Your location: Home

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: Rio Bravo Carbon Sequestration Pilot Project

2. Host country: Belize

3. Brief project description:

The Rio Bravo Carbon Sequestration Pilot Project is a forestry project located in northwest Belize, adjacent to the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA). The project combines land acquisition and a sustainable forestry program to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits from forest growth (i.e., carbon sequestration) that would not have occurred in the absence of project activities. The objective of the project is to demonstrate an optimal balance between cost-effective carbon sequestration, economically sustainable forest yield, and environmental protection.

4. Participants:

Name of Organization or Individual Country

Programme for Belize (PfB)

Belize

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

U.S.A.

Winrock International

U.S.A.

Wisconsin Electric Power Company (WEPCO)

U.S.A.

Detroit Edison Corporation

U.S.A.

Cinergy

U.S.A.

PacifiCorp

U.S.A.

Utilitree

U.S.A.

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Programme for Belize

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

PfB

Acronym (English)

(Same as above)

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Project development, project administration

Street

P.O. Box 749

City

Belize City

State

Post code

Country

Belize

Telephone

501-2-75616 (or -617)

Fax

501-2-75635

E-mail

pfbel@btl.net

World Wide Web-URL address

http://www.belizenet.com/pfbel.html

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

Grant

First name, middle name

A. Joy

Job title

Executive Director

Direct telephone

501-2-75616 (or -617)

Direct fax

501-2-75635

Direct e-mail

pfbel@btl.net

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

Surname

Vasquez

First name, middle name

Mary

Job title

Technical Coordinator

Direct telephone

501-2-75616 (or -617)

Direct fax

501-2-75635

Direct e-mail

Pfbel@btl.net

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

The Nature Conservancy

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

TNC

Acronym (English)

(Same as above)

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Project development, financing, technical assistance

Street

1815 N. Lynn Street

City

Arlington

State

Virginia

Post code

22209

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

703-841-5300

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

http://www.tnc.org

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

Sawhill

First name, middle name

John C.

Job title

President and CEO

Direct telephone

Direct fax

Direct e-mail

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

Surname

Nelson

First name, middle name

Tia

Job title

Senior International Policy Advisor

Direct telephone

703-841-5372

Direct fax

703-841-7400

Direct e-mail

tnelson@tnc.org

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Winrock International

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

None

Acronym (English)

None

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Monitoring and internal verification

Street

11030 159th Avenue, SE

City

Snohomish

State

Washington

Post code

98290

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

First name, middle name

Job title

Direct telephone

Direct fax

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

Wisconsin Electric Power Company

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

WEPCO

Acronym (English)

(Same as above)

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Project development, financing

Street

231 W. Michigan Street

P.O. Box 2046

City

Milwaukee

State

Wisconsin

Post code

53201

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

Schumacher

First name, middle name

Paul

Job title

Process Manager, Environmental Business Planning

Direct telephone

414-221-2449

Direct fax

414-221-3985

Direct e-mail

paul.schumacher@wemail.wisenergy.com

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

Surname

Cutright

First name, middle name

Noel

Job title

Senior Terrestrial Ecologist, Environmental Services

Direct telephone

414-221-2179

Direct fax

414-221-3985

Direct e-mail

noel.cutright@wemail.wisenergy.com

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Detroit Edison Corporation

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

None

Acronym (English)

None

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Financing

Street

2000 Second Avenue, #1051WCB

City

Detroit

State

MI

Post code

48226

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

First name, middle name

Job title

Direct telephone

Direct fax

Direct e-mail

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

Surname

DuBay

First name, middle name

Jim

Job title

Direct telephone

313-235-8461

Direct fax

313-235-0285

Direct e-mail

dubayj@detroitedison.com

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Cinergy Corporation

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

None

Acronym (English)

None

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Financing

Street

139 E. Fourth Street, Room 552-A

City

Cincinnati

State

Ohio

Post code

45202

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

First name, middle name

Job title

Direct telephone

Direct fax

Direct e-mail

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

Surname

Kuhn

First name, middle name

Eric C.

