World Bank: Registering UN forestry projects is too complex
The World Bank has warned that the complicated processes that afforestation and reforestation projects have to adhere to in order to qualify for the UN's planned forest-based carbon trading system could stifle growth for the embryonic sector.
There are currently around 27 forestry projects registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and a further 50 in the pipeline, but despite attempts to streamline the process more needs to done to make the scheme accessible, the Bank said in a report published yesterday.
The report notes that the first afforestation and reforestation (A/R) scheme was registered in China in 2006, but subsequent schemes did not follow until 2009 because the UN was slow in developing the registration process for the sector.
It adds that once the processes were established the "methodologies for forestry projects were complex and unclear", before warning that later attempts to refine the rules did not go far enough.
"The CDM Executive Board simplified the rules, but adapting to such changes also proved to be a challenge for project developers," the report states. "Even now, rules will require further simplification to significantly scale up A/R projects under the CDM."
The Bank has supported 13 of the 27 projects through its BioCarbon Fund, which since it started seven years ago has generated 8.6 million emission offsets primarily by restoring degraded land.
Its analysis concludes that these activities can generate emission reductions, increase resilience to climate change, and conserve biodiversity as well as create strong socio-economic benefits for local communities.
However, it warns that many of these projects face lead times of up to four years if they are to register with the CDM, while also predicting that they will require assistance overcoming land eligibility and non-permanence issues, designed to address the risk that the trees burn down and lose their carbon stock.