23 Aug 2010 12:08:20
Forestry Commission tests carbon sequestration standard
Testing is due to begin on a new quality assurance scheme for tree planting programmes intended for carbon sequestration.
The Forestry Commission claimed that with demand for such projects increasing, there needs to be a standard by which to measure their effectiveness and ensure real benefits are being achieved.
A six-month pilot phase is designed to test the Woodland Carbon Code before it is officially launched in early 2011.
To comply with the code, organisations must show that projects are sustainably managed to national standards, use standard measures for the volume of carbon that will be sequestered, meet transparent criteria and be independently verified.
Tim Rollinson, director general of the Forestry Commission, said that the Woodland Carbon Code will "encourage more investment in tree planting in the UK".
"There are now many commercial schemes that encourage individuals and businesses to contribute to tree planting to help compensate for their carbon footprint. But before investing in projects, people want to know that schemes will actually deliver what they claim," he added.
The announcement comes just days after research reported in Science magazine found that the ability of the world's plants to absorb carbon dioxide has declined in the last decade.