Job title

Senior Environmental Scientist

Direct telephone

513-287-4061

Direct fax

513-287-3499

Direct e-mail

ekuhn@cinergy.com

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

PacifiCorp

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

None

Acronym (English)

None

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Financing

Street

825 NE Multomah, Suite 410

City

Portland

State

Oregon

Post code

97232-2155

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

First name, middle name

Job title

Direct telephone

Direct fax

Direct e-mail

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

Surname

Edmonds

First name, middle name

Bill

Job title

Regional Affairs Administrator

Direct telephone

503-464-5773

Direct fax

503-275-2650

Direct e-mail

bill.edmonds@pacificorp.com

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Utilitree

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

None

Acronym (English)

None

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Financing

Street

c/o American Electric Power, Land Management Department

59 West Main St.

City

McConnelsville

State

Ohio

Post code

43756

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

First name, middle name

Job title

Direct telephone

Direct fax

Direct e-mail

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

Surname

Kaster

First name, middle name

Gary

Job title

Chair, Utilitree

Direct telephone

614-962-1200

Direct fax

614-962-1219

Direct e-mail

Gilbert_G._Kaster@aep.com

5. Description of AIJ project activities

Item
Type of Project

Sector(s)

Land-use change and forestry

Primary activity(ies)

Forest preservation, sustainable harvesting, reduced impact logging, silviculture, fire management, manufacture of durable wood products

Project Location

Country

Belize

Exact location (city, state, region)

In and adjacent to the eastern portion of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA) in northwest Belize

Key Dates and Current Stage of Project

Project starting date (month/year)

January 1995

Project ending date (month/year)

December 2034

Project lifetime (years)

40

Current stage of project

In progress

General Project Description and Technical Data

This project combines land acquisition and a sustainable forestry program to achieve carbon dioxide mitigation. The objective of the project is to demonstrate an optimal balance between cost-effective carbon sequestration, economically sustainable forest yield, and environmental protection. The project is located in and adjacent to the eastern portion of the RBCMA, which comprises about 97,181 hectares (ha) of land in northwest Belize. In the west, the RBCMA extends along the Guatemalan frontier and is contiguous with the Rio Azul National Park in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. The RBCMA is separated from Mexico to the north by 5 km.

The project has two components: (A) purchase of a parcel of endangered forest land, and (B) development of a sustainable forestry management program. Under Component A of the project, a 5,602-ha parcel of endangered forest land has been purchased to protect it from conversion to farmland. Component B will establish and implement an economically sustainable forest management program on the purchased land and the eastern portion of the RBCMA (a combined total of approximately 49,985 ha) to increase the level and rate of carbon sequestration on these lands. This program will include sustainable logging and pine stocking enhancement, and will provide active protection against incursion and uncontrolled fire by substituting controlled burns for annual wild fires. The remaining RBCMA lands will be left undisturbed for conservation and research purposes. These lands will be managed as protected forest, as will those portions of land under Component B that are designated for preservation. The biomass characteristics of the project land as well as land management and socioeconomic factors will be monitored to measure and verify project results.

6. Cost

(a) Explanation of methodology for calculating cost data

Methodology for Calculating Cost Data

In the proposal, the project developer provided a preliminary cost estimate of US$2.5 million for implementation of this project, and reported that the period of investment would be ten years, after which the project would be self-sufficient. As of this writing, the cost estimate for project implementation, including partial recovery of project development costs, had increased to US$2.6 million.

The cost of project implementation totaled US$2,441,000 between the project’s inception in 1995 and June 1997.

(b) Cost data–Project development

This information is considered confidential by the developer and therefore is not available.

(c) Cost data–Project implementation

Annual implementation cost information is not yet available.

Itemized Project Implementation Costs Image

7. Monitoring and verification of AIJ project activities and results

Item

Party(ies) that will be monitoring project activities

Winrock International, Programme for Belize

Party(ies) that will be externally verifying project results

This information is not yet available.

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

February 1996

Types of data that will be collected

Above- and belowground woody and herbaceous biomass carbon content (including measurement of biomass density of lesser-known species groups-- palms and swamp thicket woody species), litter and necromass carbon content, soil organic carbon content, damage (and subsequent recovery) per harvested tree, destination of harvested biomass and wood waste, leakage of project benefits, area of burned land, and other gross changes in land cover, land use, and land management.

