Forest Carbon

Ponterra, Microsoft, Rubicon Carbon and Carbon Streaming launch 3.2Mt nature-based carbon removal project

The 10,000-hectare project in Panama underpins the third long-term nature-based carbon offtake agreement signed by Microsoft, which will receive 1.6 million tonnes of removal credits

LONDON/NEW YORK -  Ponterra, a developer and operator of large-scale biodiversity-rich forest restoration projects, today announced an agreement with Rubicon Carbon, Carbon Streaming (Cboe CA: NETZ) and Microsoft to deliver high-quality reforestation carbon credits from its ARC Restaura Azuero Project (ARC Project) in the Azuero Peninsula of Panama. The project is expected to issue 3.24 million tonnes of carbon removal credits over the 30-year contract. 

With up-front investment from Rubicon Carbon, Carbon Streaming, and Microsoft, the ARC Project will restore a unique tropical forest, planting over 6 million trees from over 75 native species in an area degraded by decades of cattle ranching. Microsoft will receive approximately 1.6 million tonnes of carbon removal credits through a combination of a credit streaming agreement, the company’s first, and an offtake agreement.

Ponterra's ARC Project is actively restoring native forests, with a particular emphasis on enhancing ecosystem health, providing economic opportunity for communities, and encouraging the return of endemic wildlife. This focus on biodiversity is essential for supporting the habitat needs of native mammals, birds, and insect species while significantly enhancing carbon sequestration. 

Located in an area where rising temperatures and land degradation combined with decreasing access to water have made cattle grazing less productive, the ARC Project represents an unprecedented collaboration among carbon buyers, the project developer, and the local community to spearhead an effort to restore forests, nature, and livelihoods.

To foster this collaborative relationship, Ponterra leases land from local landowners rather than purchasing land outright. These agreements allow for joint operation and revenue sharing between Ponterra and the landowners, ensuring that landowners are compensated for the project’s success. 

Local communities will receive over $70 million of direct and indirect benefits in the first 30 years of the project’s lifespan through a combination of lease payments, a share of carbon credit sales paid to landowners, salaries to local workers, and donations to local NGOs for environmental education. Ponterra expects to employ over 100 people from the local community in 2024 and grow to 300 people in 2025 to do technical biomass and biodiversity measurement, ecological research, seed collection, sapling production, planting, maintenance operations, accounting and reporting, health and safety, and more. 

Covering an initial 10,000 hectares with an opportunity to expand to more than 50,000 hectares, the project is one of only six projects globally under validation with Verra’s new highest quality Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR) methodology VM0047 and it is a pilot project for Verra’s new SD VISta Nature Framework, a program designed to pioneer the issuance of biodiversity credits.  

Ponterra is collaborating with scientists from The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich, as well as local ecologists and specialist naturalists, to measure and track the return of invertebrates, insects, birds, small and large mammals, bats, and plant species to the project area.

“Ponterra’s mission to restore biodiversity and uplift local communities by designing and operating high-integrity nature projects comes to life today. We are thrilled to be working with some of the most respected buyers of nature-based carbon credits in the market to reach the scale needed to meaningfully impact the twin biodiversity and climate crises,” said CEO Celia Francis. 

On Rubicon Carbon’s participation, Rubicon Carbon CEO Tom Montag notes, “As a vertically integrated company, we’re excited to collaborate with Ponterra and Microsoft to deliver crucial finance to this project and to have these credits as part of the diversified portfolios we offer our clients.”

Justin Cochrane, CEO of Carbon Streaming, expressed his enthusiasm about the deal, stating, "This stream with Ponterra represents a transformative step for Carbon Streaming and the entire reforestation industry. With esteemed co-investors and a long-term offtake with Microsoft, we are proving a model at scale that will deliver significant benefits for all stakeholders, the environment, and the local community.”

“To scale carbon removal at a pace in line with IPPC guidance, more investors need to become comfortable with underwriting risks that are unique to nature-based solutions. This novel collaboration with Rubicon, Carbon Streaming, and Ponterra is a big step in the right direction in terms of both socio-ecological impact and market capacity building,” said Brian Marrs, Senior Director of Energy and Carbon Removal at Microsoft.

Ponterra, Microsoft, Rubicon Carbon, and Carbon Streaming look forward to sharing the innovations showcased in the design and financing of the ARC Project with other nature-based solutions operators and carbon credit buyers with full transparency to scale ecosystem restoration and prevent further biodiversity loss.


About Ponterra:

Ponterra is a leading developer and operator of the world’s highest-quality carbon and biodiversity projects. By focusing on restoring nature on degraded agricultural lands, Ponterra aims to reverse climate change, bring back biodiversity, and uplift rural communities. Their vertically integrated model enables end-to-end management of the entire restoration process and establishes a precedent for how to scale nature-based solutions to create ecological and human prosperity. Founded in 2023 in London by experienced nature-based solutions and climate tech operators, Ponterra now has a diverse team of professionals across the UK, US, and Latin America. For more information, visit

About Rubicon Carbon:

Rubicon Carbon partners with the world’s largest enterprises to help them achieve their sustainability goals while driving global decarbonization. Backed by TPG Rise Climate and led by top executives from across finance, technology, and climate science, Rubicon Carbon delivers innovative carbon credit solutions to global businesses and unlocks decarbonization at scale. For more information, visit  


About Carbon Streaming

Carbon Streaming pioneered the use of streaming transactions, a proven and flexible funding model, to scale high-integrity carbon credit projects to advance global climate action and additional United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This approach aligns its strategic interests with those of project partners to create long-term relationships built on a shared commitment to sustainability and accountability and positions Carbon Streaming as a trusted source for buyers seeking high-quality carbon credits. Carbon Streaming focuses on projects that have a positive impact on the environment, local communities, and biodiversity, in addition to their carbon reduction or removal potential. Carbon Streaming has carbon credit streams and royalties related to over 20 projects around the world, including high-integrity removal, reduction and avoidance projects from nature-based, agricultural, engineered and community-based methodologies. For more information, visit 


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