FAO Updates Database of Agriculture, Forestry and Land Mitigation Projects

FAOMarch 2013: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has produced an updated assessment of the current status of land-based sectors in carbon markets through its Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture Project (MICCA). The report, titled "Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use Mitigation Project Database," presents analyses of project methodologies and sizes, as well as regional differences in project types and scheme development.

The report presents the second analysis of the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use Mitigation Project (AFOLU MP) database. It presents trends since 2010, describing the range of new projects across all continents, but noting that Europe has not experienced new projects. It indicates that the regional distribution of AFOLU projects remains similar, with the order from high to low being Latin America, North America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia.

In its estimate of credit volumes from projects, the report notes that forestry projects are resulting in the greatest number of annual emission reductions, but that these are dominated by five large REDD+ projects. The report underscores that smallholder projects are scarce due to transaction costs and the fact that farmers perceive carbon as a co-benefit and not a priority.

On agriculture and soil carbon trading, the report laments that there has not been an increase in these projects over the past two years, in part due to the limited number of approved methodologies, high costs to develop new methodologies, the lack of liquidity in voluntary markets, restrictions in compliance markets, as well as continued concerns around non-permanence. The report cites the development of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and sectoral Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) efforts as potentially positive forces for land use mitigation. [Publication: Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use Mitigation Project Database] [IISD RS Story on the 2010 Database]