Our Focus

Climate and Carbon


REDD+ project design and implementation

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) initiatives provide an opportunity to generate sustained financing for the restoration and conservation of forest ecosystems, while addressing the global challenge of climate change. REDD+ provides an incentive structure for performance-based conservation and climate change mitigation. In addition, REDD initiatives have led the development of other best practices in terrestrial resource management, such as Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV), and conflict resolution approaches among others.

Built on years of on-the-ground experience, Starling Resources has a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges of REDD+ and low-carbon economic development, in Indonesia and globally, as well as the importance of these to climate, biodiversity, community resiliency, and economic development. We help facilitate both REDD+ and low-carbon economic development through stakeholder engagement, community planning, policy development, cost modeling, and project design and management.

  • Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation Project
    Project summary

    The Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation Project (Katingan Project) is a REDD+ project on a 150,000 ha peat swamp forest in the districts of Kotawaringin Timur and Katingan in Central Kalimantan in Indonesia. PT. Rimba Makmur Utama (PT. RMU) is the project developer and holds a 60-year-long ecosystem restoration concession (ERC). By avoiding planned deforestation in the project area, the Katingan Project aims to yield carbon credits in the voluntary, and eventually in the compliance market. Revenues from the sale of carbon credits will support community development activities on the ground.

    The Katingan Project has four primary components: Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV), ecosystem restoration, biodiversity protection, and community development. By collaborating with various stakeholders including local communities, local and national governments, universities, NGOs, and researchers, this project seeks to ensure carbon, community and biodiversity benefits, while also confirming the credibility and accountability of MRV methodologies that can be adopted under jurisdictional and international REDD+ mechanisms.

    Our services

    Starting in 2006, Starling Resources engaged with PT. RMU and its partners to lead REDD+ feasibility studies, ERC policy analyses, stakeholder analyses, MRV methodology development, database development, and project financial analyses. We also served as a main author of the Project Description Document (PDD) that was successfully verified by the VCS+CCB standards in 2016.

    Project term

    2006 - 2016

    Clients and Partners
    • PT. Rimba Makmur Utama(Client)
    • Yayasan Puter Indonesia (Partner)
    • Wetlands International (Partner)
    • Permian Global (Partner)

    Project documents and reports

    Katingan Conservation and Restoration Project: VCS+CCB Project Description Document (PDD) (2015)

  • Opportunities and challenges to developing REDD+benefit sharing mechanism in developing countries
    Project summary

    Starling Resources designed and led a REDD+ cost analysis in order to better understand the hurdles facing REDD+ development and inform discussion of REDD+ benefit sharing. The project aimed to provide accurate and inclusive implementation costs data for REDD+ projects in three countries and provide a framework to analyze REDD+ project implementation costs across project types and geographies.

    Our services

    Starling Resources has assisted CIFOR in selecting the project sites and in developing the criteria for selections. Our expertise and experience have enabled us to conduct comprehensive data collection in Indonesia while also directly supporting data collection in Tanzania and Brazil through the provision of data collection methodologies, training modules, cost modeling, analytical frameworks and supervision.

    Based on our previous experience and knowledge on REDD+, a standardized common analytical framework, methodology and approach to REDD+ project cost modeling were developed in collaboration with CIFOR to be used to accurately capture REDD+ project implementation costs, including in kind and transaction costs across a diverse sample of projects in CIFOR’s six priority countries. The analytical framework is further designed to allow costs from different sites to be aggregated, compared and analyzed. Lastly, the Starling Resources team is also co-authoring a CIFOR publication on framework and methodology for quantifying costs of REDD+ projects, as well as an assessment of REDD+ project implementation costs and ramifications for project investment and benefit sharing schemes.

    Project term
    • 2012 – 2014

    Clients and Partners
    • Cifor

    Project Reports


Carbon emissions and methodology development

Scientific consensus on the human-led causes of global warming and the evidence of climate change impacts is leading to globally concerted efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This movement requires new analytical tools, technologies, and thinking in the management of our natural resources. To address climate change, governments and businesses have started to reconsider business-as-usual scenarios and plan for ways to reduce emissions from primary carbon emitting sectors and economic activities, as well as retain and recover carbon sinks in forests and other carbon sequestering ecosystems.