Description of Monitoring and Verification Activities and Schedule for Implementation

The monitoring protocol was developed in collaboration with Winrock International. Winrock International has trained PfB staff to conduct the monitoring activities, and will internally verify the project results. The first monitoring activity, which began in February 1996, consisted of a project baseline carbon inventory on Component A land. The sampling design consisted of stratified systematic sampling of permanent sample plots. The strata were defined by vegetation type as determined from satellite images, topographic maps, and observation of vegetation and soils. Strata areas were determined using MapInfo (versions 3.0 and 4.0) and the PfB’s Geographic Information System (ArcInfo/ArcView). To determine carbon stocks under the reference case, it was assumed maize, beans, and rain-fed rice would be planted on deforested land, and that the only permanent carbon pool would lie in the soils. Nearby agricultural lands were used to represent the reference case. Monitoring of permanent sample plots was scheduled to take place in years 3, 5, 7, and 10 with existing project funding. The first remeasurement (Year 3) was conducted from February to April 1998. All monitoring will be conducted during the same season in each year.

For Component B land, the monitoring protocol compares the impacts of sustainable harvesting, silviculture, and regeneration techniques (the project scenario) against the impacts of traditional harvesting practices (the reference scenario). Component B monitoring in hardwood forest was initiated in July 1997. This monitoring will continue as the various harvesting and silviculture techniques are implemented. Prevailing logging practices in a nearby district at the time of project setup were used to represent the reference case. Permanent sample plots were established for monitoring Component B land. Future sampling rates are yet to be determined.

For both Component A and Component B, data are being collected on aboveground biomass and necromass, estimated belowground biomass, and soil carbon. For Component B, the amount of damage per harvested tree (e.g., the road, skid trail, and log landing areas and the volume of coarse woody debris), the destination of harvested biomass (e.g., the proportion of extracted timber in durable products and the fossil-fuel substitution by wood waste), and the impact of fire suppression activities (e.g., actual area burned in a fire event that was suppressed by PfB crews, and estimated amount of land that would have been burned in the absence of fire suppression activities) are also being assessed.

The project implementer (PfB) has obtained Smartwood and Woodmark certification under the Forest Stewardship Council guidelines for the timber harvesting regime and other forest management practices.

Achieving such certification demonstrated that the project meets internationally recognized standards for sustainable management of forest resources.

A protocol has also been developed to identify and monitor forms of potential leakage of project benefits. This protocol focuses on identifying leakage issues that are specific to the project, measurable, and actually occurring, and that have the potential to affect GHG emission benefits by a factor of 20% or more.

Land-use change over the zone of secondary project impacts has been tracked from a historical reference point of 1968 using air photography, LANDSAT, Spot, and AIRSAR. This assessment will be updated regularly as imagery becomes available through the Belize Ministry of Natural Resources.

The results of monitoring activities are reviewed by the Project Board and the Project Advisory Panel. All project reports and data are available for external verification.

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

In his letter to the U.S. Department of State, the Foreign Minister of Belize noted that the Belizean Government considers the project to be "a significant step in [the] direction" of the Government’s environmental and economic development goals.

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

Non-Greenhouse-Gas Environmental Impacts of the Project

The project was designed to have positive impacts on the area's biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and soil stability. The project will secure a habitat for a wide range of species, including nine mammals listed on CITES Appendix 1 or classed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and over 341 bird species. The project will also maintain the integrity of the biodiversity in the RBCMA by promoting the regeneration of a diverse range of native flora species. In addition, the planned sustainable forestry regime, pine forest management activities, and Bajo scrub preservation will increase the amount of ground cover and further reduce soil erosion.

The reduction in the availability of new farm land resulting from the land purchases in Component A may trigger an increased use of fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides, which are known to have negative impacts on water quality, as farmers seek to improve the productivity of available lands. However, it is also likely that the project will have a positive effect on water quality by promoting a shift in land-use patterns from the current high-input mechanized farming practices to more sustainable land uses (e.g., sustainable forestry). Significant increases in air pollution resulting from manufacturing durable wood products are not anticipated. Increases in forest cover and subsequent reductions in ambient air temperatures are expected to reduce the formation of ground-level ozone.

