Parties negotiating the Kyoto Protocol recently agreed that Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) investments can include carbon sequestration projects in developing countries. However, guidelines for achieving the socio-economic and environmental objectives of the CDM, and other concerns with sinks projects, have yet to be elaborated. Independently of the Kyoto process, international efforts have advanced to define and certify sustainably managed forests through processes, such as that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). In this paper, the FSC-US principles and criteria for sustainable forest management are evaluated in light of current concerns for guiding afforestation and reforestation projects in the CDM. It is found that the FSC criteria would help to meet some of the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol, including provisions to reduce the risk of premature carbon loss, and features that could somewhat lessen leakage of emissions outside the project area. Existing FSC monitoring and verification procedures provide some, but insufficient, overlap with expected requirements for measuring carbon stock changes. FSC principles and criteria articulate stringent guidelines for meeting environmental and social goals that reflect years of negotiations between environmental, timber, human rights and labor interests.

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