Why carbon sequestration / credits from forests not likely to be developed any time soon

Carbon in forestry mitigation activities can be found and measured in five so called “pools” or “reservoirs”: Below-ground biomass, above-ground biomass, litter, dead wood and soil organic carbon. Ideally, data should be collected for changes in carbon stocks in all five pools, but doing so in an accurate and cost effective manner remains a major challenge. In order to facilitate the calculation of such changes, models and algorithms have been developed, especially for the two first pools.

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However, basic information on carbon stocks and stock changes in each
pool remains scarce and/or inaccurate, particularly in developing
countries. So in spite of the many efforts made by international,
regional and national organizations, the contribution of afforestation
and reforestation (A/R) to the generation of carbon credits under the
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has been negligible so far.

Only 1% of CDM projects registered as of late 2008 have been in the forestry
sector. ITTO’s experience has shown that developing A/R CDM projects
is very time consuming and expensive due to complicated rules and

The difficulties identified can be categorized as technical and economic. They include the lack of capacity to identify, formulate and implement A/R CDM projects in accordance with the modalities and procedures of the CDM project cycle as well as the underlying inability of project developers to attract financing to allow for the implementation of these projects.

This situation is aggravated by the lack of seed capital and technical capacity to kick-start the project development process. The following sections provide detailed descriptions of the causes of the extremely slow progress to date in implementing A/R CDM projects.

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Comments (1)

Aleta KazadiFebruary 14th, 2010 at 3:44 am

I live in the tropical area precisely in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a member of a local NGO dedicated to the development of our area, we have, as one of our objectives, the environment, most precisely re-forestation and anti-erosion. Recently the idea of carbon credits to encourage re-forestation had been presented to me. I would really like some information how that works as if there is a viable incentive I am sure that our population who live on more than 50 hectars, would be willing to work to that objective. I hope you can give me some info. Thanks, Aleta Kazadi

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