Globally, forests play a vital role in stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases while simultaneously contributing to sustainable development. This report compares different standards of Climate Forestation Projects, i.e. projects that convert non-forest land into forest land in order to mitigate climate change and contribute to sustainable development.
The paper compares and evaluates the four main international standards in the field of Climate Forestation Projects. These are:

Community, Climate, and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS)

CarbonFix Standard (CFS)

Plan Vivo Systems and Standard

AFOLU Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) (ARR)

The authors present clear information about each standard in order to assist CO2–buyers in the decision-making process of selecting the appropriate standard for their forestry based offsetting efforts. Issues such as transparency, assurance of permanence, environmental and socio-economic co-benefits, additionality, CO2-calculation, and the certification process are comprehensively compared.
Key points include:

the CCBS concentrates exclusively on the generation of environmental and socio-economical co-benefits. This enables the standard to cooperate with various partner standards resulting in the generation of carbon credits with a high level of co-benefits. The standard is set-up in a very general and easy to understand way, however there is a risk of flexible interpretation
the CFS is a standard that can provide quality credits to carbon buyers from sustainably managed Climate Forestation Projects. With the purchase of carbon credits the CO2-buyer receives additional values such as comprehensive information on the background and the co-benefits of the project. The track-and-trace system provides an opportunity to connect end-customers with the story behind the credits
with credits from the Plan Vivo System and Standards the carbon buyer primarily promotes small-scale rural projects with a high community participation level. Although the standard has been active for many years, the conceptual structure of its work can be unclear for the reader
carbon buyers purchasing credits from a VCS (ARR) certified project will receive offsets with basic co-benefits. For CO2-buyers of the Voluntary Carbon Market, credits from this standard would be more attractive if they are additionally certified by a scheme that ensures the cobenefits of a project. In contrast to other standards, VCS only issues ex-post credits

Publication date
Type of publication
Cross-sectoral enabler
Governance and planning
CTCN Keyword Matches
PFCs reduction
Mitigation in the pulp and paper industry
Ecosystems and biodiversity
Community based