The Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has introduced the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as a scheme for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction through cooperation between Annex 1 Parties (investing countries), which are committed to certain GHG emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol, and non‐Annex 1 Parties (host countries), which do not have any commitments to reduce GHG emissions. The eligibility of forestry projects under the CDM is limited to afforestation/reforestation (A/R) projects. A/R CDM allows Certified Emissions Reduction Units (CERs) to be purchased through carbon sequestration by afforestation or reforestation projects in developing countries. A total of 17 methodologies have been approved by the Executive Board of the UNFCCC. Out of these, 11 approved methodologies are for large‐scale A/R CDM project activities and 6 are for small‐scale A/R CDM project activities. This study identifies some potential land use changes for the development of new and approved methodologies of A/R CDM project activities. These suggested land use changes with high potential are pasture lands, landfills, mountainous areas, and mined lands. The suggested future land uses in A/R CDM project activities are due to their good potential in sequestering carbon, success in the establishment of plantation, and unavailability of the approved methodologies of A/R CDM project activities that are applicable to these suggested land uses. A total of 8 project design documents (PDD) of A/R CDM project activities have been accepted by the Executive Board and registered under the Kyoto Protocol of the UNFCCC. Some of the problems with A/R CDM project activities include the planting of large scale monoculture plantations, the planting of exotic species, and impact on the hydrology of the project areas. Future directions of A/R CDM project activities are here suggested, which are implementing mixed species in a plantation, using native species during reforestation activities, and counting the soil organic carbon pools among the carbon pools measured for carbon sequestration.

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