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ACTIVITIES IMPLEMENTED JOINTLY (AIJ)
 
USIJI Uniform Reporting Document:
Activities Implemented Jointly Under the Pilot Phase

List of Projects

A. Description of the AIJ project

1. Title of project: Reforestation in Vologda

2. Host country: Russian Federation

3. Brief project description:

This project is a reforestation project located in Vologda, about 300 miles northeast of Moscow. Two thousand hectares (ha) of collective state farmland adjacent to and within the Russky Sever National Park will be converted from hay fields back to forest. The land will be removed from hay production, and allowed to regenerate naturally, supplemented initially by planting on about 15% of the area. If regeneration proceeds slowly, additional planting or soil preparation will be implemented during the third year of the project. Greenhouse gas benefits accrue from forest carbon sequestration that would not have occurred in the absence of project activities.

4. Participants:

Name of Organization or Individual

Country

Vologda Department of Natural Resources

Russian Federation

Center for Environmental Economics (CEE)

Russian Federation

Environmental & Economic Consulting

U.S.A.

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language) or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Name of organization (English)

Vologda Department of Natural Resources

Acronym (original language)

Acronym (English)

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Project administration

Street

City

State

Vologda

Post code

Country

Russian Federation

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

Gladkovsky

First name, middle name

Branislav

Job title

Deputy Director of the Vologda Region

Direct telephone

7-817-225-1419

Direct fax

7-817-225-1454

Direct e-mail

Contact Person for AIJ Activities (if different from the Administrative Officer)

Surname

First name, middle name

Job title

Direct telephone

Direct fax

Direct e-mail

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Center for Environmental Economics

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

CEE

Acronym (English)

(Same as above)

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Project administration

Street

Ogareva 5, Build. 3, of. 531

City

Moscow

State

Post code

103918

Country

Russian Federation

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

Golub

First name, middle name

Alexander

Job title

Director

Direct telephone

7-095-229-9464

Direct fax

7-095-245-0963

Direct e-mail

Contact Person for AIJ Activities (if different from the Administrative Officer)

Surname

First name, middle name

Job title

Direct telephone

Direct fax

Direct e-mail

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language) or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Environment & Economic Consulting

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

Acronym (English)

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Street

39 West 67th Street, #204

City

New York

State

New York

Post code

10023

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

LeBlanc

First name, middle name

Alice

Job title

Senior Economist

Direct telephone

212-779-3045

Direct fax

212-779-1336

Direct e-mail

alice_leblanc@msn.com

Contact Person for AIJ Activities (if different from the Administrative Officer)

Surname

First name, middle name

Job title

Direct telephone

Direct fax

Direct e-mail

5. Description of AIJ project activities

Item

Type of Project

Sector(s)

Land-use change and forestry

Primary activity(ies)

Assisted natural regeneration

Project Location

Country

Russian Federation

Exact location (city, state, region)

Adjacent to and within the Russky Sever National Park in the Vologda region, in the northern part of the Eastern European Plain (between 59 and 61 degrees of the northern latitude) and about 300 miles northeast of Moscow.

Key Dates and Current Stage of Project

Project starting date (month/year)

Date dependent of funding

Project ending date (month/year)

Date dependent of funding

Project lifetime (years)

60

Current stage of project

Mutally agreed

General Project Description and Technical Data

This project will reforest 2,000 ha of hay fields that are part of several state collective farms. Of the total area, 1,075 ha are interspersed within the Russky Sever National Park, although they are not part of the National Park, and 925 ha are located adjacent to the National Park. Under the project, the land will be removed from hay production and allowed to regenerate naturally, supplemented initially by 15 percent planting. If regeneration proceeds slowly, additional planting or soil preparation will be implemented in the third year of the project.

The land was originally spruce-pine forest but has been used for agriculture for at least the past 75 years. Prior to the commencement of the project, the hayfields were used and administered by collective state farms as agricultural land. The soils are moderately well drained with a well developed plowed layer. The project developers do not believe that this site will be reforested in the absence of the project.

To implement the project and to protect the reforested area, the developers will undertake the following legal measures: (1) under the authority of the Vologda Land Committee, the land use status of the project site will be changed from agricultural to an ecological classification; (2) after this change, a proposal will be made to transfer the land to the status of Ecological Preserve under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federal Environmental Ministry; and (3) the project land will also become part of the lands administered by the National Park Administration and the administrators of this project.

