Carbon Sequestration Project (CSP) - Phase II

Updated: January 2017

What is the project about:

The Carbon Sequestration Project (CSP) aims to sequester atmospheric carbon in arid and semi-arid areas of Iran and improve the socio-economic status of local communities.  It uses a community-based natural resources development approach. The project aims to achieve three main objectives:

  • Global level: provide a model to demonstrate that carbon sequestration in arid lands can be carried out in an economical way and so contribute to the potential of such lands to act as carbon sinks.
  • National level: restore degraded natural resources.
  • Local level: improve socio-economic status of local communities and enhance ecosystem services.

The first phase of this project was initiated in the South Khorasan Province with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in 2003. Now through up-scale and replication, the project is at various stages of implementation across 18 provinces in Iran.  Given its success, it is quickly developing into the rural development model of choice in Iran.

Over the years, the project has demonstrated both the carbon sequestration potential of significant quantities of marginal land and the potential of local communities to engage in sustainable rural development.  The project has empowered local communities, generated sustainable enterprises, built local institutions, thus ensuring ownership by local communities. These communities have, in turn, assumed responsibility for the restoration, conservation and sustainable use of Iran’s limited land and water resources.

 CSP aims to sequester atmospheric carbon in arid and semi-arid areas of Iran

What have we accomplished so far:

Overall accomplishments:

  • Upstream impact: The tenets of the Carbon Sequestration Project methodology has been integrated into the 6th National Development Plan.
  • Afforestation: Improved the productivity of arid lands.
  • Replication: The project is now being implemented in 18 provinces.
  • Coverage: The project now covers 2,832,471 hectares. This includes 623 villages and 214,105 residents.
  • Publications: Numerous publications and documentary films shedding light on the efficiency and effectiveness of the Carbon Sequestration Project have been published, thus facilitating its replication across Iran.

Achievements at main project site (Birjand):

  • Jobs: 577 permanent job opportunities were generated, particularly in doll-making and herbal distillation. Local dolls of Hosseinabad were recorded as national cultural heritage.
  • Training: 400 training and extension programmes were held.
  • Loans and micro-credit: 63 Village Development Groups (VDGs) and a micro-credit system was established. More than 2,400 loans were provided.
  • Rehabilitation: Over 30,000 hectares of land was rehabilitated.
  • Gender empowerment: Women have been involved in all project initiatives. Approximately one-third (8,600 out of 24,500) of the person-days of labour needed for restoration works was provided by female VDGs.

Achievements at replication sites:

  • Village Development Groups: Number of newly-formed Village Development Groups (VDGs) has risen to 1,744 groups.
  • Micro-credit Funds: 255 Micro-credit funds have been established.
  • Rehabilitation: 25,223 hectares of rehabilitation measures were carried out by VDGs.
  • Training: 26 capacity-building workshops on participatory natural resources management approaches were held for 910 provincial managers, social mobilization consultants and facilitators. 

Who finances the project:



UNDP

US $1,595,870

Government of I.R. Iran (Cost-Sharing)

US $3,180,608

Delivery in the previous fiscal year:

UNDP

US $105,429