Table Rock South Carolina by Mac Stone
Research & Policy

Tools to Quantify the Carbon Value of Forest Protection

Image Credit: Mac Stone

Forest protection can help us meet critical climate targets and reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

To do so, we must be able to accurately locate high-carbon forests and understand the risk of forest loss. By updating and improving data, we can protect and manage forested lands to optimize their ability to capture and sequester carbon, while protecting biodiversity—today, tomorrow, and into the future.

Until now, available data and software has allowed assessments of the amount of forest carbon stored in a region, but did not provide estimates of the carbon benefit of forest protection, was limited by out-of-date estimates of forest cover, or was lacking future forest carbon estimates.

Over the last year, OSI has formed a partnership to update forest carbon data and develop projections of permanent forest cover loss, and estimates of avoided emissions from land protection. Now, OSI is empowering groups on the ground to identify at-risk high-carbon forests for the continental U.S.

Next Steps

The forest carbon data update for 2021, and 2050 and 2070 projections will be made available by mid-2024. The Open Space Institute and partners look forward to holding another webinar in early fall 2024 for a formal rollout of the new data and avoided conversion tool. At that time, we will also share details of a broader technical assistance program to ensure you can put data and tools into practice.

Click here to receive updates on OSI's work on forests as a climate solution.

Additional resources:

During the February 27 field briefing, the audience and panelists engaged in a lively discussion. The written questions and answers can be viewed here. The below resources were also shared in response to questions.

What You Can Do

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