the engagement of business leaders in addressing climate
change and in responding to carbon markets. This work demonstrated the
generally low-level awareness of business leaders to: I) the financial
consequences of climate change, and II) recognising the responsibilities
attendant upon managing forests as one major risk element in the financial
and ecosystems services markets.
Key research findings that underpin the subsequent impact
In the 2003 IPCC Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land Use Change and
Forestry protocols, Patenaude summarised the potential of remote sensing,
especially LiDAR, to quantify carbon gains and losses in woodlands. Pre
2005 research by Patenaude investigated the potential of such techniques
to meet the carbon market requirements set by the Kyoto Protocol and
demonstrated that LiDAR offered the best approach for 3-D accounting of
carbon, which constituted a significant advance towards the inclusion of
forest carbon in a global carbon market. Building upon these findings, the
Edinburgh teams led by Patenaude and Woodhouse have gone on to develop new
remote-sensing data analysis techniques, as published in 2008 
and a new multi-spectral canopy LiDAR designed to monitor carbon stocks in
forests, for which an international patent application was published in
2009  and demonstration project results were published in 2011
. These research findings have emphasised the innovative
potential of LiDAR in forest monitoring applications, such as are those
required for the UN-led Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest
Degradation (REDD) programme.
Research by Patenaude has also investigated the climate change and carbon
market education available to corporate leaders. A study published in 2011
demonstrated that meeting the managerial challenges that climate change
brings requires knowledge which is, currently, poorly addressed in
business education and in managerial scholarship . The issues
of deficient education, limited communication, and poor take-up within
individual sectors were identified — in a commissioned piece published in
Nature in 2010 — as of pressing concern . A second
commissioned piece, published in 2011, also addressed the risks of forest
loss for the financial sector, such as those associated with fire, wind,
pests and diseases, anthropogenic interference and regulation .
References to the research
Comments in bold on individual outputs give information on the quality of
the underpinning research and may include the number of citations (Scopus,
up to September 2013) and/or the 2012 Thomson Reuters Journal Impact
Factor (JIF). The starred outputs best indicate this quality.
* Peer-reviewed journal article describing underlying
methodologies, >10 citations
Patenaude, G., Milne, R., Van Oijen, M., Rowland, C. S. and Hill, R. A.
(2008) `Integrating remote sensing datasets into ecological modelling: a
Bayesian approach', International Journal of Applied Remote Sensing
29, 1295-1315, DOI: 10.1080/01431160701736414
 International patent application for new multispectral canopy
The key researchers are co-inventors of World Intellectual Property
Organization application PCT/GB2009/050490, "Remote Sensing System"
(2009). The application document is available at http://tinyurl.com/B7-3-S3-2C.
Instrument development was funded by NERC/DTI award (2007).
* Peer-reviewed journal article on multispectral canopy LiDAR
Woodhouse, I. H., Nichol, C., Sinclair, P., Jack, J., Morsdorf, F.,
Malthus, T. J. and Patenaude, G. (2011) `A Multispectral Canopy LiDAR
Demonstrator Project', Ieee Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
8, 839-843, DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2011.2113312
* Peer-reviewed journal article, JIF: 5.2
Patenaude, G. (2011) `Climate change diffusion: While the world tips,
business schools lag', Global Environmental Change 21,
259-271, DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.07.010,
 Commissioned journal commentary article, JIF: 38.6
Patenaude, G. (2010) `Climate class for business schools', Nature
466, 30, DOI: 10.1038/466030a
 Commissioned journal commentary article
Davies, S. and Patenaude, G. (2011) `Addressing the forest science versus
investment nexus: can a more holistic understanding of risks bridge the
gap?', Carbon Management 2, 613-616, DOI: 10.4155/cmt.11.65
A further metric of research quality is given by the peer-reviewed grants
that have contributed to the preceding outputs, which include:
• Case Studies for the development of a forest-specific toolbox for
investment (2012 - 2013), sponsor: NERC (NE/J019720/1), value: £125k
+ £105k from partners, awarded to Patenaude.
• Forest Finance Risk Network: Towards Stable Investment Environments
for Forestry (2011 - 2012), sponsor: NERC (NE/I022183/1), value:
£124k + £98k contribution from partners, awarded to Patenaude.
• Mission Concept Support: a Spaceborne Multispectral Lidar Mission
Concept (2010 - 2011), sponsor: NERC-NCEO, value: £220k,
awarded to Astronomy Technology Centre, Strathclyde University with
Patenaude as Co-I.
Details of the impact
Lettered references relate to corroboration sources in Section 5.
Development of carbon credit certification schemes
Pathway: The research-led advice of Patenaude on societal and
commercial aspects of forestry carbon emissions has been regularly
solicited by think-tanks, NGOs and certification bodies. Patenaude was
asked by the Gold Standard Foundation (GSF) to provide advice on the
potential extension of the GSF certification scheme into forest,
agriculture and land-use carbon, which occurred in September 2012 through
acquisition of the CarbonFix standard, The underpinning role of
Patenaude's research-led advice in this decision is corroborated in a
letter from the CEO of the GSF [A]. Patenaude also led the
technical panel of the Natural Forest Standard (NFS), developed by
Ecometrica Ltd (May 2012) as a voluntary carbon standard integrating
social, biodiversity and carbon values for REDD Natural Forest projects [B].
Significance and reach:
- The GSF manages a premium quality carbon offset certification
programme and is the largest international certification standard for
carbon mitigation projects (mobilizing c. €500million). The
forest, agriculture and land-use certification scheme now includes 9
validated / pre-validated projects worldwide, benefiting 8,695 people
and representing 20,042 ha of project land [C].