6. Cost

(a) Explanation of methodology for calculating cost data

Methodology for Calculating Cost Data

Detailed information is available on land leasing costs and monitoring costs. These costs are explained below.

Land Leasing Costs: The project site will be leased by the project administrators from the farmers, who are currently using the land for hay production at a mutually agreed price of $10 per ha per year. The leasing cost was determined based on the value of the hay currently produced on the site. This was done by converting the nutritional content of the hay to grain equivalent and applying the grain price. Based on this calculation, it was determined that the grain-equivalent value of hay production per ha, per year is 29.9-37.26 thousand roubles, or $9.4-$11.7. The annual leasing cost will be $20,000 ($10 x 2,000 ha).

Monitoring Costs: Monitoring costs include one-time costs and on-going costs. One-time monitoring costs include costs for (1) developing allometric equations (i.e., regression equations) to estimate carbon sequestration benefits, (2) soil testing, (3) equipment, and (4) personnel costs. On-going monitoring costs consist of costs for (1) yearly site inspections and (2) periodic monitoring, performed six to eight times during the life of the project. Periodic monitoring costs include costs for (1) measuring carbon sequestered in trees and root biomass, (2) hiring workers and coordinators for soil testing and computing soil carbon estimates, and (3) renting airplanes and equipment for taking aerial photographs. Soil testing will be done only if the investor wants to receive credit for soil carbon.

(b) Cost data–Project development

This information is not yet available.

(c) Cost data–Project implementation

Annual cost information is not yet available.

Itemized Project Implementation Costs

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7. Monitoring and verification of AIJ project activities and results

Item

Party(ies) that will be monitoring project activities

A Russian scientist, an American scientist, and Russian technicians will be selected to monitor

Party(ies) that will be externally verifying project results

A scientist or NGO approved by USIJI

Date when the monitoring plan became (or will become) operational (month/year)

This information is not yet available.

Types of data that will be collected

Above- and belowground biomass density, tree height and diameter measurements, soil carbon content (optional)

Description of Monitoring and Verification Activities and Schedule for Implementation

There are two components to monitoring the project’s carbon dioxide benefits: (1) measuring carbon sequestration in the aboveground and root biomass, and (2) measuring soil carbon. A sampling procedure will be developed and sample plots will be chosen for calculation of biomass and soil carbon. The sample plots will be selected based on differences in vegetation, soils, and past land-use history, and will be measured for tree heights and diameters. A method will be developed for extrapolating the carbon sequestration estimates from the sample plot measurements to the entire site. In addition, sample plots of land will be selected to remain as hay field and will be monitored for a reference scenario comparison.

The aboveground and root biomass will be measured using (1) a "clip plot" method of cutting and weighing small trees on sample plots in year 5, and (2) allometric equations and sample plot measurements in year 10, and every ten years after that. Carbon sequestration estimates will be calculated by applying the coefficients of allometric equations to the periodic sample measurements of tree height and diameter.

There will be an annual walk-through inspection of the entire project site to monitor its overall conditions. Periodic aerial photographs will be used to verify overall site condition and the representativeness of sample plots in years 1, 5, 10, and every 10 years onward.

The second part of the monitoring plan involves an estimate of the carbon sequestered in soils. This part of the monitoring plan will be carried out if project investors would like to claim soil carbon benefits. The monitoring plan will include digging 100 sample pits for soil samples to measure carbon concentrations and soil bulk density in year 1, 10, and every ten years onward.

For external verification, resources have been budgeted for a visit to the project site by a scientist or NGO approved by the USIJI in year 10, when the first actual sample plot measurement will occur. Discussions have been initiated with the Russian Ministry of the Environment to provide verification services for the project. The development of allometric equations will be supervised by independent American and Russian scientists. If soil is monitored for claiming soil carbon credits, the American and Russian scientists hired to supervise the soils monitoring in year 10 could also verify the monitoring of this component.

B. Governmental approval

Item

Please check one of the following.

This report is a first report or

This report is an intermediate report or

This report is a final report.

Please check one of the following:

This report is a joint report. Letter(s) of approval of this report from the designated national authority of the other Party(ies) involved in the activity is(are) attached in Section J, Annex or

This report is a separate report.

