Carbon sequestration is the term describing processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. To help mitigate global warming, a variety of ways to capture and store carbon artificially (while releasing oxygen) as well as ways to enhance natural sequestration processes are being explored.
GSI is examining the possibilities of generating income for the regional financial mechanism through payments for Carbon Storage. The Climate Change Convention has been closely watched, because Forestry Projects have been included within the Kyoto Protocol. As a result, there will be funds for forest conservation projects. In preparation for this, the regional carbon baseline must be assessed, which is an important step for the Guiana Shield Region.
Assessing the regional Carbon Baseline
Under the terms of the Kyoto Protocol, carbon emission reduction projects must generate emission reductions that are additional to any that would have occurred in the absence of the project. Because of this criterion of 'additionality', a baseline for the project must be established.
This baseline scenario is then compared to a scenario representing the carbon storage profile resulting from project interventions. The difference between the two scenarios shows the 'additional' or net carbon benefit of the project. This should be done on a region-wide scale to avoid carbon 'leakage', i.e. the shifting of negative activities to areas for which no baseline has been assessed. A region-wide baseline also reduces the costs of climate change mitigation projects, because baselines will not have to be developed on a project-by-project basis. EcoSecurities will perform a Carbon Analysis of the Guiana Shield Initiative pilot sites. In October 2001, they have also prepared a preliminary assessment of the Regional Carbon Baseline for the Guiana Shield and estimated the amount of carbon stored in the region’s forest at 25 billion tons. Sustainable management of the eco-region in order to prevent deforestation and especially forest fires is therefore extremely important from a global climate perspective.