- The NFS standard is used by two projects in Brazil (Trocano Araretama,
area 1,346,541 ha. and Madeirinhas, area 493,953 ha.) to avoid
deforestation and forest degradation [D].
Enhanced cross-sector collaboration on financial risks from
Pathway: Patenaude has been invited on three occasions to
contribute to the Z/YEN Ltd commercial think-tank events 2010 - 2011.
These invitations were underpinned by the research work and are
corroborated in a letter from the Director of Z/YEN [E]. Building
on these networking activities. In 2011 Patenaude established the
cross-sector Forest Finance Risk Network (FFRN, http://tinyurl.com/B7-3-S4-1,
funded by the NERC award listed in Section 3), aimed at providing
knowledge exchange between researchers and end-users, to generate a stable
investment environment for forestry. In 2012, a research-led spin-out
company providing consultancy and project/data management services related
to remote sensing of forest resources, Carbomap Ltd. (http://www.carbomap.com)
was founded with Woodhouse as CEO and Patenaude as Director.
Significance and reach:
- The three Z/YEN events at which Patenaude presented were: "Finance,
Water & Forestry: Where's The Data? Symposium" (July 2010); "Finance
and Forestry Roundtable on Finance And Forestry: Where's The Data?"
(September 2010); and as key speaker at the "Finance, Biodiversity and
Managed Ecosystems: Where's The Data?" (Spring 2011). In each case the
audience was 200+ participants, drawn from representatives of financial
institutions, carbon market consultancies, investors, NGOs, and emission
- In the year from August 2011 membership of the FFRN grew from 8 to
over 80 global carbon-related organisations, including NGOs, insurers
and investors (e.g., WWF, WillisRE, VCS, ForestRe, Acclimatise). The
following members can corroborate specific benefits derived from the
network (all of which occurred 2011 — June 2013). The Director of
EnviroMarket Ltd can corroborate the development of "Two forest
bonds and an early stage development of data service for investors are
products that emerged as a result of the Network led by Patenaude"
[G]. The Director of ForestRe Ltd stated: "Really excellent
work. Extremely useful for us as a risk modelling unit for insurance
sector — we have to price risk in a few hours for most forest clients.
The network has helped us develop growth models, wind damage functions
and the planning and design of baseline situations" [H].
The Head of Economics and Climate Change at the Forestry Commission
Scotland stated: "The knowledge exchange improves our knowledge of
how risks will be estimated for the woodland carbon code [...], and
how our buffer estimates will be therefore amended" [I].
- Carbomap Ltd is a rapidly developing business that has already been
identified as `important' in a February 2012 article by NGO Responding
to Climate Change and been the recipient of a SMART Feasibility
Award (January 2013) from Scottish Enterprise [J].
Sources to corroborate the impact
Where two web-links are given, the first is the primary source and the
second an archived version.
[A] Factual Statement from the Chief Executive Officer of The Gold
Corroborates the input of Patenaude's research-led advice into the 2012
GSF consultation process on extending its certification scheme into
forest, agriculture and land-use carbon and the overall support provided
by this advice in the September 2012 decision to acquire CarbonFix.
[B] Website for the Technical Panel of the Natural Forest Standard
Provides evidence of Patenaude's research-based expertise contributing to
the development of certification standards.
[C] CarbonFix Project Index List, now managed by the GSF
Provides evidence of the global projects now managed by the GSF following
its procurement of CarbonFix. The total people benefiting and area of land
managed represents the sums of the 9 projects listed as validated or
pre-validated. Evidence of the acquisition of CarbonFix by GFS (September
2012) is given by the following press-release: http://tinyurl.com/B7-3-S5-XC2A
[D] NFS Project Index, Validation statement and Project Details.
Provides evidence of the Trocano Araretama (validated March 2013, Page 2)
and Madeirinhas (originated June 2012, Pages 3-10) projects in Brazil that
now engage with the NFS to avoid deforestation and forest degradation.
[E] Factual Statement from the Director of Z/Yen Group Limited
Provides corroboration of Patenaude's invitation to, and valued
contributions at, the three listed Z/Yen Group events.
[F] Meeting websites for cross-sector events
Finance and Forestry: Where's The Data? (September 2010) Provides evidence
of the role of Patenaude as one of 5 panellists.
Long Finance-London Accord Spring Conference (March 2011) Provides
evidence of Patenaude's key speech "Finance, Biodiversity and Managed
[G] Director of EnviroMarket Ltd
Can corroborate the quoted statement in Section 4, in particular that the
research work by Patenaude has underpinned the development of two forest
bonds and data services for investors.
[H] Managing Director of ForestRe Ltd
Can corroborate the quoted statement in Section 4, in particular the
development of new models for understanding forestry risk in the insurance
[I] Head of Economics and Climate Change at the Forestry Commission
Can corroborate the quoted statement in Section 4, in particular the
commissioning of work (value £36,000) on the calculation of buffer sizes
for Woodland Carbon Code projects. Further corroboration of the
interaction between the Forestry Commission and the FFRN is given in a
February 2012 press release: http://tinyurl.com/B7-3-S5-XIA
[J] Responding to Climate Change article and list of SMART Scottish
I) February 2013 RTCC article: http://tinyurl.com/B7-3-S5-XJ1
Provides corroboration of the utility of Carbomap services. II) List of
SMART: Scotland Grants accepted April 2012 — March 2013 http://tinyurl.com/B7-3-S5-XJ3
Provides corroboration that Carbomap received a 'Feasibility Award' (row
69 of spreadsheet).