Additional comments (if any):

C. Compatibility with, and supportiveness of, national economic development and socioeconomic and environmental priorities and strategies

Compatibility with Economic Development and Socioeconomic and Environmental Priorities

This information is not yet available.

D. Environmental, social/cultural, and economic impacts of the AIJ project

Non-Greenhouse-Gas Environmental Impacts of the Project

By increasing forest cover, this project will provide additional wildlife habitat. Since the site is next to a relatively rare, old growth taiga forest, it will also preserve and extend the natural European taiga forests (which have been extensively replaced by commercial plantations), along with the northern regional animal and plant species.

The project area will be made a specially protected ecological area under the protection of the Ministry of the Environment and part of the National Park. It is anticipated that this status will outlast the project lifetime and that there will be no harvest of wood on site.

The proposed monitoring plan for the project could serve as a cost effective model for monitoring reforestation projects, and will advance knowledge of carbon sequestration estimation.

Social/Cultural Impacts of the Project

This information is not yet available.

Economic Impacts of the Project

Compensation to the farmers in the project area is expected to be used to finance activities that are more lucrative than hay production, such as poultry and egg production. Further, the developers expect that the establishment of the lease arrangements and legal measures that are necessary to implement this project will help promote creation of a market for land in Vologda.

E. Greenhouse gas impacts of the AIJ project

1. Scenario description

Item

Site Designation

Site number (order of presentation in this report)

1 of 1

Site name/designation

Vologda

Project sector

Land-use change and forestry

Reference Scenario

Primary activity(ies)

Hay production

Has the reference scenario changed since the last report? (If yes, explain any changes below.)

Yes

No

This is the first project report.

Description:

The project site is 2,000 ha of marginal agricultural crop land. It was originally forested, and then converted to agricultural use in about the mid 1800’s. The project developers believe that without the project, the land would remain in hay production, as it has been for at least 75 years. In its current agricultural use, the site is considered to be in equilibrium with respect to carbon storage, with no net change in carbon storage occurring in biomass or soils. A small amount of fossil fuel emissions are associated with managing the hay fields. The hay fields are considered relatively unproductive.

Predicted Project Scenario

Primary activity(ies)

Assisted natural regeneration

Description:

The project’s main measure to sequester carbon is to allow natural regeneration to occur. Under the project scenario, the land will be removed from hay production and allowed to regenerate naturally, replaced initially by 15% planting. Additional planting and soil preparation may be implemented in the third year of the project, if regeneration proceeds too slowly. The carbon sequestration arises from vegetation growth over the 60 year lifetime of the project.

Actual Project

Primary activity(ies)

This information is not yet available.

Description:

This information is not yet available.

2. GHG emission/sequestration calculation methodology

GHG Emission/Sequestration Calculation Methodology

Site number

1 of 1

Project sector

Land-use change and forestry

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Reference Scenario

The developers believe that in the absence of the project, hay production will continue, even after agricultural lands are privatized in the near future. The land condition is also assumed to remain unchanged over the next 60 years. For example, soil erosion or land degradation is not anticipated to occur, nor is biomass or soil carbon storage. The carbon present in the aboveground vegetation at the initiation of the project is estimated at 1-2 t C/ha. Fossil fuel emissions in the reference scenario are estimated to be small and, therefore, have not been taken into account.

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Project Scenario

Carbon sequestration is expected to occur due to aboveground vegetation growth and accumulation of belowground living biomass pools or roots. It is assumed that soil and dead biomass carbon stocks are in equilibrium. Although the project may increase carbon accumulation in the forest floor and in the mineral soil, these increases have not been included in the carbon sequestration estimates for the following two reasons: (1) the developers believe that accurate estimates cannot be made using the existing models, as the model estimates are associated with a large range of uncertainty; (2) a study conducted on a site in northeastern U.S. (the state of New Hampshire), similar to the project site, found that there was no significant net increase in soil carbon in regenerated forest sites.

Because no direct carbon sequestration estimates are available for regenerated forests in the region, the projections of carbon sequestration have been made using (1) an allometric approach (or regression equations); (2) tables of tree biomass values and a yield table method to calculate biological productivity of stands with different age and species composition; and (3) data collected from reforested sites in the region, naturally regenerated sites in the near-by regions, and comparable sites in North America.