Starling Resources has experience in conducting field surveys of above- and below-ground biomass, peat depth, groundwater level, social economy, and fauna and flora biodiversity. We have contributed to developing scientifically rigorous methodologies for credible carbon accounting, peatland and community mapping, peatland fire prevention, social and environmental safeguards, and capacity building programs. Our approaches to program activities and methodologies are designed in line with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) requirements for international credibility. Our activities include the design and development of monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) methodologies, standard operating procedures (SOPs), guidebooks, and capacity building programs.

  • Peatland Definition and Peatland Mapping Methodology Assessment
    Project summary

    The project commissioned by the Indonesian Climate Change Center assessed existing peatland maps for pilot sites (Pelalawan and Katingan Districts) and targeted the development of new accurate peatland maps based on robust scientific methodologies and peatland definitions. Referencing the newly developed peatland maps, the project provided recommendations for sustainable peatland management by considering key climate and land use factors. These factors included potential impacts of climate change, socio-economic contexts, time-series land use and land cover change (LULCC) analysis, and GHG emissions estimation from water table fluctuations and LULCC. This project was carried out with the following four objectives:

    • Assess peatland mapping methodologies;
    • Develop new accurate peatland maps for the study sites;
    • Recommend a sustainable peatland management model by considering the balance between GHG emission reductions and socio-economic needs; and
    • Build collaborative partnerships with national and international universities, NGOs, and communities to exchange knowledge and facilitate capacity building.

    Our services

    Starling Resources served as Project Manager for this assignment, and successfully engaged a network of partnerships at international, national and local levels, enhancing the level of collaboration with and among partner institutions. Working with experts from partner universities, Starling Resources team led field surveys for both peat sampling and social baseline surveys in order to develop empirical understanding of peatland distribution, local land use practices, livelihood patterns and potential climate change impacts on the socio-economy across the study sites.

    Project term


    Clients and Partners
    • US Forest Service (Client)
    • Indonesia Climate Change Center (Partner)

    Project documents and reports

    ICCC. (2013) Peatland Definition and Peatland Mapping Methodology Assessment.

  • Estimation of Carbon Emission from Tropical Peatland
    Project summary

    Indonesia holds approximately 15 million hectares of peat soil, which represents 50% of the world’s total tropical peatland area. Peatlands store large quantities of carbon in the form of organic matter accumulated in waterlogged and anaerobic conditions. In natural conditions when peatland hydrology is intact, peatlands are capable of providing multiple environmental benefits including water regulation, carbon storage, and biodiversity maintenance. Despite such ecological functions, peatlands have been utilized for economic development for decades, subject to destruction and degradation on a massive scale.

    Initiated in 2014 as part of the Indonesia-Japan Project for Development of REDD+ Implementation Mechanism (IJ-REDD+ Project) funded by JICA, this project promotes sustainable management of tropical peatland ecosystems. The program aimed to build the technical capacity of Indonesian stakeholders through the development of a guidebook and a series of training courses on methodologies for carbon emission estimation for tropical peatlands.

    Our services

    Through collaboration with peat scientists of Hokkaido University in Japan, Starling Resources worked with national and regional governments in Indonesia to transfer skills and knowledge to their researchers for estimating carbon emissions from peat decomposition and burning by using real-time groundwater data as a key parameter. We developed training curriculum and learning materials and facilitated a series of training courses led by expert peat scientists. Further, we developed a practical guidebook to disseminate to both the science community and local and national stakeholders.

    Project term

    2014 – 2015

    Clients and Partners
    • Japan International Cooperation Agency (Client)
    • Ministry of Environment and Forestry Indonesia – KLHK (Partner)
    • Environmental Agency of Central Kalimantan Province – BLH (Partner)
    • Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology – BPPT (Partner)
    • Agency for Development of Environment and Forestry Banjarbaru – BPPLHK (Partner)
    • Sebangau National Park Office
    • University of Palangka Raya
    • Hokkaido University (Partner)
    Project documents and reports

    Guidebook for Estimating Carbon Emissions from Tropical Peatlands in Indonesia (2015)


Climate change adaptation

The world is facing an increasing number of climate-related natural disasters such as floods, droughts, landslides, storms, heat waves, and forest fires. Millions of people have been displaced due to climate change, and the frequencies and intensities of these disasters are only expected to increase. For this reason, building resilience and adapting to the impacts of climate change are imperative for national security.

Starling Resources has conducted both economic and scientific climate change adaptation assessments of various landscapes in Indonesia. We have established proof-of-concept by working with partners to implement climate smart agriculture and ecosystem restoration activities in Central Kalimantan.

  • Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation - Mapping Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Options for Target Landscapes in Indonesia
  • Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) for Target Landscapes in Indonesia