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FAO and Partners Develop Sustainable Grassland Management Methodology

FAO27 September 2011: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), together with a series of partners, has developed a sustainable grassland management methodology that provides an affordable way to estimate the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions removed from the atmosphere through improved management of grasslands.

According to FAO, the methodology, which is based on soil sampling and computer modelling, will make it possible for small-scale herders and livestock raisers to participate in carbon markets. It has been submitted for approval by the Verified Carbon Standard, a non-profit GHG accounting organization that verifies and issues carbon credits in emissions markets.

The methodology is being trialled in Qinghai Province, China. The Qinghai project began in 2008 when the FAO, the World Agroforestry Center, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the provincial government began working with herders on improved grazing. Added income from the carbon sales help herders overcome barriers related to short-term revenue needs and long-term landscape restoration. Once the methodology is approved by the VCS, any grassland project using the methodology will be eligible to create and trade carbon credits in voluntary markets. The World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [Greening the Blue Press Release] [FAO Press Release] [VCS Sustainable Grassland Management Methodology]