More specifically, the methodology used for developing carbon sequestration projections involves the following four steps: (1) regression equations are developed by regressing the weight and annual production of biomass of pine stands in another region, by age on measurements of tree height, and tree diameter at breast height; (2) biomass indices on height and diameter of trees, by age and species, are developed using Utkin’s tables of tree biomass values and a yield table method developed by Isaev et al. (1993); (3) the coefficients of the regression equations are applied to the indices of tree height and diameter to compute biomass estimates; and (4) carbon sequestration estimates are derived by multiplying biomass estimates by the following biomass to carbon conversion indices: 0.5 kg of carbon per kg of dry wood tree parts and roots, and 0.45 kg of carbon per kg of dry needles and leaves.

Based on the above methodology and assumptions, the developers project that the carbon sequestration will be about 2.0 t C/ha-yr (=1.5 t C/ha-yr from aboveground biomass growth + 0.45 t C/ha-yr(= 1.5 t C/ha-yr * 30%) through belowground biomass accumulation. Although the annual forest growth is expected to be less in the first ten years of the project, time-dependent rates of carbon sequestration have not yet been incorporated into the GHG calculations.

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Actual Project

This information is not yet available.

3. GHG emission/sequestration data

(a) Reporting of GHG emissions/sequestration

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(b) Additional information on GHG emissions/sequestration

Indirect or Secondary GHG Impacts (Positive and Negative)

This information is not yet available.

Factors That Could Cause the Future Loss or Reversal of GHG Benefits

The risk of forest fires or other natural disasters in Vologda is considered to be small. It is estimated that less than .02% of the forested area in Vologda was damaged by fire between 1984 and 1993, and that less than half of that was damaged by blight or disease during the same period. Although there are many uncertainties in the economic and political development path of the Russia Federation as a whole, the project developers believe that the economy of the Vologda region is economically better off than the rest of the country and that the regional government is relatively stable. Therefore, the possibility of future loss or reversal of GHG benefits is considered unlikely.

Strategy for Reducing the Risk of Future Loss or Reversal of GHG Benefits

Insurance options are currently being explored. A project reserve fund is budgeted to be used to pay for insurance. The possibility of pooling proposed JI projects in the Russian Federation in a co-insurance scheme is also being discussed.

Insurance measures include securing popular support through a public relations and public education campaign in cooperation and consultation with the environmental protection officials in Vologda. Such a campaign will include (1) using articles published in the local newspapers on the subject of FCCC and Joint Implementation, (2) preparing a brochure about the project and distributing it among local schools and institutions, and (3) holding a competition for local journalists on the topic of this reforestation project in Vologda.

F. Funding of the AIJ project

1. Identification of funding sources

(a) Funding sources for project development

This information is not yet available.

(b) Funding sources for project implementation

Currently no funds are available.

2. Assessment of additional funding needs

Current or Planned Activities to Obtain Additional Funding

Private sector funding is being sought in return for carbon offsets generated by the project. A proposal has been submitted to the Utility Forestry Carbon Management Program of the Edison Electric Institute. A proposal has also been submitted to another private agency for financing.

In addition, to attract financing for this project, the project developers are planning to offer the potential investors of this project an option to buy carbon credits at a low price from an additional 2,000 ha of land, proposed to be reforested using funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). A proposal is also being prepared by the CEE for a biodiversity grant from GEF to remove an additional 2,000 ha of contiguous hay fields from production to allow reforestation. If this occurs, those that finance this project might be offered the option to buy the carbon credits generated from the additional 2,000 hectares.

G. Contribution to capacity building and technology transfer

Contribution to Capacity Building and Technology Transfer

Scientific cooperation between the Russian Federation and the U.S.A. is expected to be fostered through the project’s cooperative monitoring.

H. Recent developments, technical difficulties, and obstacles encountered

Recent Project Developments

This information is not yet available.

Technical Difficulties and Other Obstacles Encountered

This information is not yet available.

I. Additional information

Additional Information

This information is not yet available.

J. Annex

1. Host country acceptance of the AIJ project

Country/Project Title

Name, Title, and Government Agency of the Designated National Authority

Date of Approval(day/month/year)

Reforestation in Vologda, Russia

Interagency Commission of the Russian Federation on Climate Change Problems

27 November 1996

2. Letters of approval of this AIJ project report

See attached concurrence form.