About The Carbon Benefits Project

The Carbon Benefits Project provides tools to estimate the greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of land management activities and therefore their potential contribution to climate change mitigation.

About a third of all anthropogenic GHG emission come from agriculture, forestry and land use change from a variety of different sources. Figure 1 summarises the different sources of GHGs and sinks of carbon associated with agriculture, forestry and other land use. These include for example; emissions when carbon stored in biomass and soils is lost to the atmosphere following land use change, non CO2 GHGs released if land use change is accompanied by burning, emissions from livestock (both direct and indirect) and emissions from agricultural practices such as fertiliser use and ploughing (tillage operations). Sustainable land management practices can reduce GHG emissions and  increase or maintain carbon stored in biomass and soils. For example practices which protect existing trees or adds new ones (avoided deforestation, agroforestry etc.) can increase carbon stored in biomass and soils and avoid GHG emissions. Likewise agricultural practices such as reducing tillage, using cover crops and changing fertiliser use can build up stocks of carbon and reduce GHG emissions. Estimating the net impact of different land use and management activities over a landscape can be complicated. The CBP tools provided a way of looking at the whole landscape at the same time providing tools to estimate the net impact of land management activities on GHG emissions and therefore climate change mitigation.

Figure1. Sources and sinks of GHGs associated with agriculture, forestry and other land use

Figure by Amy Swan, Colorado State University

The CBP tools were originally developed for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which finances a wide range of SLM activities in developing countries from reforestation and agro-forestry projects, to projects that protect wetlands or foster sustainable farming methods. The carbon benefits of these and other land management projects are likely to be considerable. The CBP provides tools to compare the C benefits of different land management interventions and are freely available online for anyone to use. Visit the 'Access Tools' section of this site to get started.

The Carbon Benefits Project (CBP) has produced a standardized system for land management projects to measure, monitor, model and forecast C stock changes and GHG emissions.

The system is end-to-end (applicable at all stages of an SLM project cycle), costs effective and user friendly.

The tools are also linked to

the UNCCD approved database of sustainable land management technologies and approaches.


Maize Harvest

Gansu, China



Tsernaoua, Niger


Yadali Village