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Carbon sequestration after pine afforestation on marginal lands in the Povolgie region of Russia: A case study of the potential for a Joint Implementation activity

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According to the Kyoto Protocol, a Joint Implementation project is a mechanism whereby one industrialized country can finance a greenhouse gas-reducing project in another country. The investors in the project can, in return, claim credits for the reduction in carbon (C) emissions and carbon sequestration. The purpose of this case study was to investigate the potential for carbon sequestration from such projects. The study covers afforestation with Scots pine on unforested land (burnt areas, cleared spaces, gaps, etc.) in the Povolgie region of Russia. Three scenarios were compared: (1) no afforestation (baseline scenario); (2) afforestation with pine, and carbon sequestration only considering above-ground tree biomass; (3) afforestation with pine, but accounting for carbon sequestration in all pools. On average, carbon sequestration in the above-ground tree biomass could be around 80 t C ha-1 during 50 years of pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) plantation growth with 54 t C ha-1 in equilibrium storage. A considerable amount of carbon will be bound in the lower layer of the pine forest stand (24 t C ha-1), which is usually underestimated in afforestation Joint Implementation projects, and wood-based products (35 t C ha-1). Sequestered carbon in equilibrium storage is allocated in the following proportions: 46% in pine stands, 21% in the lower level and 33% in wood-based products. To extend the carbon sequestration, harvested wood should be used to manufacture products for long-term use. The results indicate good potential for such projects in the investigated territory in a long-term perspective, in compliance with international costs for sequestered carbon.

Keywords: Boreal forest; Joint Implementation; Kyoto Protocol; Russian forests; climate change

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Sustainable Forest Management, Mari State Technical University, Yoshkar-Ola, Russia

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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