• Non-ICIMOD Publication
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Emission removal capability of India’s forest and tree cover

  • Kishwan, J.
  • Pandey, R.
  • Dadhwal, V.

India is the world’s tenth most forested nation with 76.87 M ha of forest and tree cover occupying 23.4% of its geographical area. Forests—with their intrinsic of carbon sequestration and storage values—are in the front line of India’s climate change mitigation strategies. This paper provides estimates of sequestered carbon in India’s forest and tree cover for the years 1995 and 2005 as per the IPCC good practice guidelines method. It is based on the primary data for the soil carbon pool through collecting soil samples by laying out quadrats across the country and secondary data for the growing stock of all forest and tree cover in the country. The estimates are compared with current and future projected emissions. It is found that conservation policies have resulted in increase of the country’s forest carbon stocks from 6244.8 to 6621.6 Mt with an annual increment of 37.7 Mt of the carbon from 1995 to 2005. Annual CO 2 removal by the forests is enough to neutralise 9.3% of the country’s 2000 level emissions. Continued removals by the forest and tree cover would offset 6.5 and 4.9% of India’s projected annual emissions in 2010 and 2020 respectively. Economically, the annual value of this forest carbon in the international market is about US 88 million. The result is of use in the REDD and REDD+ context for India.

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