Forest Carbon- India’s first A/R CDM project

Project Title: Small Scale Cooperative Afforestation CDM Pilot Project Activity on Private Lands Affected by Shifting Sand Dunes in Sirsa, Haryana.

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Introductory Information (Pre-Project info)

1Exact Location

Sirsa, Western belt of Haryana (255 Km from New Delhi). The Sirsa district lies between 29° 14″ and 30° 0″ north latitude and 74° 29″ and 75° 18″ east longitude, forming the western corner of Haryana, bordering the desert of Rajasthan in India

2Area369.87 ha
3Implementation body

1) Haryana C.D.M Variksh Kisan Samiti (Haryana CDM Tree Farmers Society), Ellenabad, Sirsa – Local farmers

2) Haryana Forest Department

4Land OwnershipBelonging to 227 farmers
5Land Split239 parcels of lands
6Land status at the time of plantationFallow land (Crop land are without any vegetation) – Degraded and degrading croplands

The project lands are marginal croplands that are cultivated once every three years in average, and are left fallow during other period of time. The project area is affected by aeolian (wind blown) sand, and is the degraded part of croplands spread across eight villages. Desert or sandy soil is dominant in the area which is windblown and light in colour.


The mean daily maximum temperature during May and June, which is the hottest period, varies from 42° C to 47° C and winter temperature ranges between 2° C to 20° C. Precipitation is very low with average annual rainfall ranging between 150-200 mm.

8Naturally occurring tree species

The natural trees species available in the area are Jand (Prosopis cineraria), Beri (Zizyphus mauritiana), Jaal (Salvadora oleoides), Reru (Acacia lucophloea), Kair (Capparis decidua), Kikar (Acacia nilotica), Pipal (Ficus religiosa) etc

Plantation Technology

Indigenous, Environment friendly technologies like use of vermi-compost, mulching and spot irrigation

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Technology used (Project info)

1Land selection methods

It has been ensured that the farmers contribute only small portions of their lands that are degraded and degrading and are unproductive and they do not rely on these lands for their livelihood; so that the leakages due to the displacement of activities are unlikely to occur.

2Land preparationZero tillage
3Nursery technique

The saplings will be raised in plastic containers, containing an appropriate mixture of soil & farm yard manure/vermicompost and humus to ensure healthy and robust initial growth.

4Selection criteria of plant species

Tree species to be used for planting have been determined by interviewing the farmers and taking into consideration of carbon sequestration rates, biodiversity enhancement, soil and climate conditions, and the value of associated forest products

The species are divided into two categories, viz. short rotation species and medium rotation species in the ratio of 4:6. This proportion will ensure regular flow of financial benefit to the farmers.

The design of plantation differs from one parcel of land to other. It was selected by the individual farmers according to their choice of species at the time of committing the lands for the proposed small-scale A/R CDM project activity.

5Plantation method

Pit size: 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 (Small pit size to maintain existing vegetation)

A spacing of 4 m x 2.5 m is maintained in the plantation (1,000 trees per hectare) and re-planting is taken up to fill up casualties. Planting is done in blocks to maximize economic benefits. The harvesting of trees shall be done at the intervals of 10 and 20 years.

In the project area, short rotation (10 years) species (40%) and medium rotation (20 years) species (60%) will be planted.

6First two year plantations

First two years up to 3,000 castor plants will be sown in between the planting rows by dibbling seeds with not more than 10 sq cm of soil being disturbed by each dibble.

Planted species:

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Area (Ha)

Number of trees in total area

Mean Annual Increment (m3)

Short rotation (10 yrs)

1Ailanthus excelsa ( Ullu Neem)57.8626,3000.00156
2Acacia tortilis, ( Israeli Kikar)61.6557,8600.0022
3Eucalyptus hybrid(Safeda)26.3061,6500.0333

Medium rotation (20 yrs)

4Acacia nilotica (Desi kikar)60.7553,6500.0224
5Dalbergia sissoo ( Sisham)53.6560,7500.0144
6Zizyphus mauritiana (Desi ber)35.4674,2000.0224
7Prosopis cineraria (Jand)74.2035,4600.01752

Rate of growth of trees of area having a similar physiographic and edaphic factor similar to the project site has been taken.

Eucalyptus hybrid (Safeda) is an exotic species, rest of the species are native Indian species.  Eucalyptushybrid has been planted in this area for more than fifty years and there are no reports of this species having become invasive.

CDM Technical information

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CDM Info

1ScaleSmall Scale
2Selected CDM methodologyAR-AMS0001 / Version 04.1
3Selected mode of CER (carbon credits )tCERs
4Crediting period

20 years (with a choice of renewal twice for 20 years each)

5Start Date of CDM project activity

The A/R CDM project activity and its crediting period would start from 01/07/2008. The actual plantation work will start from July 2008

6Verification intervalEvery 5 Yrs.
7Operational life time60 years
8Selected Carbon poolsAbove ground and below ground biomass
9Annual average GHG removals by sinks11,596 tones of CO2e
10Forest produce and CER OwnershipsAll the timber, non-wood products and carbon credits produced by the proposed small-scale A/R CDM project activity will be owned by the farmers who have the legal title to the lands. In India there is no specific existing regulation on the rights to carbon credits. All benefits accruing from the project including the CERs belong to the owner of the land.

Reference: Registered PDD of the Sirsa reforestation CDM project, India

10 thoughts on “Forest Carbon- India’s first A/R CDM project

  1. Am launching a reforestation program for my village in a degraded swampy land area
    so am attracted to your experience.

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