To reduce the environmental impact of project implementation, the Hillbank field station was equipped with a solar power-generating system and a composting toilet. The project’s environmental impacts are being monitored on an ongoing basis, and mitigation plans will be developed if any adverse affects are identified.

Social/Cultural Impacts of the Project

The carbon sequestration activities under Component B are being integrated into the management regime for the broader RBCMA, which includes the protection of ancient Mayan archaeological sites.

Economic Impacts of the Project

The forest management regime developed as part of the project enhances the commercial value of the forest and regeneration of valuable timber, and helps to ensure that the forest resources are used in a sustainable manner.

The RBCMA sustainable forestry project is labor-intensive and, thus, is improving employment in the immediate region and adding new technical capabilities to the area's labor market. A policy of preference for hiring from local communities is being followed for all field posts and contract work.

The sustainable forestry program attempts to create an economically viable commercial model that demonstrates that shifting land-use practices either from extensive agriculture to forestry, or from unsustainable logging practices to sustainable forestry, can be economically beneficial. Once developed and tested, the sustainable forestry management regime will be extended to benefit, both technically and economically, a network of community groups surrounding the RBCMA.

E. Greenhouse gas impacts of the AIJ project

1. Scenario description

Item
Site Designation

Site number (order of presentation in this report)

1 of 2

Site name/designation

Component A

Project sector

Land-use change and forestry

Reference Scenario

Primary activity(ies)

Deforestation, conversion to agricultural land

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

Yes

No

This is the first project report.

Description:

After the first report was submitted in 1996, the area of Component A land was re-estimated due to the identification of anomalies between the areas on land titles and the actual ground areas. As indicated in the first report, Component A was anticipated to involve the purchase of 6,014 ha of forest area, consisting of 4,791 ha of broadleaf forest, 1,118 ha Bajo (seasonally inundated scrub), and 105 ha of swamp. Without the project, 5,909 ha of forest area within the 6,014 ha of land purchased under Component A of the project were expected to be deforested and converted to agricultural lands within five years; the remaining 105 hectares of Component A were expected to remain herbaceous swamp and open water.

Based on a ground survey and GIS measurements, the actual area of Component A land is estimated to be 5,602 ha, of which 4,247 ha consist of broadleaf forest, 334 ha consist of upland forest that was burned through in June 1995, 923 ha consist of Bajo, and 98 ha consist of herbaceous swamp and open water. Without the project, 5,504 ha were estimated to be deforested and converted to agricultural lands within five years; the remaining 98 hectares were expected to remain herbaceous swamp and open water.

Predicted Project Scenario

Primary activity(ies)

Forest preservation, silviculture, fire management, sustainable harvesting, reduced impact logging, manufacture of durable wood products

Description:

Once the Component A land had been purchased, it was to be placed under the sustainable forestry management regime established as part of Component B (see site description for Component B below). As a result, this 5,602 ha parcel of land was expected to accrue carbon benefits from both Component A (preservation) and Component B (sustainable forestry) of the project. In order to simplify overall calculations, carbon benefits associated with both the purchase of the 5,602 ha parcel of land, and the subsequent implementation of the sustainable forestry management regime on this parcel of land, were to be calculated as Component A carbon benefits.

Actual Project

Primary activity(ies)

Forest preservation, silviculture, fire management

Description:

The purchase of Component A land (5,602 ha) was completed in December 1995. This area was managed and protected by the PfB during the year prior to purchase. As a result of the land purchase and management efforts, no Component A land was deforested for conversion to agriculture from January 1995 through June 1998.

Item
Site Description

Site number (order of presentation in this report)

2 of 2

Site name/designation

Component B

Project sector

Land-use change and forestry

Reference Scenario

Primary activity(ies)

Unsustainable harvesting, uncontrolled burning of pine savannas

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

Yes

No

This is the first project report.

Description:

After the first USIJI report was submitted in 1996, the area of Component B land was re-estimated. As indicated in the first USIJI report, the Component B land originally was estimated to consist of 44,529 ha that were additional to those in Component A. Based on the results of a ground survey and GIS measurements, the actual area of Component B land (that is additional to Component A) was estimated to be 46,406 ha. These results were presented in the 1997 USIJI report. However, the developer reports that based on the advice of the Commissioner of Lands, 2,023 ha will be returned to the vendor, and the area of Component B therefore will be 44,383 ha (=46,406 ha – 2,023 ha).

