Projects & Programs

Agriculture and Forestry Projects

Thirty percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are caused by forest destruction and poor agricultural practices. Boosting carbon sequestration in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector is an effective approach to reduce and remove emissions.

VCS leads the way in developing frameworks to unlock the carbon reduction potential of AFOLU projects. In just a few short years, VCS has become the most widely used standard in the sector.

AFOLU projects fall under the following categories:

  • Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR)
  • Agricultural Land Management (ALM)
  • Improved Forest Management (IFM)
  • Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)
  • Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands (ACoGS)
  • Wetlands Restoration and Conservation (WRC) Learn more

One of the biggest challenges for AFOLU projects is the appropriate handling of project risks such as natural risks (eg, fire, pests, hurricanes), internal management risks (eg, project management, financial viability) and external risks (eg, community engagement, land tenure). VCS has partnered with international experts to address these concerns through the development of a pooled buffer account that holds non-tradable credits to guard against any future reversals of issued VCUs.

AFOLU Methodology Development

Methodologies are approved for several AFOLU categories, including ALM, IFM and REDD. VCS projects may be developed following these methodologies.

Project developers can search approved AFOLU methodologies (sectoral scope 14). If a methodology does not currently exist that meets the needs of a particular project, developers can propose a new methodology for approval under VCS.

Additional Resources

Agriculture Forestry & Other Land Use Fact Sheet (Español | Português |中文)

Learn about the methodology approval process

Find a VCS-approved AFOLU methodology expert

Meet the AFOLU Steering Committee and Technical Working Groups


Several outside resources are available for those developing projects or methodologies in the Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector.

The following resources should not be confused with VCS requirements, which must be followed in detail.

Other Programs

Initiative for Climate Action Transparency

Supporting countries around the world in the evaluation of the climate, sustainable development and transformational impacts of their policies and actions 

Learn More >
Photo: Darren Centofanti

Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards

Supporting land use projects in addressing climate change, supporting local communities and smallholders and conserving biodiversity

Learn More >
Photo: Paul Vincent

Verified Carbon Standard

The VCS Program is the world’s leading voluntary program for the certification of GHG emission reduction projects

Learn More >