Feasibility Study on Afforestation CDM for Community Development in Extensive Grazing Land in Uruguay

Global Environment Centre Foundation(GEC)

Reports of CDM/JI Feasibility Studies

Title of Feasibility Study (FS)Feasibility Study on Afforestation CDM for Community Development in Extensive Grazing Land in Uruguay
FYFY 2007
Main Implementing EntityJapan Overseas Plantation Center for Pulpwood
FS Partner(s)Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting, and CARBOSUR SRL (Uruguay)
Location of Project ActivityTrenta y Tres and Cerro Largo in Uruguay
Summary of FS ReportSummary (PDF914KB)
Description of Project ActivityThe project will involve a total of 25,050ha of land currently extensively grazed by beef cattle, on which forest plantations for obtaining high-value, long-lived timber products and for sequestering large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will be established.
Forests will be based on Eucalyptus grandis and E. globulus plantations in 22-year rotations, managed with pruning. Planted forests will remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and store it in 5 carbon pools. The project will result in a significant contribution to sustainable development of Uruguay, mainly through: i) increased employment and quality of employment; ii) more job opportunities for women; iii) rural development (decentralization); iv) increased gross value of production; v) improved fiscal balance; vi) biodiversity preservation; and vii) improved beauty of landscape, among other benefits.
Targeted GHGCarbon Dioxide (CO2)
Category of Project ActivityAfforestation/Reforestation
Duration of Project Activity/ Crediting PeriodProject period: over 60 years
Crediting period: 60 years (2 times regenerations)
Baseline Methodology/ AdditionalityThe baseline scenario was defined by using the “Combined tool to identify the baseline scenario and demonstrate additionality in A/R CDM project activities”, version 01. Since only one stratum was identified for the baseline scenario, the procedure is only applied once, as described below.
Step 0. Preliminary screening based on the starting date of the A/R project activity
    The afforestation activity started on September 2006, before the registration date. The starting date occurred after 31 December 1999. This is demonstrated by the evidence obtained from the analysis of remote sensing data.
Step 1. Identification of alternative land use scenario to the proposed A/R CDM project activity
Sub-step 1a. The following realistic and credible alternatives to the proposed project activity are identified:
    1) The continuation of the extensive grazing cattle and sheep rearing, with no pasture improvements, 2) Continuation of the cattle and sheep rearing, combined with pasture improvement in part of the area, 3) Conversion to cropland, 4) Afforestation
Sub-step 1b. Consistency with enforced mandatory applicable laws and regulations.
    All land use alternatives identified above comply with all mandatory regulations in the country. No alternatives are eliminated on the basis of the criterion.
Step 2. Barrier analysis
Sub-step 2a. List of barriers
    • Following is a list of possible barriers for the land-use alternatives identified above :

    1) Low soil quality, 2) Lack of access to credit (both short and long term, 3) Climate risk, 4) Market risk (price of products), 5) Remoteness of land area, 6) Land tenure characteristics
Sub-step 2b. Elimination of scenarios prevented by barriers
  • Alternative 1 is not prevented by any barrier. It is the current land use, and the one that has been practiced for more than 300 years.
  • Alternative 2 is prevented by several of the barriers mentioned above.
  • Alternative 3 is prevented by the low soil quality.
  • Alternative 4 is prevented by lack of access to credit for long-term investments and remoteness of land area.
  • An extensively documented report has been produced to demonstrate the impacts of these barriers that prevent alternative 4 from being feasible in the project area. This report is archives as a project document.
Sub-step 2c. Baseline scenario
    Continuation of pre-project activity has been identified as the most plausible scenario in the absence of the proposed project activity.
Additionality is demonstrated through application of Steps 0 to 2 above, and Step 4 as follows;
Step 4. Common practice analysis
    • Very limited afforestation activity has occurred in the region around the project areas recently. In the past, forest plantations in the region were almost non-existent, or restricted to cattle shelters in ranch farms. The extensive afforestation process that occurred in Uruguay during the 1990’s, with the establishment of forest more than 500,000ha completely neglected the proposed region. The main reason for this was very likely the remote location, away from wood exporting harbours and from manufacturing industries. Poor site quality (e.g., shallow soils, steep slopes) may have been an additional reason.

    • Some afforestation activity has started to occur in the area within the last couple of years, simultaneously with the development of the proposed project activity. All these new investments in forest plantations in the project region are aiming at selling carbon credits.

    A documented report with an assessment of the current trends in afforestation in the project region has been produced and archived as part of the project documentation.
Estimation of GHG Emission ReductionsThe project is estimated to result in net anthropogenic GHG removals by sinks over the 20 years crediting period of 14,121,031tCO2e.
Monitoring MethodologyMonitoring in this project will be conducted by ARACM0001.
Environmental Impact AnalysisClimate change mitigation: mainly through carbon sequestration.
Biodiversity preservation: establishment of forest plantations designed to preserve high biodiversity value areas.
Hydrological cycle: it is well known that planting trees on a grassland site usually causes a reduction in the runoff and an increase in the evapotranspiration.
Soils: soils will be disrupted once every 20 years (rotation length).
Use of chemicals: the project will use a limited amount of certain chemicals during the plantation year, this is, only once every 20 years. These products include:
Beauty of the landscape: most people would agree in that a landscape with trees is more pleasant than the flat, monotonous landscape produced by grazed grassland. This, combined with the positive impacts on biodiversity will provide a good alternative for the development of tourism services.
Issues and Tasks for Project RealisationInterests for investment to the forestry project and carbon credit have already been secured, and the possibility of business is very high.