In the reference scenario, the developer makes the conservative assumption that carbon stocks on Component B land would remain constant in the absence of the project. Since it is possible that in the absence of the project, some or all of the Component B lands would be subject to unsustainable harvesting–which would cause the decline of current carbon stocks in the already degraded broadleaf forest area–as well as uncontrolled burning of pine savannas, this assumption may lead to an underestimation of project benefits.

Predicted Project Scenario

Primary activity(ies)

Forest preservation, silviculture, fire management, sustainable harvesting, reduced impact logging, manufacture of durable wood products

Description:

In the original proposal, the combined land in Component A and Component B was expected to total 50,543 ha. Of this total, 11,398 ha were anticipated to be managed as a conservation area consisting of 3,493 ha broadleaf, 1,815 ha swamp forest, and 6,090 ha of Bajo. In addition, a sustainable logging program was to be established on 25,866 ha of broadleaf forest. A fire control regime was initially to be applied to 2,500 ha of pine forest, and eventually to be expanded to 10,010 ha of pine forest. The remaining 3,269 ha were to consist of herbaceous swamp and open water.

Using the revised land area data based on the ground survey and GIS analysis, the combined land in Component A and Component B of the project was found to total 52,008 ha. As discussed above, this anomaly between the two estimates was resolved on the advice of the Commissioner of Lands. The land has been resurveyed, and 2,023 ha of Component B land will be returned to the vendor. Therefore, the total land area managed under Components A and B will be 49,985 ha, and the land area managed under only Component B will be 44,383 ha.

A portion of this land was anticipated to be managed as a conservation area, and a portion to be used for a sustainable logging program. A fire control regime was also to be implemented. The results of experiments in tree regeneration, sustainable harvesting, and reduced impact logging techniques were to be used to determine the type and extent of these activities on Component B land during the project lifetime.

Actual Project

Primary activity(ies)

Forest preservation, silviculture, fire management, experimental use of sustainable harvesting, assisted regeneration, and reduced impact logging techniques

Description:

In 1996, the project developers initiated a series of "patch cut" experiments to test methods of mahogany regeneration, conducted experiments on sustainable harvesting and reduced impact logging, and initiated a stock survey. The fire control regime was also implemented in 1996. In 1997 and 1998, the experimental sustainable harvesting was raised to operational scale and certified under the Forest Stewardship guidelines. Tracking of timber through processing was also implemented. Programs initiated in 1996 were maintained and expanded in scope during 1997 and 1998.

2. GHG emission/sequestration calculation methodology

GHG Emission/Sequestration Calculation Methodology

Site number

1 of 2

Project sector

Land-use change and forestry

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Reference Scenario

In order to simplify overall calculations, carbon benefits associated with both the purchase of the 5,602 ha parcel of land in Component A, and the subsequent implementation of the sustainable forestry management regime on this parcel of land, are calculated as Component A carbon benefits. The project developer indicated that all of the Component A land (5,602 ha) was purchased by the end of December 1995. Because a forestry protection regime was established on the land purchased by the project before 1995, reference case and project scenario emissions, and net project carbon benefits, are calculated for the full year in 1995.

The proposal assumed that without the project, 5,909 ha of forest area within the 6,014 ha of land expected to be purchased under Component A of the project would be deforested and converted to agricultural lands within five years. The proposal further assumed a linear rate of conversion. The initial carbon stocks on Component A land were estimated to be 768,480 metric tonnes (t) C, based on relevant literature rather than site-specific stock surveys. For the first five years of the project, the estimates of carbon stocks for any given year accounted for: (1) the loss of initial (i.e., as of the end of 1994) biomass carbon stocks on the parcel of land deforested in that year; (2) the loss of any additional carbon accumulated on that parcel as a result of biomass growth prior to deforestation; (3) the accumulation of new carbon stocks from biomass growth on parcels not yet deforested; and (4) the accumulation of carbon stocks in crops grown on deforested parcels. Annual carbon emissions in the reference case were calculated by subtracting the carbon stock in the year considered from the carbon stock in the previous year. The proposal estimated that net emissions of 738,935 t C (=2,709,428 t CO2) would be generated under the reference scenario over a five-year period.

