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FRONTLINE/World Rough Cut

Rough Cut: Mexico: The Business of Saving Trees
Additional Resources
Links to more on Sierra Gorda and how the carbon offset market works, including its effectiveness in averting global warming.

Related Links

Sierra Gorda Official Site
The official site of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve provides extensive information about the park, including its conservation projects and eco-tours in the reserve; it also provides links enabling you to calculate your carbon footprint.

Viva Sierra Gorda
While not officially part of the global carbon-offset market, Viva Sierra Gorda accepts donations that help plant and restore forest slopes and sponsor outreach for environmental education or technical support for microenterprises and eco-lodges.

UNESCO: Sierra Gorda Biosphere Information
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization provides a brief overview of the ecosystems, vegetation types and inhabitants of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere.

map

The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is located about 5 hours north of Mexico City.

Sierra Gorda: An Environmentally Connected World
Listen to or read the transcript of Jason Margolis' original story for PRI's The World about the Sierra Gorda Biosphere and the efforts to preserve its forests.

Voluntary Carbon Markets by Ricardo Bayon
Published in an effort to support the growth of the voluntary carbon market, this book provides a reference guide to what the market is and how it works, plus its potential for growth. The book includes a foreword by Al Gore.

Carbon Emissions Offset Directory
EcoBusinessLinks.com, a directory of eco-friendly businesses, products and organizations, compiles this directory of carbon-offset providers, their projects and their prices per metric ton of C02.

Voluntary Carbon Offset Information Portal
A joint project between the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Tufts Climate Initiative, this information portal offers a thorough examination of voluntary carbon offsets, including an overview of carbon trading, ways to judge the quality of offset projects, and lists of voluntary offset companies. The site also explains the concepts of additionality, which essentially means that the project would not have happened without the sale of offsets, and double counting, which happens when multiple stakeholders are given credit for the same emission reductions.

MSNBC: "Carbon offset market raises questions"
Allison Linn of MSNBC.com writes about the lack of standards in the voluntary carbon markets -- one of many stories in the media urging consumer caution.

Business Week: "Another Inconvenient Truth"
Business Week magazine writes that behind the hype of carbon offsets, some of the deals do not deliver. They cite the case of TerraPass, Inc., who, the magazine claims, sold offsets from projects that would have happened anyway, regardless of the offset purchases.

Christian Science Monitor: "Do carbon offsets live up to their promise?"
Moises Velasquez-Manoff writes an easily understood overview of the carbon-offset market, examining its effectiveness, or lack thereof, in averting global warming.

From Our Files

Guatemala/Mexico: Coffee Country
As a worldwide glut of coffee beans forces Central American farmers and their families off their land, FRONTLINE/World's Sam Quinones follows a group of gourmet coffee importers who advocate "fair trade" as a partial solution to the crisis.

Philippines: The Black Stain of Oil
In a previous story for FRONTLINE/World, Jason Margolis traveled to the Philippines to investigate the effects of an oil tanker sinking near an important marine biosphere there -- what some have called the worst environmental disaster in Philippine history.

-- Matthew Vree