North Pikounda REDD+ Project:

Protecting and Preserving

Project Developer
Summary of Benefits
  • Estimated to reduce about 7.9 million tonnes of GHG emissions over a period of 30 years

  • Protection and preservation of the living habitat of the largest known critically endangered species of lowland gorilla population in the Congo basin

  • Conserve and protect over 22 flora species and 60 fauna species present in the forest

The Issue

92,530 hectares of native Congolese forest was originally legally designated as a selective logging concession. As this area comprised of 60% dry land mixed forest and 40% wetlands, the originally planned forest degradation would have taken place on the 55,950 hectares of dry land. The North Pikounda are old-growth forests. No commercial logging have ever taken place due to its remoteness. Human habitation and hunting in the past was extremely limited in that area as well due to its location.

If the logging were to be carried out, this would have caused the lost of habitat for many of the protected species of wild Fauna and Flora. Furthermore, the logging would have caused carbon pools to release the GHG into the atmosphere. Hence, Carbon Conservation is working with Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB), an Olam International timber operator, on a Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation Plus Conservation and Sustainable Forestry (REDD+) project to protect the unlogged native Congolese forest.

Table: Estimated GHG removals for the first 10 years

(Source: VCS Project Database)

Different Scenarios for the land

For this REDD+ project to be justified, alternative scenarios have to be identified and demonstrate why the REDD+ project would be additional.

Alternative Scenarios* that were identified:

  1. Continuation of the Pre-Project Land Use: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Selective Harvesting

  2. Conventional Selective Harvesting

  3. No Harvesting and/or Protection but without being registered under the VCS as a Improved Forest Management - Logged to Protected Forest (IFM-LtPF) project

  4. Oil Palm Plantation

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals
Screenshot_2020-01-23 13 pdf.png
Comparing the Alternatives

Scenarios 1, 2 and 4 all have applicable enforced mandatory legislation and regulation. Scenario 3 would violate applicable enforced mandatory legislation and regulation as the alternative violates a current law that requires the North Pikounda to be used for forest production activity. Furthermore, it is not possible to demonstrate that there is in the Republic of Congo (RoC) a current practice of a concessionaire protecting the land without deriving any economic gain therefrom.


As the baseline Scenario 3, No Harvesting and/or Protection but without being registered under the VCS as an IFM-LtPF project, does not comply with mandatory enforced legislation and no widespread non-compliance can be demonstrated it is removed from the list of realistic and credible baseline scenarios.

Scenario 4: Oil Palm Plantation is eliminated as an alternative baseline scenario as there are barriers to access the necessary material and infrastructure for implementation as well as an absence of nearby facilities to convert and add value to the Oil Palm.

Although two alternative scenarios remain, which includes FSC RIL (reduced impact logging) Selective Harvesting and Conventional selective harvesting, they are essentially the same baseline except in the amount of deforestation and degradation they would cause. The FSC Selective Harvesting as practised by CIB is less emission intensive then the non-certified conventional selective logging in the RoC. As such there is actually only one alternative scenario, Selective Harvesting.

Comparing between Selective Harvesting and the North Pikounda REDD+, it was found that the North Pikounda REDD+ would be additional.

* For the complete project description, selection process & credibility of the alternative scenarios, and comparisons between alternative scenarios click here.

Implementation Summary

CIB-Olam representatives met and consulted with a range of stakeholders for the development of the project. These stakeholders include the national and local government bodies in the Republic of Congo, International IGOs and NGOs, local communities near the project area and local civil society representatives. They received support from all of the stakeholders through their events and meetings.


CIB-Olam and Carbon Conservation are in continuous contact with the RoC National REDD+ Coordination team to ensure the integrity and longevity of the project. They also hold regular team meetings to ensure that the Congolese forestry directives and norms are adhered to.

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