Based on on-site assessments, the land area of Component A was determined to be 5,602 ha, of which 5,504 ha were anticipated to be deforested at a linear rate over a five-year period. The developers conducted a biomass stock survey and sampled the soil of the Component A land, and applied biomass and soil carbon equations to determine the carbon content of the above- and belowground biomass and the soil. The developers determined that current carbon stocks on Component A land total 1,568,907 t C.

To develop site-specific estimates of carbon stocks under the revised reference case, the developers assumed that maize, beans, and rain-fed rice would be planted on deforested land, and collected data on the carbon stocks on agricultural land adjacent to the project site. The developers assumed that soil carbon was the only stable carbon pool in cultivated fields, and did not assess the carbon content of arable crops. The carbon stocks on an area of agricultural land equivalent to the area of Component A were estimated to be 467,815 t C.

The difference between the carbon stocks on the Component A land and carbon stocks on the agricultural land used to represent the end-point of the reference case was used as a measure of cumulative carbon emissions under the reference case. Total emissions under the reference case were therefore 1,101,093 t C (=1,568,907 t C – 467,815 t C). Annual carbon emissions over a five-year period were therefore 220,219 t C/yr (=1,101,093 t C ÷ 5 years). To convert t C to t CO2, the tonnes of annual carbon emissions were multiplied by the ratio of 44 t CO2/12 t C. (Numbers as shown in the following tables may not sum to totals due to rounding.)

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Project Scenario

As discussed above, in the proposal, the initial carbon stock of Component A forest land was estimated to be 768,480 t C on an area of 5,909 ha. The proposal indicated that with the project, 0.96 t C/ha-yr was expected to be sequestered due to biomass growth. (The figure of 0.96 t C/ha-yr was a weighted average based on the biomass growth rates of broadleaf forest, Bajo, and herbaceous swamp and open water area. As indicated by the project developer, biomass growth on the project area was only anticipated to occur during the first five years of the project.) Average annual carbon stocks in the first five years of the project were determined by adding the average annual biomass growth to the carbon stock in the previous year. Carbon stocks were expected to remain constant after 2000 because biomass growth on Component A forest was anticipated to cease in that year. Annual carbon sequestration in the project scenario was calculated by subtracting the carbon stock in a given year from the carbon stock in the previous year. The total carbon sequestration resulting from the project scenario on Component A land over a five-year period was calculated to be 28,745 t C (=105,398 t CO2).

As discussed above, the developers determined that the current carbon stocks on 5,504 ha of Component A land total 1,568,907 t C. Under the project scenario, these carbon stocks were expected to remain constant over a five-year period. Therefore, zero carbon emissions/sequestration were projected to occur on Component A land under the project. However, the developers acknowledged that some growth increment was likely to occur on Component A land during the five-year period, and that some sustainable timber harvesting could occur on this land as well. The developers planned to account for these impacts by monitoring the changes in carbon stocks on Component A land on a regular basis.

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Actual Project

For the first three years of the project (1995 through 1997), the project developers reported that zero deforestation had occurred on Component A land. Therefore, carbon stocks on Component A land remained unchanged and zero carbon emissions or sequestration were reported for those years. Incremental growth in this area during these years will be factored in following each remeasurement of the permanent plots. The results of the 1998 remeasurement, when analyzed, will be accounted for in the 1999 USIJI report.

GHG Emission/Sequestration Calculation Methodology

Site number

2 of 2

Project sector

Land-use change and forestry

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Reference Scenario

In the proposal, Component B of the project was projected to involve the implementation of a sustainable forestry management regime on 50,543 ha of forest area, including the 6,014 ha of land purchased under Component A of the project. In order to simplify overall carbon benefits calculations, carbon benefits associated with both the purchase of the 6,014 ha parcel of land, and the implementation of the Component B sustainable forestry management regime on this parcel of land, were calculated as Component A carbon benefits. Component B carbon benefits were calculated as the benefits accrued from the implementation of the sustainable forestry management regime on 44,529 ha (= 50,543 ha - 6,014 ha) of land.

