Project description

LIFE FOREST CO2,  Assessment of forest-carbon sinks and promotion of compensationsystems as tools for climate change mitigation, is a demonstrative project, of transnational scope, developed jointly by Spanish and French partners. Financed through 2014 LIFE Programme Call as a part of the Climate Action subprogram, its main objective is the promotion of forest systems and sustainable forest management as a tool for climate change mitigation through the application of the European legislation related to the accounting of emissions and removals in the land- use sector, changes in land use and forestry (LULUCF), improving knowledge base. This will facilitate an integrated implementation, involving the main stakeholders in the process of enhancement, who include those responsible for carbon offsetting through voluntary market.

The main actions and means on which we will work to achieve the objectives of the project will be:

  • Modeling of the carbon sequestration rate as a result of sustainable forest management actions (pruning, thinning,etc.) in Pinus halepensis and Pinus pinaster forests in their various deposits: biomass (air and roots) through LIDAR, organic carbon of soils and dead organic matter. Methods of calculation will be the international standardized methods (IPCC, EU accounting regulations), locally precised.
  • Integrated work of promotion, capacitation and counselling for the development of sustainable forest management projects: continued work will be carried in order to develop sustainable forest management projects through voluntary initiatives by forest owners and managers. This will lead to an enhancement of forest management projects as tool for mitigation, through the implementation of carbon footprint management systems, with the ultimate aim of compensation within companies in the non EU-ETS regulated sectors, as well as public and private organizations.
  • Outreach and communication to major stakeholders, which will be responsible for replicating the techniques and methodologies of the project, as well as networking and acquisition of skills to improve performance.


DURATION: January 2016 – june 2021

BUDGET: 2.335.417 €




  • To know accurately, according to the accounting standards established through Decision 529/2013/EU and the IPCC, the net accounting of emissions and removals of CO2 as a result of the sustainable forest management work in Mediterranean forests,which make up the scope of the project.
  • To model and synthesize the accounting of sequestration and CO2 emissions as aresult of the work of sustainable forest management, so that the resulting information can be provided to the main managers of national forest land, both public and private, and can be foreseen in the accounting of sinks in the LULUCF sector.
  • To improve the attitude of major stakeholders involved in the development of forestryprojects in the field of sustainable forest management and carbon sequestration, and encourage them to become allies that promotes and enhances the benefits of forest ecosystem conservation and the development of local economies.
  • Encourage a change in the corporate culture that will allow progress towards a low-carbon economy within the business and institutional sector, especially in the diffuse sector-related economic activities, through the promotion of the calculation, reduction and voluntary offsetting of carbon footprint.
  • Promote forestry projects as a tool for climate change mitigation among the non-regulated sector, with special emphasis on the implementation of emission offsetting systems based on sustainable forest management projects.

Project actions


APreparatory actions

  • A1 Analysis and diagnosis of compensation initiatives available in the market
  • A2 Analysis of economic sectors and target entities for carbon offsetting in voluntary market

DMonitoring actions

  • D1 Monitoring of the estimation of carbon stock in above and below ground biomass using LIDAR techniques .
  • D2 Monitoring of the estimation of organic carbon stock in soils.
  • D3 Monitoring of the estimation of carbon stock litter and dead wood.
  • D4 Monitoring of implementation of carbon sequestration projects, carbon offsetting and development of mitigation measures.
  • D5 Monitoring of project’s impact in ecosystem services.
  • D6 Monitoring of project’s socioeconomic impact.

CConcrete actions

  • C1 Quantification of carbon stock in above and below ground biomass using LIDAR techniques in managed Pinus halepensis and Pinus pinaster forest masses.
  • C2 Quantification of carbon stock in soil organic carbon in managed Pinus halepensis and Pinus pinaster forest masses.
  • C3 Quantification of carbon stock in litter and dead wood in managed Pinus halepensis and Pinus pinaster forest masses.
  • C4 Technical guidelines for quantification and accountability of carbon absorption as a result of sustainable management in Pinus halepensis and Pinus pinaster forest masses.
  • C5 Implementation, in public and private organizations, practices of auditing, reduction of emissions and voluntary carbon offsetting through forest sinks.
  • C6 Promotion of carbon sinks and climate change mitigation through forest management and voluntary offsetting systems among forest managers and owners.
  • C7 Replicability and transferabilty strategy.

