What are Afforestation, Reforestation & Revegetation (ARR) projects?

4 min read
November 14, 2023 at 3:09 PM

Afforestation, Reforestation, and Revegetation (ARR) projects focus on establishing new forests or restoring degraded land by planting trees and implementing soil conservation practices.

What are the three main components?

  • Afforestation: planting trees on land that has not been previously forested;
  • Reforestation: replanting trees in areas that have been deforested;
  • Revegetation: restoring vegetation cover in areas where it has been lost. 

By increasing forest cover, ARR projects enhance carbon sequestration, improve soil health, and promote ecosystem resilience. These projects often involve community engagement, land-use planning, and monitoring to ensure the successful establishment and long-term sustainability of the forested areas.

For more information on the two kinds of climate contribution projects and how they can be divided into seven categories, please read our blog: How to Select Climate Contribution Projects.

What are the environmental, social and economic benefits? 

ARR sequesters carbon in the tree’s biomass. ARR provides several notable benefits:

  1. A nature-based solution that doesn’t require high-tech infrastructure or technology;
  2. Low cost alternative;
  3. Employment and livelihood opportunities (i.e. training in beekeeping, see example below for more information);
  4. Access to resources and ecosystem services.

Not only can afforestation and reforestation projects promote carbon sequestration goals, but they can also help forests by enhancing landscape connectivity, and reducing fragmentation. Additionally, afforestation and reforestation can:

  • Preserve biodiversity hotspots. Planting trees can create new habitats for more tolerant species and enhance biodiversity. For example, favoring native species and avoiding invasive ones.
  • Control the level of soil degradation by encouraging local communities to move towards agroforestry or silvo-pastoral farming systems. This can also bring new income opportunities to the locals. 

Protect natural resources, and regulate water flow through the forest’s  hydrological-related ecosystem services, storm flow regulation and erosion control.

What are the associated challenges?

The large-scale implementation of ARR requires the recruitment of landowners to implement forestry practices on their land. This can be time-consuming, expensive, and difficult in terms of physical labor.

The forest design must consider biodiversity and water yield aspects to ensure spatial alignment and effective planning of its components.

Some examples of existing methodologies 

Some of the current methodologies used in the VCM can be found below:


  • AR-AMS0007 Afforestation and reforestation project activities implemented on land other than wetlands
  • AR-ACM003 Afforestation and reforestation of lands except wetlands
  • AR-AMS0003 Afforestation and reforestation project activities implemented on wetlands
  • AR-AM0014 Afforestation and reforestation of degraded mangrove habitats

Gold Standard

  • Afforestation/reforestation (A/R) GHG emission reduction and sequestration methodology


  • Afforestation and reforestation of degraded land


  • Forest Projects protocol
  • Urban tree planting protocol


  • VM0047 Afforestation, reforestation and revegetation

Current status of projects and credits 

As of May 2023, a large number of projects, 290, are registered under Verra, Gold Standard with 47 has the second largest number of projects, CAR and ACR stand with 14 and 11 projects, respectively. The total number of credits issued is almost 60 million, most of them concentrated in South America, with Uruguay as the main reference, and East Asia, with China as the main promoter of this type of projects. In the South American country, reforestation and afforestation with eminently productive objectives predominate, while in China there is a greater diversity of objectives in these actions, with projects with both productive and protection objectives. 

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Project Example: Afforestation in Kenya 

This project works with small groups of farmers to plant millions of trees and develop local sustainable activities. This project is proven to have improved firewood management as well as agriculture and livestock management. It also offers training in HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, addresses indoor pollution, promotes gender equality, and provides steady revenue to local farmers for their sustainable practices.

The project has over 11.7 million live counted trees and has sequestrated 3.9 million tCO2e. The exceptional community benefits amount to an average of $1,400 from carbon payments to each member per year.

Other KPIs:

  • Over 82,000 participants in 12,000 Small Groups
  • Gender equality in all levels of participation and leadership - 50% of leadership are women, 41% of participants are women
  • Increases crop yields by as much as 400-600% through training in improved agricultural practices 
  • Through meetings, training, and newsletters, the project provides high-quality ongoing and vocational education accessible across age, gender, literacy and social barriers

ClimateSeed's premium carbon removal and avoidance projects 

At ClimateSeed, we offer both removal and avoidance projects in our portfolio. We have dedicated experts that ensure projects are of the highest quality, and have passed our robust three-level verification process. Our unique approach maximizes your positive environmental and social impacts, and offers risk mitigation backed by top-tier financial expertise.

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