The proposal estimated that the initial carbon stock on the area under Component B was 4,199,218 t C. Without the project, the current carbon stock was anticipated to remain constant, a conservative assumption. Therefore, zero carbon emissions or sequestration were anticipated to occur under the reference scenario.

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Project Scenario

The proposal estimated that over the course of the project, biomass carbon stocks would increase from 4,199,218 t C to 4,741,032 t C on the project area of 44,529 ha, leading to a total stock increase of 541,814 t C. These estimated carbon stock increases were described as conservative and were based on average annual biomass accumulation rates, analysis of the impacts of sustainable harvesting and low-impact logging approaches within the region (e.g., strip-cutting, heavy selective thinning, and block cutting), and analysis of fire protection practices developed and tested on the southern coastal plains of Belize. Thus, on average, the carbon stock was expected to increase by 13,545 t C/yr (= 541,814 t C/40 years). Average annual carbon sequestration in the project scenario was calculated by subtracting the carbon stock in the year considered from the carbon stock in the previous year, and averaged 13,545 t C/yr (=49,666 t CO2/yr). Although the manufacture of durable wood products was included as part of the sustainable harvesting activities under Components A and B, the associated carbon benefits were not included in the GHG benefit estimation process in the proposal. Therefore, the GHG benefits resulting from the project were underestimated.

The project developers planned to revise the project scenario based on the results of a site-specific biomass stock survey and experiments involving tree regeneration, sustainable harvesting, and reduced impact logging. These activities have not yet been concluded, and no additional information is available on the revised project scenario. Therefore, the emissions estimates from the proposal are presented in the following tables.

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Actual Project

Sustainable harvesting, including reduced impact logging methods, was initiated over 120 ha in 1997 (Year 3), and increased to 350 ha in 1998 (Year 4). The experiments on tree regeneration were maintained and incorporated in the sustainable harvesting regime. Component B monitoring was established in late 1997 and completed in early 1998. The results are under analysis. No large-scale harvesting operations took place in the first two years of the project (1995 and 1996). Destruction of biomass and its subsequent regrowth as a result of the experiments were determined not to be significant sources of net carbon emissions or sequestration in the first two project years, and zero emissions or sequestration are reported. Pending the results of the Component B monitoring, zero emissions are reported for 1995 through 1997, but these estimates will be adjusted as the information is received.

3. GHG emission/sequestration data

  1. Reporting of GHG emissions/sequestration

(b) Additional information on GHG emissions/sequestration

Indirect or Secondary GHG Impacts (Positive and Negative)

By maximizing timber values and implementing sustainable forest uses, the project reduces the threat of leakage by providing surrounding communities with the economic incentive to reverse current land-use trends and to maintain forest cover. A detailed assessment of the impacts of Components A and B on the surrounding area will be conducted as information is collected from periodic monitoring.

In the initial assessment of Component A land conducted by the project developers, the following were identified as potential indirect or secondary GHG impacts: reinvestment of funds obtained by the seller of the project land in activities that generate GHGs, and emissions from three diesel vehicles and other equipment used for patrols, communications, and research purposes. In the former case, the developers found that the seller of the project land had not invested funds generated by the sale in any activities that were unplanned prior to the sale, or in any activities that produce significant GHG emissions. In the latter case, the project developers determined that the vehicular impacts under the project would be equivalent to or less than those that would have occurred if the land had been converted to agriculture. Emissions generated by the additional equipment were determined to be insignificant. The measure of significance is 5,000 t C/yr (equivalent to 20% of the carbon benefit of approximately 1 million t C to be generated by Component A).

The project will attempt to demonstrate economically viable sustainable land uses that retain the forest cover. In doing so the project hopes to generate revenue to support management of the area. Once a sustainable forestry management regime is established, the project aims to promote improved forest management within the project "zone of influence," which includes approximately 600,000 ha of forest land surrounding the Rio Bravo Conservation Area.

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

Natural disasters, particularly fire and hurricanes, could cause the future loss of GHG benefits. The use of silviculture techniques (e.g., patch cuts for gap generation) that are required to promote the generation of certain timber species (e.g., mahogany) could affect the timing of project benefits, delaying the realization of these benefits until after the ending date of the project.

