In May 2008, the Board clarified whether the definition of forests within the context of the CDM would include palm trees and bamboos. It decided that the definition may treat palm trees and bamboos in the same way as trees, if DNAs would confirm that in their forest definition. It also decided that the definitions should be uploaded to the website. However, the clarification did not turn out to be clear enough. As a result, the afforestation and reforestation working group recommended a new definition as a response to a clarification request which will be discussed during this meeting.
CDM Watch urges that palm trees and bamboo no to be included in the CDM. This is extremely important as for example palm oil tree plantations result in a substantial decline in carbon stocks. In Indonesia alone, millions of hectares of peatlands have been drained for palm oil and pulp wood. The loss of these carbon rich soils causes ongoing emissions of up to 90 tons CO2 per ha/yr, / 200 mln mton CO2 per year. Ending these plantations and restoring the peatlands is very much needed. Plans to restore carbon-rich natural forest ecosystems would be hindered by including palm trees and bamboo as A/R CDM project activities.
Action to be taken by the Board: CDM Watch recommends the adoption recommended by the A/R working group stating that “Until a DNA provides clarification that the definition of forest as reported by them to the Board includes palm (trees) and/or bamboos it shall be deemed that the definition does not include palms (trees) and bamboos;
So far only the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and India have uploaded their definition of forests to the website. None of them explicitly states that neither palm trees nor bamboo shall be eligible for A/R CDM project activities. This means that until a DNA uploads a definition that specifically includes bamboos and palm trees, they are not eligible for A/R CDM project activities.