Income generation from scattered tree planting on upland crop systems for carbon sequestration and high value commercial timber

Implementation Time: November, 2022 – November, 2024

Client: Business Partnerships Platform


GFD and the University of Queensland (UQ) were funded by the Australian government’s BPP (Business Partnerships Platform) for the Project “Income generation from scattered tree planting on upland crop systems for carbon sequestration and high value commercial timber” – one of six projects to promote the development of carbon markets in Vietnam. The project will be piloted in Co Noi commune, Mai Son district, Son La province. In this project, GFD will build a high-tech platform for monitoring and traceability of crops throughout the project life cycle via mobile apps, satellite images and drones. University of Queensland will build a carbon sequestration project, build a method and register for carbon credits according to the Gold Standard.

The project’s overall goals are to (1) generate long-term and sustainable income for small-scale farming households through carbon trading and timber production from scattered tree planting, (2) contribute to climate change mitigation, and (3) strengthen local capacity to develop and manage forestry and agroforestry projects under voluntary carbon standards.

This project will assist 500-800 farmers to integrate crop farming in agroforestry systems by planting and managing at least 100,000 trees of fast-growing, high-value timber species along their boundary property land and contour banks in 30 years. While farmers would have alternative incomes from a potential carbon credit selling, fuelwood and timber production, tree planting increases ground cover to prevent soil erosion and runoff that supports for sustainable crop production. This approach is considered an innovative way to improve livelihoods that will improve the environment simultaneously. Sloping crops are major livelihoods of millions of people in mountainous regions in Vietnam. This project can provide good lessons for farmers, practitioners and managers on similar landscapes in the whole country.

Planted timber trees on upland crops area will absorb CO2 and store more organic carbon in soil for a long time. It contributes to climate change mitigation. It is estimated that a timber tree with a 40 – 60 cm diameter at breast height will have about 2.7 tonnes of CO2 in its biomass. If the project succeeds with 100,000 trees planting, it will provide 270,000 tonnes of biomass carbon credits in 30 years. Planted trees enrich the soil with 30,000 tonnes of organic carbon. These scattered trees can store over 300 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the 30-year period.

The project will design a modern and participatory monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) approach. A smart geographical app will be upgraded from the existing Geosurvey app developed by Greenfield Consulting and Development Ltd (GFD company). The new app will allow local farmers and community management members to locate their trees on GIS database directly through the smartphone, which is available in almost all families in Vietnam. Each planted tree will be marked on the geo-database by farmers and validated by GFD’s staff. After planting 2-3 years and when the tree’s height and canopy reach over 2 m, they will be managed and monitored by high-resolution satellite images or drones.