Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation


ARR is an eligible project category under the VCS, combining some or all of the three elements of afforestation, reforestation and revegetation. It covers activities that increase carbon stocks in woody biomass (and in some cases soils) by establishing, increasing and/or restoring vegetative cover through the planting, sowing and/or human-assisted natural regeneration of woody vegetation (VCS, 2012).

REDD+ relevance

The VCS defines eligible ARR projects as “those that increase carbon sequestration and/or reduce GHG emissions by establishing, increasing or restoring vegetative cover (forest or non-forest) through the planting, sowing or human-assisted natural regeneration of woody vegetation. Eligible ARR projects may include timber harvesting in their management plan. The project area shall not be cleared of native ecosystems within the 10 year period prior to the project start date” (VCS, 2013).

There are currently no ARR methodologies developed and approved under the VCS Program and project proponents are able to use the CDM Afforestation/ Reforestation (A/R) methodologies to develop such projects.

Despite being able to use the CDM methodologies for ARR projects, if there should be a conflict in project design or implementation, the VCS rules and requirements take precedence over the CDM requirements in two aspects. Firstly, CDM stipulates that reforestation projects are implemented on land that was not forested on 31 December 1989, however the VCS does not stipulate a timeframe for reforestation, stating “land that was once forested but has been converted to non-forested land”. Secondly, the VCS definition of forest takes precedence over that of CDM, the key difference being that the broader VCS definition accepts the UNFCCC, FAO or IPCC definition of forest.

VCS revegetation projects may use CDM A/R methodologies where project activities meet the VCS definition of revegetation (VCS, 2011).


VERIFIED CARBON STANDARD. 2013. AFOLU Requirements. 8 October 2013, v3.4. Available here. [Accessed November 2013]

VERIFIED CARBON STANDARD. 2013. Program Definitions: 8 October 2013, v3.5. Available here. [Accessed November 2013]​

VERIFIED CARBON STANDARD. 2011. AFOLU Guidance: Additional guidance for VCS Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation projects using CDM Afforestation/Reforestation Methodologies. Available here. [Accessed November 2013]