The CDM has officially issued its first carbon credits for an afforestation/reforestation (A/R) project under the Kyoto Protocol. The project in question is a reforestation project in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais run by the Plantar Group, a company specializing in forestry and iron production. Plantar has reforested 11,600 hectares of degraded land, with a portion of the new plantings converted to sustainable charcoal for use in pig iron manufacturing. In exchange for carbon sequestration and other benefits, the project has received more than 4 million temporary Certified Emission Reductions, or tCERs (under CDM rules, A/R projects are issued temporary CERs due to their potential non-permanence--for more, see BioCF Makes Recommendations for CDM A/R Offsets, 3/14).
The "Plantar Project" is expected to be the first of several A/R projects receiving credits under the CDM this year. CDM regulations permit the issuance of CERs to A/R projects only once per Kyoto commitment period, and the current (first) commitment period ends in December 2012. This rule creates incentives for A/R project developers to delay requesting credits as long as possible in order to maximize the amount of carbon sequestered and hence the amount of carbon credits issued. It is hoped that practical experience gained from these maturing A/R projects will inform the proceedings of the CDM Policy Dialogue, meeting throughout this year with the goal of making recommendations for reform of the CDM.