The Independent Charities Seal of Excellence is awarded to charities that have, upon rigorous independent review, been able to certify, document, and demonstrate on an annual basis that they meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness.
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NCI Partners with Solana Beach, California to Protect Tropical Forest September/October 2009
Preserving an area of endangered tropical forest equal in size to the city of Solana Beach
NCI and the city of Solana Beach in San Diego County, California have joined forces to preserve areas of tropical deciduous forest in southern Ecuador that have been prioritized for conservation by the Ministry of Environment, and also protect watersheds important to local municipalities. After unanimous approval by the City Council on October 28, 2009, the Solana Beach program seeks to raise $100,000 from area residents and businesses to preserve 2,000 acres of endangered tropical forest – an area equal in size to the city. Not only will this fundraising protect important tropical forest, but it will also ensure the future provision of ecosystem services including carbon sequestration, clean and abundant water, and biodiversity. The funds will also cover developing a management plan and incorporating local communities to ensure long-term protection of the forest. One of the causes of the pressure on these forests is the US policy on biofuels, which has dramatically raised the price of corn with consequent deforestation and negative climate consequences. Currently, only 5% of the original extent of Ecuador’s tropical deciduous forests remains, making this program of crucial importance. This agreement is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States between a municipality and an NGO to achieve forest protection and the resulting carbon sequestration.