Land Trust Carbon Credit Market Participation Plan

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Liu, Ziwei
Cesafsky, Kimberly


Clark, James S.

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As a Southeastern highlands land trust, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) is interested in participating in an emerging forest carbon market as an examination of new conservation strategies. They are eager to learn how improved forest management efforts can result in more carbon sequestration, and how their landowners could benefit financially from participation. In this project, SAHC’s available carbon market registries and programs (CAR, ACR, and Dogwood Alliance’s Carbon Canopy) are compared, including eligibility, participation requirements, administrative costs, risks, and potential revenues. The comparison was performed through policy analysis and the use of Forest Creditable Offset and Sequestration tool to estimate the potential costs and benefits of developing a project on a parcel of forest for which SAHC holds the conservation easement. Based on the comparison, SAHC would be more confident in helping landowners to make the decision whether and how to register their forest in a carbon market. The results show that, for an extended rotation project, one with larger size and longer harvest interval will accumulate more carbon credits. Moreover, other factors over which land owners don’t have control will also affect the project value, such as carbon and timber price. For small land owners, it is beneficial to register more than one parcel under through an aggregate project because production cost is the main cost, and aggregate projects have lower average production costs for each parcel. Based on our analysis, SAHC prefers to cooperate with Dogwood Alliance in future forest carbon project development.





Liu, Ziwei, and Kimberly Cesafsky (2013). Land Trust Carbon Credit Market Participation Plan. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.