This month, we have been backing the reforestation of degraded grasslands, which has led to an astonishing 3.78 tonnes of CO2. The 21 hectare area was used for grazing cattle for over 300 years and is now being turned into a sustainably managed forest.
The 60 year project is targeting 7.6m tonnes of CO2 to be sequestered. The whole project is being overseen and validated by the Rainforest Alliance. The carbon calculations are from above and below-ground non-tree vegetation, soil, biomass and dead wood. Every 22 years the usable timber will be harvested, but that carbon is locked into the timber and not included in the carbon that is removed.
In total, including the timber removed, there will be around 127,000 tonnes of CO2 removed every year during the project. The use of this previously barren land replenishes the area and will encourage wildlife and plant species to inhabit the area.
The amount of carbon being sequestered is ambitious, but what's even better is the 'insurance' the project has placed on the amount. There is a buffer pool of 331,000 or carbon removal, which is included in the calculation, just in case there is disease or a forest fire. This can be 'used' in the project to help it catch back up and stay on track should anything go amiss.
The whole Uruguay project is certified by Verified Carbon Standard and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard. There will be an audit to prevent any developer from selling the carbon offsets, too.
Aside from biodiversity and soil preservation, the project will be part of a significant contribution to the sustainable development to help Uruguay in terms of increased quality employment and rural development.