EDissemination actions

  • E1 Communication strategy and corporative image of the project.
  • E2 Project website.
  • E3 Installation of informative boards in study plots.
  • E4 Dissemination and awareness campaign for target public.
  • E5 Organization and holding of technical days.
  • E6 Networking.
  • E7 Editing technical publications.
  • E8 Layman report.

FProject Management

  • F1 Project management.
  • F2 Financial audit.
  • F3 Internal training, workshops and meetings for beneficiaries’ staff.
  • F4 Monitoring of project’s performance indicators.
  • F5 After LIFE communication plan.

European objectives and policies


Through LIFE FOREST CO2 project, beneficiaries will work within Climate Change Mitigation area of Climate Action subprogram. Main European policies in which the project falls within correspond to Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector.

Specifically, the project will impact on the application of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) accountability in LULUCF sector, included in the following normative:

Transversally, through work focused on the enhancement of Sustainable Forest Management as a tool for Climate Change Mitigation among forest owners, the project will address the main points of the new EU Forest Strategy, published in 2013.

Finally, promotion efforts among non regulated EU-ETS companies will allow to contribute to achieve objectives of Decision No 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2020.

Project beneficiaries

LIFE FOREST CO2 project is implemented by a consortium of public and private organizations with a professional scope in the field of forestry and climate change mitigation in voluntary markets. This partnership, coordinated by the Socioeconomic Impulse of the Environment Office of the Murcia Region (Spain), is composed by the following beneficiaries, 5 which belong to geographical area of Spain and the another one to France:

Coordinating Beneficiary


Associated Beneficiaries


CESEFOR – Centro de servicios y promoción forestal y de su industria de Castilla y León

CNPF – Centre National de la Propriété Forestière (CNPF)

UCO – Universidad de Córdoba

IDEN – Ingeniería del Entorno Natural

XUNTA DE GALICIA – Consellería de Medio Ambiente e Ordenación do Territorio de la Xunta de Galicia





Development of the project will take place in the whole beneficiaries’ territories (Spain and France).
On the one hand, the work of assessment and modeling of carbon stock in different forest sinks will take place in several target plots distributed by the Spanish territory (Mediterranean area and part of the Atlantic area) and southern France (regions of Aquitaine and Languedoc-Roussillon), covering the range distribution of the species Pinus pinaster ssp. Atlantica and Pinus halepensis.
On the other hand, promotion of Sustainable Forest Management among forest owners will be implemented in the range distribution of these species, while enhancement of offsetting systems among non EU ETS regulated companies will embark the whole territory of both countries.



LIFE FOREST CO2 project after its completion has achieved::


Carbon sequestration models have been obtained in forests of P. halepensis and P. pinaster, which integrate all carbon stocks and wood products, together with the methodology to transfer CO2 absorptions to the Voluntary Carbon Market complying with the standards. international


  • 185 absorption projects have been committed with owners, managers and forestry technicians. 68 of them have been fully executed, increasing the
  • Sustainable Forest Management area by 1,725.24 hectares with a net CO2 absorption of 116,206.76 t.
  • The total area of ​​the committed projects covers 32,343,247 ha and a long-term net CO2 absorption of 1,005,794.87 t (100 years).
  • It is estimated that during the extension of the project, 1,364.61 t of CO2 have been sequestered by the managed surface.


  • 121 organizations from diffuse sectors have committed to implement reduction and compensation measures in the short and medium term. The emissions avoided by the committed companies reach values ​​of 12,276 t of CO2-eq.
  • 24 companies have partially offset their emissions with forestry projects in 42 projects. The total compensation of emissions reaches 21,052.22 tons, with 798 originating in SFM.


  • A web application has been developed that serves as a carbon sequestration simulation tool, as well as an MVC offering and a CO2 credit point of contact for companies.
  • Project beneficiaries have created their own Voluntary Carbon Market, while official integration at the national level is integrated. To date, it includes 23,854,075 t of CO₂ to be sold to organizations in the diffuse sectors.


  • 986 forest owners have received training on carbon sinks and SFM projects.
  • 1,390 company representatives have been trained on the carbon footprint and the reduction of emissions.
  • More than 5,500 participants in training activities and 2,000 professionals in networking and transfer activities.
  • More than 30,000 visits to the web and 2,000 followers on social networks.
  • 4 book-type articles and 21 popular / technical / scientific articles published.