Community and Farm Forestry Climate Mitigation Projects: Case Studies from Uttaranchal, India

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The methodologies for forest mitigation projects still present challenges to project developers for fulfillment of criteria within the Clean Development Mechanism or other such mechanisms for the purpose of earning carbon credits. This paper systematically approaches the process of establishing carbon stocks for baseline and mitigation scenario for two case studies ie., community and farm forestry projects in Uttranchal, India. The analysis of various interventions shows that both projects present high carbon mitigation potential. However, the carbon reversibility risk is lower in long rotation pine and mixed species plantation on community lands. The project is financially viable though not highly lucrative but the carbon mitigation potential in this restoration of degraded lands type of project is immense provided challenges in the initial phase are adequately overcome. Carbon revenue is an essential driver for investors in community projects. The short rotation timber species such as Eucalyptus, Poplar have high internal rates of return (IRR) and high carbon benefit reversibility potential due to fluctuations in market prices of commodities produced. The land holdings are small and bundling is desired for projects to achieve economies of scale. The methodological concerns such as sampling intensities, monitoring methodologies, sharing of benefits with communities and bundling arrangements for projects need further research to make these projects viable.

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