Terms and Definitions


The scenario that reasonably represents the sum of the changes in carbon stocks in the carbon pools within the project boundary that would occur in the absence of the project activity.


Organic material both aboveground and belowground and both living and dead, e.g., trees, crops, grasses, tree litter, roots, etc. Biomass includes the pool definition for above - and below-ground biomass.

Carbon Flux

Transfer of carbon from one carbon pool to another in units of measurement of mass per unit area and time. e.g.t C ha -1 yr -1

Carbon Pool

A System that has the capacity to accumulate or release carbon in units mass. Some examples of carbon pools are forest biomass, wood products, down dead wood, standing dead trees, live trees, and soil.

Carbon Sequestration

Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is one method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with the goal of reducing global climate change.

Crediting Period

The period of time during which a mitigation project can generate offsets.

Cultivated crops

Areas used for the production of annual crops, such as corn, soybeans, vegetables, tobacco, and cotton; and perennial woody crops such as orchards and vineyards. Crop vegetation accounts for greater than 20 percent of total vegetation. This class also includes all land that is actively tilled.

Geographic Information System.

A geographic Information System (GIS) is an information technology system which manages data in reference to geographic location data.

Growing Stock

The living tree component of the standing volume (measured in m3 over bark).


Includes all non-living biomass with a diameter less than a minimum diameter chosen by the country (for example 10 cm), lying dead, in various states of decomposition above the mineral or organic soil. This includes litter, fumic, and humic layers. Live fine roots (of less than the suggested diameter limit for belowground biomass) are included in a litter where they cannot be distinguished from it empirically.


Trees stock carbon (thus it is a carbon sink). Once the tree is combusted or rotten, CO2 and methane are released into the atmosphere. This means that Non-permanence of carbon stocks in forestry terms is usually used to describe a situation in which a forest has sequestered carbon but where that absorption of such carbon has later been reversed because the forest has been removed again.

Organic Soils.

Soils are organic if they satisfy the requirements 1 and 2, or 1 and 3 below (FAO, 1998):

1. The thickness of 10 cm or more. A horizon less than 20 cm thick must have 12 percent or more organic carbon when mixed to a depth of 20 cm;

2. If the soil is never saturated with water for more than a few days, and contains more than 20 percent (by weight) organic carbon (about 35 percent organic matter);

3. If the soil is subject to water saturation episodes and has either: (i) At least 12 percent (by weight) organic carbon (about 20 percent organic matter) if it has no clay; or (ii) At least 18 percent (by weight) organic carbon (about 30 percent organic matter) if it has 60 percent or more clay; or (iii) An intermediate, proportional amount of organic carbon for intermediate amounts of clay.

Pasture lands

Pasture lands, or pastoral lands, are lands with low-growing vegetation cover used for grazing of livestock such as cattle and horses. Areas converted to pastures are often unmanaged and are subject to varying degrees of degradation. Pastures converted to plantation forests can result in an increase in the rate of carbon sequestration from the atmosphere, thus, reducing the net GHG from human activities.

Quality Assurance & Quality Control.

Quality Assurance (QA) activities include a planned system of review procedures conducted by personnel not directly involved in the inventory compilation/development process to verify that data quality objectives were met, ensure that the inventory represents the best possible estimate of emissions and sinks given the current state of scientific knowledge and data available, and support the effectiveness of the quality control (QC) programme.

Quality control activities include general methods such as accuracy checks on data acquisition and calculations and the use of approved standardized procedures for emission calculations, measurements, estimating uncertainties, archiving information, and reporting. Higher tier QC activities include technical reviews of source categories, activity and emission factor data, and methods.


A verified decrease in GHG emissions caused by project activity, as measured against an appropriate forward-looking estimate of baseline emissions for the project.

Remote Sensing

The practice of acquiring and using data from satellites and aerial photography to infer or measure land cover/use. May be used in combination with ground surveys to check the accuracy of interpretation. Remote Sensing involves acquisition of the land surface data using aerial sensor technologies, such as aerial surveillance and satellite images.


Removals are a subset of felling (the commercial part destined for processing). The ‘Removals’ term should only be used in this forestry context, not as a synonym for carbon sink.

Shrub/scrub Areas

Dominated by shrubs less than 5 m tall with shrub canopy typically greater than 20 percent of total vegetation. This class includes true shrubs, young trees in an early successional stage, or trees stunted from environmental conditions.


The mean annual temperature (MAT) is more than 20ºC.


A general and imprecise term that refers to the lack of certainty (in inventory components) resulting from any causal factor such as unidentified sources and sinks, lack of transparency, etc.


Further Explanation of Principles

This section provides a description in a simplified manner for all principles described under clause 4 of the standard. The application of principles is fundamental to ensure that GHG-related information is a true and fair account. The five principles are the basis for and will guide the application of the requirements in this standard.


This means it is necessary to identify all carbon sinks coming under the purview of the project boundary. Ensure the GHG emissions you report appropriately reflect the emissions of the project.


This means it is necessary to measure and report on all GHG emissions sources/sinks and activities from the project operations for which you are collecting GHG data. In other words all GHG sources and/or sinks are identified within the project boundaries, recorded, classified, reported, and justified any excluded significant project emissions.


As far as can be judged, ensure that your reported GHG emissions data is systematically neither over nor under your actual emissions. Seek to reduce uncertainties in your reported GHG emissions where practical. Achieve sufficient accuracy to enable users to make decisions with reasonable assurance as to the integrity of the reported information. Data must be “materially” accurate - measurement methods, calculation methods, aggregation, and reporting. Furthermore, accuracy can be classified into two categories;

1. Errors - Calculation errors, data management weaknesses (e.g., transposition errors).

2. Uncertainties-lack of source data or technological limitations (metering.


Use consistent methodologies to allow for meaningful comparisons of emissions over time. Transparently document any changes to the data, changes in the project boundary, methods, or any other relevant factors. Meaningful comparison of emissions over time – harvesting cycles, plantation changes, acquisitions, mergers, & outsourcing.


Address all relevant issues in a factual and coherent manner, keeping a record of all assumptions, calculations, and methodologies used. Report on any relevant assumptions, exclusions, or inclusions and make appropriate references to the accounting and calculation methodologies and data sources used. Moreover, confidential documents are clearly identified.


GHG reductions should not be overestimated. Where data and assumptions are uncertain and where the cost of measures to reduce uncertainty is not worth the increase in accuracy, conservative values and assumptions should be used. Conservative values and assumptions are those that are more likely to underestimate than overestimate GHG reductions.

Generic Explanation.

1. Type of projects.

Types of projects that can be considered under the Voluntary Emission Reduction (VERs) are as follows;

· Avoided deforestation: the protection of existing forests.

· Reforestation: restoring forests on land that was once forested.

· Afforestation: creating forests on land that was previously not under forest, typically for longer than a generation.

2. Eligibility Criteria of Land.

The project proponent shall submit a letter of approval obtained for the project indicating that the project would contribute to sustainable development.

The table given below provides a description of the eligibility criteria for projects that are considered as suitable projects for Verified Carbon Emissions (VERs).

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