Latest On The Conservation Gateway

A well-managed and operational Conservation Gateway is in our future! Marketing, Conservation, and Science have partnered on a plan to rebuild the Gateway into the organization’s enterprise content management system (AEM), with a planned launch of a minimal viable product in late 2024. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, reach out to for more info!

Welcome to Conservation Gateway

The Gateway is for the conservation practitioner, scientist and decision-maker. Here we share the best and most up-to-date information we use to inform our work at The Nature Conservancy.

Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Project: A Case Study in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation

Sarene Marshall; Nicole Virgilio; Lisa Shipley

The Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Project (“NKCAP”) is preserving the rich, biologically diverse ecosystems of northeastern Bolivia’s Noel Kempff Mercado National Park while preventing the release of millions of tons of carbon dioxide over 30 years. In late 1996, when the ecological integrity of almost 832,000 hectares of tropical forest adjacent to the park was threatened by both timber harvesting and unplanned deforestation, The Nature Conservancy and Bolivian conservation organization Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza worked with the Government of Bolivia to terminate logging rights in the area. This land, along with three small existing conservation areas, was added to the original national park. Investments from three energy companies helped to fund project activities, in exchange for rights to a share of the verified carbon benefits generated by NK-CAP. NK-CAP was one of the world’s first large-scale Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation(“REDD”) projects, and is addressing the drivers of both Ds in REDD: deforestation from conversion to agriculture by local communities and degradation from logging activities in timber concessions. In 2005, NK-CAP was the first REDD project to be verified by a third party using rigorous standards based upon those developed for the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. As an early-stage REDD project, there were no precedents for the Noel Kempff Climate Action Project to follow. Instead, it was necessary to create new and innovative methods to address scientific, institutional and legal issues associated with REDD projects. Since NKCAP was initiated, the forest carbon field has advanced in important ways. Remote sensing technology, for example, has facilitated the development of more robust carbon accounting and monitoring. With the benefit of hindsight, it is possible to identify other areas in which the project could be improved, utilizing methodologies, legal arrangements, and conservation tools that were not readily available at the time. NK-CAP, nonetheless, serves as an example of how well designed REDD projects can result in real, scientifically measurable, and verifiable emissions reductions with communities.