Carbon Certification of Afforestation and Reforestation Areas in Turkey

Kus M., Ulgen H., Gunes Y., Kiris R., Ozel A., Zeydanli U.



Climate change is a major threat to ecosystems and livelihoods. Forest ecosystems can be carbon sinks if they are untouched or well managed. They can also become carbon sources if destroyed. Forest ecosystems are important in international climate policy because of their capacity to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and their contributions to biodiversity and sustainability. The Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol has provisions and methodologies for afforestation/reforestation (A/R) activities. There is a growing demand from private companies for afforestation/reforestation (A/R) projects due to increasing environmental and social responsibility concerns. However, some industries are interested in accumulating A/R carbon credits to prepare for the possible enactment of a future quantitative carbon emission limitation scheme in Turkey. This study examines recent developments, conditions, opportunities and threats within the A/R carbon sector in Turkey. Details of the only A/R carbon project in Turkey proposed by the Nature Conservation Centre are provided. The results of the certification application process revealed three main points. (1) The certification cost in Turkey is disproportionately high compared with the smaller amount of A/R carbon credits to be obtained per hectare basis. (2) A new level in the certification system might better serve the needs of this country and the others in similar situation. (3) The relevant government institutions require an increased capacity to address carbon issues. They must develop a vision, initiate necessary inter- and intra-institutional coordination and amend regulations appropriately to facilitate A/R certification in Turkey.