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Methodology for Accounting Emission Reductions from Sustainable Agricultural Land Management


The BioCarbon Fund led the development of the first-ever methodology for accounting emission reductions from the application of Sustainable Agricultural Land Management (SALM) practices. The methodology (VM0017) has been validated under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and is available as a public good.

Download the methodology VM0017 Adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Land Management

Download the Roth C model (XLSM, 3.2 MB)

Guidance Note for RothC model (PDF, 104 KB)

The methodology was developed in the context of the first Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement (ERPA) that was signed for a SALM carbon project in Africa, the Kenya Sustainable Agriculture Land Management Project. The project supports the adoption of SALM practices - such as the use of cover crops, agroforestry, residue management, composting, and mulching, amongst others - by smallholder farmer groups and is resulting in increased crop yields, farm productivity, and soil carbon sequestration on approximately 45,000 hectares in Kenya.

Download the 2-page flyer on the Kenya SALM Project: English and French (PDF, 1 MB)

More information on the Project can be found at

WBI e-learning course // Sustainable Agricultural Land Management Projects: Soil Carbon Monitoring

More about the methodology:

The methodology – VM0017 Adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Land Management - is an important development for carbon finance in the agricultural sector as it is simple and cost effective to apply. No direct measurement of soil carbon pools is required as the methodology uses land management practices as a proxy for carbon stock changes.

Agricultural activities in use at the beginning of a project are assessed to determine the baseline and the adoption of sustainable agricultural land management (SALM) practices is subsequently monitored as a proxy of the carbon stock changes using activity-based model estimates. More specifically, the methodology is based on the Roth C model to quantify changes in soil carbon. Input data is readily available for the Roth C model, but must be validated for the project climate zone.

The methodology can be applied to any project that promotes the adoption of SALM practices on croplands or grasslands. It covers a diverse range of management practices that increase soil carbon stocks in the agricultural landscape, including such as cover crops, improved tillage practices, residue management, grassland management, and agroforestry, amongst others.

The methodology was developed for projects that aim to increase the productivity of croplands. It was specifically designed for use in the context of a developing country and for project areas that include a large number of small holder farmers with scarce data availability and other barriers to the adoption of sustainable practices.

More information on the methodology can also be found on the VCS website, at

A webinar on the methodology VM0017 is available at

Download the presentation introducing the methodology (PPT, 1 MB)

Agroforestry image

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