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Family Forests and Carbon Markets – Developing the Maine Family Forest Carbon Pilot Project. John Gunn, Ph.D. Senior Program Leader Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences Brunswick, Maine ACES - 10 December 2008. Outline .

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family forests and carbon markets developing the maine family forest carbon pilot project

Family Forests and Carbon Markets – Developing the Maine Family Forest Carbon Pilot Project

John Gunn, Ph.D.

Senior Program Leader

Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences

Brunswick, Maine

ACES - 10 December 2008

outline
Outline
  • Overview of forest carbon offset market requirements applicable to family forest lands
  • Exploration of how family forest landowners in Maine could take advantage of carbon markets
    • With focus on application of Baseline Measurement and Additionality concept to FF lands
maine family forest carbon pilot project
Maine Family Forest Carbon Pilot Project
  • USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant
  • Partnership with TCNF and Pinchot Institute for Conservation
  • Still a work in progress
maine s family forests
Maine’s Family Forests
  • 100,000 landowners who own between 10 and 1,000 acres of forest land
  • 5.5 million acres, or 33% of Maine's forest (55% in Northern US)
  • 40% of wood used in Maine's forest products industries
  • 24% of harvests with a forester (implies some form of management planning) – Northern US – only 4% with a management plan
the current carbon offset market landscape
The current carbon offset market landscape …
  • Markets & Registries becoming established (Regulatory and Voluntary - >$64 billion in 2007)
  • Standards, Protocols, & Rules developing
  • Primary Pathways Relevant to North American forest owners:
    • Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX)
    • California Climate Action Registry (CCAR)
    • Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS)
    • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
how forests play a role in markets
How forests play a role in markets
  • Afforestation
  • Avoided deforestation or conversion
  • Reforestation/restoration
  • Forest management
  • Enduring wood products/product substitution
forests and carbon market entry requirements emerging
Forests and Carbon – Market Entry Requirements Emerging:
  • Demonstrate that entity-wide forest holdings are sustainably managed.
  • Demonstrate long-term commitment to maintain carbon stocks.
  • Use of approved methods to quantify carbon stocks.
  • Independent third-party verification of carbon stocks.
the language of ecosystem services
The Language of Ecosystem Services
  • Baselines
  • Additionality
  • Permanence
  • Leakage
uncertainty around these concepts will define available es markets voluntary vs regulatory
Uncertainty around these concepts will define available ES markets (voluntary vs. regulatory)
  • Baselines
  • Additionality
  • Permanence
  • Leakage
slide12

Can a credible and efficient framework be developed for the inclusion of FF owners in carbon offset markets?

issues with developing a ff carbon program
Issues with developing a FF Carbon Program
  • Existing systems not appropriate:
    • CCX – serious concerns about legitimacy (additionality and permanence)
    • VCS – currently requires 5-10 years prior baseline data & harvest history; disincentive to those practicing responsible management
issues with developing a ff carbon program1
Issues with developing a FF Carbon Program
  • < 25% with rigorous inventory & mgmt plans
  • Wide range of stand types and dev. stages
  • High $/acre costs to achieve baseline inventory, monitoring, and legal compliance
  • Defining appropriate baseline
  • Defining additional carbon practically & credibly (use CCAR as model)
ff project baseline and additionality
FF Project Baseline and Additionality
  • Baseline Inventory
    • 13 parcels in pool, 3,465 acres (12 to 615 acre parcels)
    • Baseline aboveground inventory conducted (to WoodsWisecost share statistical requirements – typical prism cruise e.g., 1 sample pt. per 3 acres @ 10BAF)
    • CWD transects
  • Models to Calculate Additionality (eligible carbon)
    • Use widely available NED-2 (NE-TWIGS, which is an approved growth model for use on CCX projects)
defining bau silvicultural activities 2006
Defining BAU: Silvicultural Activities 2006
  • Regulatory baseline is not BAU in Maine
  • 76% of all FF harvests were “partial harvests” (83% under 1,000 acres)
  • Partial harvest is the BAU for FF - Can we define the typical “Partial Harvest”?
  • Unfortunately, FIA and MFS Silv Activities Reports do not support a rigorous definition of “typical” BAU
slide22
Potential revenue comparison for a hypothetical group based on Maine BAU Pilot Project approach vs. CCX high estimate (no harvest).
transaction costs
Transaction Costs
  • Note Other remaining costs:
    • Group Certification Administration; Verification ($12,321 total VCS + FSC); Long-term Monitoring
fsc certification and carbon
FSC Certification and Carbon
  • Baseline Inventory, Monitoring, Verification Required
  • Reduce Transaction Costs through “Aggregation” (=Group Certification)
  • Some implication of “Permanence” (mitigate risks)
  • Tool to address Internal Leakage
  • Document co-benefits (mitigate uncertainty)
  • Bottom Line – REQUIRED & PROVIDES NECESSARY EFFICIENCIES
some lessons learned
Some Lessons Learned
  • Defining BAU without a strong regulatory framework will need good data
  • Cost-share and certification infrastructure supports needs for FF carbon offset projects
  • Volume achieved through Improved Forest Mgmt can generate revenue for landowners, but …
  • “permanence” and $/MTCO2e are critical decision points for FF landowners
next steps
Next steps
  • Incorporate carbon-specific forest management strategies into formal management planning.
  • Seek formal approval of Performance Standard approach through VCS
  • Develop legal structure (50 year recorded contract)
  • How do you bring this to large scale?
  • LCA vs. ecological forestry approach
  • Address External Leakage
contact
Contact
  • John Gunn

jgunn@manomet.org

Acknowledgements:

Will Price, Pinchot Institute

David Saah, Spatial Informatics Group

John Battles, UC Berkeley

Paul Miller, Consulting Forester

David Ganz, TNC