24 May 2023
Sector Snapshot: ARR
Learn about our ratings and research on Afforestation, Reforestation & Restoration projects, and how you can use our platform to dig deeper into the sub-sector.
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What are Afforestation, Reforestation & Restoration (ARR) projects?
ARR projects fall under three main activity types:
Afforestation, which refers to the planting of trees on land that has not been forested for a long time;
Reforestation, which aims to reverse recent deforestation; and
Restoration, which helps accelerate the recovery of degraded ecosystems
ARR projects issue carbon removal credits, and are the original removals projects in the forestry sector.
The ARR sub-sector represents approximately 4% of the Voluntary Carbon Market by credits outstanding.
There are currently more than 200 ARR projects listed on the major registries (VCS, Gold Standard, Climate Action Reserve and American Carbon Registry)
ARR projects can be found in over 45 countries around the world, with most located in the Global South.
Over the six months to end of March 2023, growth in the ARR sub-sector more than quadrupled, with an increase in credit issuance of 320%
Led by China (14m credits or 24% of the total) and followed by Uruguay (12m and 20%) and USA (6m and 11%), it was the fastest growing sub-sector amongst nature based solutions over this six month period
How we rate ARR projects
You can find BeZero Carbon Ratings for more than 40 ARR projects in 19 countries on the BeZero Carbon Markets platform, as of May 2023
We find most have a moderate likelihood of reaching their carbon removal promises, with 17 having a BeZero Carbon Rating of BBB
Carbon quality within the ARR subsector is widely spread however, with project ratings ranging from AA (Very high likelihood) to C (Very low likelihood).
We note a trend of different risk profiles between two major ARR project types - community-based projects and commercial plantations.
We generally find commercial ARR projects to have greater associated overall risk, primarily due to lower additionality related to common practice.
Potential sources of non-permanence risk differ in their importance between these two project types, with additional risks that are specific to each project type (read our deep-dive to learn more).
Dig deeper on the BeZero Carbon Markets platform
See how differences in ARR project types impact our ratings, including why community-based projects tend to rate higher than commercial ones
Geospatial map for a community-based ARR project in Kenya (LHS) and a commercial ARR project in Uruguay (RHS), available on the BeZero Carbon Markets platform. Project areas displayed in white.
Explore interactive charts supporting our analysis of carbon risk in the ARR sub-sector
Discover project boundaries and use 3D view to visualise how topography and elevation affect project design and performance
Further exclusive insights on ARR projects and the wider Nature Based Solutions sector group are available for platform users. If you’d like to learn more, our team will be happy to set up a demo.
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Talk to one of our team and set up a demo.