Carbon Inventory for Clean Development Mechanism Projects

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol to address climate change. The goal of CDM is to assist non-Annex-I countries in achieving sustainable development and Annex-I countries in achieving compliance with the commitment on Quantified Emissions Limitations and Reductions. The Annex-I countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol have to limit their GHG emissions during 2008-2012 to the level agreed to in the Protocol. The design of a land-use or forest-based CDM project consists of many elements that are similar to the design of any kind of land-use or forest-based project, but also has some additional features. These general features include establishing a project boundary and a monitoring area and evaluation of environmental and social impacts apart from estimating the addi-tionality of the carbon stock gained. The unique features of CDM project activities are as follows:

• Only afforestation and reforestation project activities eligible under CDM

• Requires development of "without-project" or "baseline" scenario and estimation of the associated carbon stock changes

• Estimation of carbon stock gained under the project scenario due to the implementation of project activities

• Estimation of leakage, that is carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the mitigation project activities within or outside project area

• Estimation of additionality, which is the additional carbon stock gained due to the project activity over the "without-project" or "baseline" scenario carbon stocks

• Only those methodologies approved by the CDM Executive Board for the afforestation and reforestation projects to be adopted (new methodologies need to be approved before a project is accepted)

• Periodic monitoring and verification of carbon stock changes; methodologies and plan for monitoring project proposal to be provided in the proposal

The methodologies approved by the CDM Executive Board for afforestation and reforestation provide broad guidelines for carbon stock estimation for baseline and mitigation project scenario. These methodologies provide some details of sampling, biomass estimation equations and periodicity of measurement of different

Table 3.3 Illustrative list of approved CDM methodologies for afforestation and reforestation projects (http://cdm.unfccc.int)

Number

Title

Above-ground biomass

Below-ground biomass

Dead wood

Litter

Soil organic carbon

AR-AM001

Reforestation of degraded land

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

AR-AM002

Reforestation of degraded lands through afforestation/ reforestation

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

AR-AM003

Afforestation and reforestation of degraded land through tree planting, assisted and natural regeneration and control of animal grazing

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

AR-AM004

Reforestation or afforestation of land currently under agricultural use

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

AR-AM005

Afforestation and reforestation project activities implemented for industrial and/or commercial uses

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

AR-AM006

Afforestation/reforestation with trees supported by shrubs on degraded land

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

AR-AM007

Afforestation and reforestation of land currently under agricultural or pastoral use

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

carbon pools - this handbook supplements these methodologies so as to assist in the following aspects of carbon inventory:

• Defining the project boundary for afforestation and reforestation (A&R) project activity

• Sampling methods

• Identifying the relevant carbon pools for the selected activity

• Measuring carbon stocks under the "without-project" (baseline) scenario

• Measuring carbon stock changes under the mitigation activity scenario

• Estimating the additional net mitigation potential or net carbon stock gain

• Estimating the uncertainty in carbon inventory estimates

Although CDM is restricted only to A&R activities, it is likely that other activities such as forest conservation, forest management, grassland and agroforestry may become eligible under CDM in the future. This likelihood depends on the development of reliable and acceptable methodologies for measurement, estimation, reporting and verification of carbon stock changes from these activities. The methodologies approved up to mid-2007 along with carbon pools to be monitored are listed in Table 3.3.

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