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

The project will undertake multiple measures to ensure long-term protection of standing biomass in the project area. The project area is included in the Resource Protection Programme for the entire RBCMA. This broader program includes the following elements: maintenance of a ranger force, demarcation of the area and diffusion of the rules applicable to that area, displacement of illicit activity by strategic positioning of other activities (e.g., research, tourism, revenue-earning actions), maintenance of a public awareness program, and creation of entrepreneurial and employment opportunities in local communities. The project developers have implemented a Fire Management Programme to develop effective fire fighting capability and to research the use of fire as a management tool. The project developers have also developed a contingency plan for implementation in the event of a hurricane. This plan includes the recovery and use of valuable fallen timber trees.

F. Funding of the AIJ project

1. Identification of funding sources

(a) Funding sources for project development

Funding Source

Country of Funding Source

Amount

($US)

Percent of Total Funding

(%)

Wisconsin Electric Power Company

U.S.A.

The Nature Conservancy

U.S.A.

Programme for Belize

Belize

Total

NA 100

(b) Funding sources for project implementation

Funding Source

Country of Funding Source

Amount

($US)

Percent of Total Funding(%) Is This Funding Assured? (Y/N)

Wisconsin Electric Power Company

U.S.A.

520,000

20 Y

Detroit Edison Electric

U.S.A.

520,000

20 Y

Cinergy

U.S.A.

520,000

20 Y

Pacificorp

U.S.A.

520,000

20 Y

Utilitree

U.S.A.

520,000

20 Y

Total

2,600,000

100

2. Assessment of additional funding needs

Current or Planned Activities to Obtain Additional Funding

All required project funding has been secured, and is assured over the ten-year investment period, after which the projects are anticipated to become self-sustaining. However, according to the project developers, this does not preclude additional financial contributions by existing or future financial partners for further project development.

G. Contribution to capacity building and technology transfer

Contribution to Capacity Building and Technology Transfer

This project supports the institutional development of a Belizean non-governmental organization. Emphasis is placed on developing PfB’s capability to implement all aspects of the project. This project also directly addresses the issue of developing innovative financing mechanisms for conservation management in Belize.

If the model developed in the RBCMA Pilot Project proves successful, the participants plan to extend the project beyond the current project boundaries. In his letter to the U.S. Department of State communicating the Belizean Government’s acceptance of the project, the Foreign Minister stated, "It is, indeed, our hope that the project would serve as a model to be applied elsewhere."

H. Recent developments, technical difficulties, and obstacles encountered

Recent Project Developments

Due to the identification of anomalies between the areas on land titles and the actual ground areas, a ground survey and GIS analysis were conducted to verify the project area. The difference between the areas on land titles and actual ground areas, which is equivalent to an increase in project area from 50,500 to 52,008 ha, was resolved on the advice of the Commissioner of Lands. The land has been resurveyed prior to re-registration, and 2,023 ha under Component B will be returned to the vendor.

A baseline carbon stock assessment of Component A land and of non-project land used to represent the reference case was conducted between February 1996 and May 1997. A stock survey and other monitoring activities were initiated on Component B land in 1997. On Component B land, patch-cut experiments were conducted to test methods of promoting mahogany regeneration and experiments were also conducted to assess different methods of reduced impact logging.

In 1996, the developers produced a public-service video on the project that was broadcast on local television as part of the PfB educational outreach efforts. Also in 1996, Utilitree joined the project as a finance provider, and acquired 50% of the shares held by WEPCO. All finance providers hold an equal share of the offsets.

PfB has obtained Smartwood and Woodmark certification under Forest Stewardship Council guidelines for the timber harvesting regime and other forest management practices.

A Fire Management Plan was developed and implemented. Three fires were extinguished during the 1997 dry season.

Technical Difficulties and Other Obstacles Encountered

No insurmountable technical difficulties have been encountered.

I. Additional information

Additional Information

None.

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)

Belize/Rio Bravo Carbon Sequestration Pilot Project

Dean O. Barrow, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Economic Development & Attorney General

28 October 1994

2. Letters of approval of this AIJ project report

See attached letter of concurrence.