Agriculture and Forestry Projects

Thirty percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are caused by forest destruction and poor agricultural practices. Boosting carbon sequestration in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector is an effective approach to reduce and remove emissions.

VCS leads the way in developing frameworks to unlock the carbon reduction potential of AFOLU projects. In just a few short years, VCS has become the most widely used standard in the sector.

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) Learn more

One of the biggest challenges for AFOLU projects is the appropriate handling of project risks such as natural risks (eg, fire, pests, hurricanes), internal management risks (eg, project management, financial viability) and external risks (eg, community engagement, land tenure). VCS has partnered with international experts to address these concerns through the development of a pooled buffer account that holds non-tradable credits to guard against any future reversals of issued VCUs.   

AFOLU Methodology Development

Methodologies are approved for several AFOLU categories, including ALM, IFM and REDD. VCS projects may be developed following these methodologies.

Project developers can search approved AFOLU methodologies (sectoral scope 14). If a methodology does not currently exist that meets the needs of a particular project, developers can propose a new methodology for approval under VCS.

Additional Resources

Learn about the methodology approval process

Find a VCS-approved AFOLU methodology expert 

For basic AFOLU information, read the AFOLU Fact Sheet

For more specific information, read the AFOLU Requirements and AFOLU guidance documents

Outside organizations provide various resources for developing AFOLU projects 

Meet the AFOLU Steering Committee and Technical Working Groups