Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses
Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) is a term from the 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines describing a category of activities which contribute to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Used in national greenhouse gas inventories, the AFOLU category combines two previously distinct sectors LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) and Agriculture.
Used in national greenhouse gas inventories, the AFOLU category combines two previously distinct sectors LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) and Agriculture. Both sectors were integrated in the previous IPCC Guidelines into one sector called Agriculture Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) to improve the general consistency and completeness of the national inventories. The structure of 6 land use categories under LULUCF was retained. AFOLU accounts for more than 30% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (IPCC, 2007).
Under the VCS, AFOLU projects fall under the following categories: Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR), Agricultural Land Management (ALM), Improved Forest Management (IFM), Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands (ACoGS),Wetlands Restoration and Conservation (WRC) (VCS website). The VCS hold the majority market share of AFOLU projects, with CDM in second place (EcoSystem Marketplace, 2012).
Eligible VCS REDD activities are Avoiding Planned Deforestation and/or Degradation (APDD), and Avoiding Unplanned Deforestation and/or Degradation (AUDD). The VCS REDD Methodology Module (REDD-MF, v1.4) is applicable to forest lands that would be deforested or degraded in the absence of the project activity; however there are no modules included for activities to reduce emissions from forest degradation caused by illegal harvesting of trees for timber (VCS, 2013).
Key discussion points
One of the biggest challenges for AFOLU projects is the appropriate handling of project risks such as natural risks (e.g. fire, pests, hurricanes), internal management risks (e.g. project management, financial viability) and external risks (e.g. community engagement, land tenure) (VCS website, n.d.). The VCS address specific issues such as non-permanence and leakage using a pooled buffer account and leakage assessment as detailed in the AFOLU Requirements (VCS, 2013).
ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACE. 2012. State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2012: Levaraging the Landscape. Available here.
IPCC, 2007. Agriculture in Climate change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, U.S.A., Cambridge University Press.
IPCC. 2006. Volume 4: Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use. Available here. [Accessed November 2013]
VERIFIED CARBON STANDARD. no date. VM0007 REDD Methodology Modules (REDD-MF), v1.4. Available here. [Accessed November 2013]
VERIFIED CARBON STANDARD. 2013. AFOLU Requirements. 8 October 2013, v3.4. Available here. [Accessed November 2013]
Verified Carbon Standard. 2013. AFOLU Requirements. 8 October 2013, v3.4