Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR)
Explaining three of the best ways to get carbon back into the ground
ARR stands for
- Afforestation: creating a new forest
- Reforestation: recreating a forest that has disappeared
- Revegetation: replanting and rebuilding the soil of disturbed land
ARR can reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by sequestering carbon in tree biomass. These activities offer relatively low-cost carbon removal opportunities that are ready to implement.
The world forests provide one of our largest natural carbon sinks. On average the restoration of trees to degraded land could remove 6-11 GtCO2 /annum. To put this in context over the last 5 years global emssions have ranged from 30-37 GtCO2. The extent of ARR impacts depends significantly on specific countries which have the potential to develop significant hectares of coverage. Typically, these countries include Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Australia and the US.
The challenges to widescale implementation of ARR is the reliance on the recruitment of thousands of landowners who otherwise implement other practices on their land. Other issues are the type of plantations as typically native forests have the highest carbon sequestration impact; however, planting practices currently have focused on planting timber plantations as this provides significant co-benefits such as sustainable timber production. This is a key factor in ARR development as we are seeing increased pressure on global timber supply due to geo-political issues and demand. The development of ARR practices could lead to global timber supply increasing by up to 13%.
ARR has natural challenges which include wildfires, drought and disease, which can lead to ultimately the reversal of carbon sequestration. Ultimately these are factors which must be considered when purchasing credits from the projects.
At Fenix we believe this climate solution is promising—but whether this excitement will lead to restoring trees to the landscape in a socially and environmentally responsible way depends on project oversight and policy safeguards. Collaboration between investors, government and local stakeholders is vital to ensure that projects produce lasting benefits for communities, economies and the climate.
We work with a variety of project developers in securing access to quality ARR projects. They are typically hard to source due to the high demand from larger buyers who secure access to these projects by purchasing large volumes over set time period. In context, <1.7 million ARR credits were issued in 2021 compared to 122 million forestry management (REDD+) credits. We are very specific with our ARR sourcing and only cherry pick the best projects as there are projects on the market, we would actively avoid due to questions over additionality and other factors. We have built relationships with both the developers and other conduits to market, which allows us to access the projects, which provide both quality and value.
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