Area with Improved Sequestration Potential
English: hectares of land with an improved CO2 sequestration potential
French: hectares de terres ayant un potentiel de séquestration de CO2 amélioré
Portuguese: hectares de terra com potencial de sequestro de CO2 melhorado
Czech: počet hektarů půdy se zlepšeným potenciálem sekvestrace CO2
What is its purpose?
Carbon sequestration is a process of absorbing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in plants and soils. It helps with reducing the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. This indicator measures the size of land that has increased its sequestration potential as a result of the implemented measures (e.g. reforestation, mulching, rotational grazing or increasing the organic matter in soil).
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:
1) List the measures implemented by the project that might contribute to carbon sequestration.
2) For each measure, conduct online research using respected sources (such as IPCC) to review the latest scientific evidence on the extent to which the measures contribute to carbon sequestration and how reliable they are. For example, no-till farming contributes to carbon sequestration. However, when a farmer decides to till the land again, the carbon benefits of no-till farming mostly diminish (1). Select those measures for which reliable research bodies confirm that they are effective in a longer-term removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.
3) Assess the size of land where the effective measures were used:
- using existing monitoring data (e.g. on the size of reforested areas)
- conducting interviews with a representative sample of farmers, assessing whether they are following the promoted measures (see guidance) and if so, on how large an area
4) To calculate the indicator’s value, work out the sum total of all the pieces of land where the measures, which demonstrably lead to carbon sequestration, were used.
Disaggregate the data by the type of measures used.
1) There is a large amount of evidence emerging about the (sometimes lacking) effectiveness and reliability of various carbon sequestration measures. It is very important that you invest the time in understanding whether the implemented measures can be counted in the indicator’s value or not. Remember: The reliability of your data is more important than the number of hectares your indicator reports.
2) In the case that you would like to quantify the amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced thanks to the project's agricultural, forestry and other activities, consider using FAO's EX-ACT tool or USAID’s AFOLU Carbon Calculator (including the accompanying guidance that both resources provide).