Mature forest
The UN Framework Convention on Climatic Change (UNFCCC) at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 has set the pace for the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG, e.g. carbon dioxide, methane and others) that are generally considered to contribute to undesirable global warming effects. The next significant step happened in December 1997 when, the Kyoto Protocol was signed by 37 developed countries to reduce their GHG emissions by an average of 5.2.% below year 1990 levels until the period 2008-2012.
Under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), countries committed to reduce their emissions are entitled to buy certified emission reduction units (carbon offset credits) from other countries. The producers of carbon must embark on projects which create additional carbon (following the principle of "additionality") as compared to present conditions. In this context, forestry can play a significant role in carbon sequestration through either reforestation projects or sustainable management of natural forests that store more carbon than conventional systems. The additional carbon retained in the forest can be certified and sold to buyers who need to reduce their emissions.
Forestry worldwide has the potential of offsetting about 15 % of the global GHG emissions, which is a significant contribution towards combating global warming effects. 

For the purpose of carbon quantification, a baseline must be developed that represents the "no change" or "business as usual" scenario. This baseline scenario is then compared to the project scenario that includes a range of management measures aiming at an increase of the carbon stocks in the forest. 

Carbon quantification models have been developed that can predict the amount of carbon created through e.g. sustainable forest management methods. Carbon stock assessment is required through an independent third-party certification that confirms the correctness of the applied carbon calculation method. The certified carbon stocks can then be sold to international buyers. This can be arranged through direct buyer contacts or through trading mechanisms of global stock exchanges.
Using these instruments the market-based trading of certified emission reduction units (CERUs) can be turned into direct financial benefits for timber producers. 

ifmc has access to carbon quantification models and supports their further development. Carbon quantification is a specialist task that we can be entrusted with to assist in increasing the financial viability of sustainable forest management.