Forest Carbon Projects

Forest carbon projects generate carbon credits through the application of innovative forest management practices and/or by restoring degraded land, often while also enhancing other ecosystem benefits. The resulting credits can be retained by the landowner and used on an annual basis to offset an emission liability, or sold. The sale of carbon credits (and other ecosystem goods and services) represents a significant emerging opportunity for realizing additional revenue from forest land.


How it Works: At its most basic level, forest carbon credits are created from a distinct and intentional change in land management practices on a specified area that leads to an increase in carbon storage over time (this is referred to as the additionality rule). In some cases, change is assessed against management practices typical of the region, while in other cases change is evaluated within the context of a specific property, its management history and future management plans.

In regulated markets, emissions are limited through government legislation whereas in voluntary markets corporations or other entities offset their emissions as a service to the common good. A carbon project then is designed in accordance with protocols and principles described by a given regulatory and/or voluntary standard. Each standard differs in its criteria for project acceptance. Selection of a particular standard therefore depends on variety of factors that include project location, landowner objectives, and target markets (if credits are to be sold). Most carbon standards require an independent audit of the project design as well as ongoing auditing if the project is accepted. This ensures the credits are real, measurable and additional, and that issues of permanence and leakage are fully addressed. The resulting carbon credits are serialized and registered on a global registry, of which a number are available. Forest carbon projects require ongoing management and monitoring to verify the credit amounts and ensure that no unplanned emissions have occurred. Learn more about forest carbon storage...

The sale price of a given carbon credit varies widely depending on the standard used and the demand for credits. More stringent standards command higher prices and the project should be carefully designed and executed to ensure the target standard is achieved, and because the type and quality of the project heavily influences the marketability of the carbon credits. Learn more about carbon markets.…

The Opportunity: Forest carbon projects provide a remarkable opportunity to create new value from forest ecosystems. Forest carbon credits have the potential to provide superior returns to traditional “industrial” forest harvesting, with a significant additional upside potential under various reasonable carbon pricing scenarios. With proper design, forest carbon projects can fit with other land management objectives and do not unduly impair the future use or value of the property any more than other forest developments. In fact, 3GreenTree projections indicate that property values can be significantly enhanced when ongoing carbon project revenue streams are realized. These projects show returns significantly above timber harvesting, with less expense, more flexibility, and a lower risk profile. Contact us to find out more…

We provide: end-to-end services to help landowners, corporations, and investors develop, manage, and market carbon offsets associated with the following project types:

1. Avoided Deforestation/Degradation (RED or REDD)

REDD refers to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. This activity is currently under negotiation for eligibility in national and sub-national programs that limit greenhouse gas emissions. Forest carbon credits are created from avoided deforestation (the conversion of forest land into agriculture or clearing for purposes of real estate development, for example) or eliminating risk of forest degradation by modifying forest development plans (not converting old pristine forests to plantations, for example). Well designed REDD projects have the potential to generate substantial near-term carbon credits.

2. Improved Forest Management (IFM)

Credits are created by employing forest management strategies that enhance carbon storage over business-as-usual activities. These can include avoiding logging or harvesting at reduced levels, silviculture practices that increase carbon sequestration rates, extended rotation ages in order to store more carbon, and expanding conservation and buffer areas. IFM projects can create substantial credit opportunities on an annual basis.

3. Afforestation/Reforestation (AF/RF)

Afforestation refers to the establishment of forest on lands that were not historically forested; reforestation is the establishment of forest on lands that were previously forested but were subject to a land-use change. At large spatial scales, AF/RF projects can accrue substantial credits as forests approach maturity.

4. REDD+

Both IFM and AF/RF activities have now been included within the umbrella of REDD activities, under the heading of REDD+. REDD+ goes beyond REDD by rewarding activities that strengthen forest health. These can include either of IFM and AF/RF activities. It is anticipated that REDD+ projects will result in enhanced biodiversity, water quality, and other important environmental goods and services.

5. Integrated Portfolios

3GreenTree specializes in strategically integrating forest carbon with other land objectives, revenue drivers, and ecosystem assets to optimize risks and returns. Forest carbon provides a cornerstone of financial support for achieving additional forest management objectives - FSC certification, developing higher quality timber products, applying innovative harvesting methods, or enhancing conservation, biodiversity, and other ecosystem values.

We can help you:

1. Design and assess carbon opportunities and strategies

2. Develop end-to-end carbon projects

  • Project Design
  • Project Design Documents (PDD) and Methodology development & documentation
  • Carbon modeling
  • Carbon measurement and monitoring design and implementation

3. Implement and manage carbon projects

4. Develop and implement carbon marketing and sales strategies

5. Integrate and optimize multiple land management objectives and other ecosystem assets with carbon opportunities

(read more about what we’ve done here)


Copyright 2012 3GreenTree Ecosystem Services Ltd.


An example of a potential forest carbon project (Avoided deforestation) where the owner of private forest land decides to sell his property for real estate development. The property is purchased by a firm who decides to maintain the land for its conservation value and retain the carbon credits to meet its own emission allowances.

A carbon offset credit is created that equals the amount of CO2 that would have been emitted had the property been logged and cleared before converting into real estate. Additional credits can be obtained by establishing a forest in place of the grassed areas (reforestation).


An example of a potential forest carbon project (Improved Forest Management) where the owner of private forest land has traditionally harvested timber by clear-cutting a proportion of the standing stock each year. The landowner decides to reduce the total volume harvested annually and increase the average age of the trees that are harvested.

A carbon offset credit is created that equals the amount of CO2 that would have been emitted had the full volume been harvested, and the increase in carbon storage that accrues from harvesting older trees.


What can we do for you?