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Carbon Offets Experts

The issue of carbon offsets and carbon markets continues to gain interest among the public, the private sector and policymakers. Conservation International is very much at the forefront of these developments and is a leader in standards setting and forest carbon project development, and serves as a trusted advisor to governments and carbon market participants.

Below are brief bios of our CO2 offset experts and some little known facts aabout forests and the role fforests and deforestation plays in the complex issue of climate change.


Joanna Durbin, PhD
Director - Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance
Conservation International
Joanna Durbin leads the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance(CCBA) - an international partnership between corporations, NGOs and research institutes promoting the development of forestry projects that simultaneously conserve biodiversity, foster sustainable livelihoods and mitigate climate change. In 2005, the CCBA released the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards to provide investors and project managers with a practical tool to evaluate the quality of land-based carbon mitigation projects from the early stages of development. The CCB Standard have since become the leading premium-quality standard for forest carbon projects. Read more about Joanna.

Toby Janson-Smith
Senior Director - Ecosystem Service Investments
Conservation International
Toby leads CI’s program that focuses on building markets for multiple-benefit forest carbon projects, including engaging the private sector (and their customers) to support projects that generate measurable climate, water, biodiversity and local community benefits.

Toby previously directed the CCBA. In 2005, the CCBA published the first set of international standards for designing and evaluating such projects, which have become the lead forest carbon standard in the marketplace, being applied to more than 80 projects around the world. Read more about Toby.

Sonal I. Pandya
Senior Manager, Ecosystem Services Investments
Conservation International
Sonal Pandya works to design and develop CI's "Conservation Carbon" projects, which will offset emissions of carbon dioxide through the restoration and protection of threatened forest ecosystems of high biodiversity value. The projects deliver a "triple benefit" by protecting endangered species from extinction, conserving habitats that deliver critical ecosystem services such as soil conservation and water purification, and providing economic alternatives to local communities through project employment and carbon service revenues. Activities of the program include protection of threatened native forests, reforestation of degraded lands, agroforestry and other land-use-change and forestry activities. Read more about Sonal.


  • With 19 million tons of CO2 entering the atmosphere from deforestation each day, tropical deforestation and other land use changes produce some 20 percent of all the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – more than all the cars, trucks, planes and trains combined.

  • Brazil and Indonesia are the third and fourth largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, after the U.S. and China, and land use change accounts for 70-90 percent of their total emissions.

  • Of the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide, nearly 90 percent depend on forest ecosystems and the services they provide, such as freshwater, protection from storms and floods, and crop pollination, for their livelihoods.

  • According to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), forest conservation, reforestation, and improved forest management, particularly in developing countries, can provide up to 25 percent of the emissions reductions needed in the coming decades at low costs, and can be designed to support adaptation to climate change and sustainable development.

  • Forest carbon activities are unique among climate change mitigation opportunities in their potential to deliver compelling benefits to local communities and biodiversity in addition to climate benefits.


© CI, Russell A. Mittermeier


Manager, Corporate Communications
Office: (703)341-2768