CDM and Forestry Sector

Posted on October 9, 2010 by


Forests is the home for millions of species, produce a large proportion of the world’s supply of fresh water, and are crucial in the global carbon cycle and therefore in regulating the global climate. It is very necessary to rehabilitate degraded forest lands. Forestry has been a contentious topic in Climate Change mitigation from the first day of the Kyoto Protocol. (The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.) Under the Kyoto protocol, industrialised countries (Annex 1 countries) must meet their emission reduction target which is 5.2% of their total emission of 1990’s level within 2008-12 (known as first commitment period), primarily through national measures. However, the Kyoto Protocol offers them an additional means of meeting their targets by way of three market-based mechanisms.I. International Emissions trading – known as “the carbon market” (IET),II. Clean development mechanism (CDM),III. Joint implementation (JI).The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn tradable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2. There are fifteen sectoral scopes under the CDM, Afforestation and reforestation (A/R) is one of them.The term Afforestation describes that; any woody vegetation on the land has for at least 50 years been below the thresholds adopted by the host country for definition of forest (Forest definition: Single minimum tree crowns value between: 10-30%, A single minimum land area value between: 0.05-1 ha & A single minimum tree height value between: 2-5 m) and reforestation is a newly created forest on land that was not forest on 31 December 1989.

Forest definition of India

  • A Single minimum tree crowns value: 15 %
  • A single minimum land area value: 0.05 ha
  • A single minimum tree height value: 2 m


On the end of Sep 2010, 17 forestry (A/R) projects are registered and 45 are into validation underthe CDM throughout the world. All registered CDM (A/R) projects have capacity to generate1,09,56,758 certified emission reduction till 2020 (57,78,598 till 2012). If projects under validationget registered, they would generate 8,97,60,428 CER’s till 2020 (2,67,86,646 till 2012). In India there are 3 registered CDM (A/R) projects generating 12,16,359 CER’s till 2020 (6,37,890 till 2012)The image below superimposes the Kyoto protocol ratification with the development and location offorestry projects across the world. Dark green indicates countries that have signed and ratified thetreaty, grey covers the undecided, and red indicates lack of clear intention of ratifying. The locationof 17 registered A/R CDM projects are shown with arrows.


In addition to projects in the industrial and energy sectors, CDM options in the forestry sector offer duel benefits’ of carbon revenue and livelihood development of local communities along with sustainable development of the area. In India there are plenty of waste/degraded lands. It is estimated that, 638518.31 Square Km (63.85 m. ha), which is about 20.17% of the total geographical area of the country is waste land (Wastelands Atlas of India 2000). It could support a variety of mitigation projects, from direct carbon sequestration & biomass growth for energy use. Besides helping to meet growing demands for timber, firewood and electricity, such activities would help to restore the land status and make ecosystem sustained.Newly afforested areas would reduce present levels of soil erosion and water loss on degraded lands and would enhance biodiversity. Afforestation would also raise grass productivity, extending grazing capacity. Large-scale Afforestation and reforestation activities would also yield employment opportunities, particularly among rural, low-income groups, through planting, harvesting, and processing of biomass and by supplying non-timber forest products.To date, India has addressed the issue through a series of Forest Conservation Acts and an Afforestation Program. The main policy thrust is to monitor and protect existing forests and to reduce inherent pressures on forest resources by extending biomass production under management programs that involve local communities. The CDM offers potential to extend or supplement these efforts.

Know more about India’s first reforestation (A/R) CDM Project


  1. Wikimedia
  2. IGES CDM Database, updated on 01 Sept 20103.


Agneya Carbon Ventures came into existence with the purpose of “To help our clients in understanding, establishing sound Environment Management Systems, and pursuing sustainable business solutions through our various services to abate direct and indirect impact on ecological balance.”We have worked with companies across sectors enabling them to create carbon accounting, monitoring and reporting systems. We have expertise in the areas of carbon accounting and management, energy management systems, voluntary/compliance carbon markets, environment management and sustainability and carbon branding. Equipped with in-depth understanding of the Clean Development Mechanism methodologies specific to forestry, we can assist you in developing your Afforestation/Reforestation projects right from identifying proper land for the project to registering the project at the Executive Board post validation.

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Posted in: Carbon Markets