A project is an "addition" if it and the actions associated with it are not required by law and would not have been possible without carbon sequestration funding. See chapter 1.6


Targeted human efforts to turn treeless land into forest or woodland. The land in question must have been without forests for at least 25 years prior to planting in order to speak of afforestation.


The land that an afforestation plan covers.


Connecting carbon units (usually PIUs) to the name of the owner/buyer in the International Carbon Registry (ICR).


Any obstacle that may occur on the way to a set goal, but can be overcome with an action or a special project.


The carbon status in the relevant area at the beginning of the project as well as predictions of the development of that status in the absence of afforestation. This position can be used as a benchmark to calculate the carbon benefits of actions during the project.

Buffer Unit

These are unallocated Forest Carbon Units that cannot be sold and are kept aside in the International Carbon Registry (ICR) to meet unforeseen losses. Buffer units amount to 20% of the total number of units. At the end of the project, these units will expire, and fully valid units will be created from all sequestration that is confirmed and verified in the last assessment.


Carbon is one of the most common elements on earth with atomic number 6 in the periodic table. It is a non-metal and can be found in pure or almost pure form in diamonds and graphite. More commonly, however, it is bound in molecules with other substances in a variety of chemical compounds. Carbon molecules are the main building material of organisms, for example us humans, but also of course all animals, plants, trees and so on. Soil (humus) also contains much carbon as it is largely made up of the remains of organisms. The main greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are also carbon molecules. So-called hydrocarbons, molecules of hydrogen and carbon, are also what store the energy in coal, oil and natural gas. It is important to distinguish between the element carbon (C) and the molecule carbon dioxide (CO2) in the discussion of climate issues. Trees and other plants separate the carbon and oxygen in this molecule during photosynthesis. The carbon (C) is bound in tissues (e.g. the wood of trees) in a variety of organic molecules, but the oxygen (O2) is released back into the atmosphere. See:

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

A naturally occurring gas that is produced as a by-product when fossil fuels or biomass are burned, during land use and in industrial processes. Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas that is released into the atmosphere the most by humans and affects the Earth's climate.

Carbon Offsetting

A way of counteracting greenhouse gas emissions by preventing an equivalent amount of emissions elsewhere or through sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere. To begin with, this was particularly the case for transactions under the Kyoto Protocol, which involved the emitting person being able to buy emission allowances from someone who had managed to reduce their emissions. With the development of carbon markets, more and more people will be able to use verified and certified units against emissions, either units that have been created in their own projects or units that have been purchased from others. There should be no talk of carbon offsets unless there is a transparent certification process based on internationally recognised standards. Carbon offsetting should also not be used unless the primary premise is to reduce emissions as much as possible and carbon offsetting measures are undertaken only to compensate for unavoidable emissions. It is always assumed that emission reductions will continue. In fact, the cost of carbon credits encourages companies to reduce emissions, as the need for these expenses decreases with decreased emissions. Reduced emissions = reduced expenses due to carbon credits.

Carbon Sequestration

Carbon sequestration is when carbon dioxide is taken directly from the atmosphere by changing land use, growing new forests, restoring woodlands or by actions that add carbon in the soil or geological strata.

Carbon Pool

The amount of carbon present in a specific system or in a specific location, for example in the atmosphere, trees, other vegetation, litter, soil, etc.

Carbon Statement

Tells how much carbon a particular project will likely sequester or how much has already been sequestered through it. A carbon statement is made public upon certification.


Regular assessment (validation and verification) of a project taking into account FCC set of rules, carried out by an appropriately accredited body in accordance with internationally recognised standards. Certification shall assess the level of carbon sequestration that has occurred in the area concerned and confirm compliance with FCC.

Climate Change

Changes to climate directly or indirectly attributable to human activities (UNFCCC Article 1).

Compensatory Planting

New woodland cultivated to compensate for lost woodland elsewhere.


When woodland is permanently removed or destroyed, such as with anthropogenic conversion of forest land to other land uses or when the forest cover is permanently reduced below the level considered to be forest, (10% crown cover in Iceland).


A few things could lead to double-counting:

  • Double selling – The same carbon unit is sold more than once to different buyers. A good registration system, such as the International Carbon Registry, can keep the risk of this to a minimum.
  • Double certification – The same carbon project is certified according to two or more carbon standards. The risk of this can be minimised by requiring that only one registry for Forest Carbon Units be used and that all those who maintain forest carbon registration systems ensure that a project entering for registration has not already been registered in another carbon registration system.
  • Double monetisation – Occurs if a carbon unit in countries belonging to Annex 1 of the UN Climate Convention (UNFCCC) is first certified for the project it belongs to in the originating country and then again by the authorities of the country that has undertaken to provide the sequestration (assigned amount unit or removal unit). This applies to most countries belonging to Annex 1.
  • Double claiming – More than one party registers the same Forest Carbon unit in their carbon accounting. A particular company may consider it a matter of being rewarded for "producing a carbon-neutral product". The seller of the same product may consider it a matter of course to also be rewarded for selling the product because it is "carbon neutral". Even the national authorities may want to be rewarded for this same climate benefit because they have contributed to the country's carbon neutrality.

Environmental Impact Assessment

Projects may be subject to a legal environmental impact assessment, particularly if the estimated forest area is 200 hectares or more. Where proposed projects may have significant effects on the environment, they must obtain the necessary permits and submit an environmental impact assessment report.

Felling and Regeneration

When trees are felled at the end of a rotation and space is created for the growth of the next generation of forest. A number of silvicultural methods can be used and vary according to tree species, topography and objectives.


Land with an area of at least 0,5 ha and at least 20 m wide, where the dominant woody vegetation reaches a height of at least two metres and has at least 10% crown cover.

Forest Carbon Unit

A Forest Carbon Unit corresponds to one tonne of carbon dioxide sequestered in a forest. When a project is verified and carbon sequestration is measured, the amount is recorded as "Forest Carbon Units" in the International Carbon Registry (ICR). These units can thereby be considered as guaranteed carbon credits that can be managed and ultimately retired when they are recorded against emissions in a company's carbon accounting.

Greenhouse Gases

The gases that cause atmospheric warming and thus other climate change. The Kyoto Protocol addresses six of these gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), methane or marsh gas (CH4), nitrogen oxides or nitrous oxide (N2O), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). These gases have a greenhouse effect.

Group Scheme

A group of projects that are put together in order to obtain certification. A project manager oversees and coordinates these projects. The project manager is responsible for ensuring that all the projects in the group meet the set standards of Skógarkolefni.

International Carbon Registry (ICR)

Official record of project location, estimated and measured carbon sequestration together with information on owners of Forest Carbon Units and retiring of such units.



CO2 emissions which are not accounted for in the project concerned but result from it. An example could be agricultural activity transferred from one place to another, resulting in deforestation or heavier grazing.


Long-term Average Carbon Stock

Average forest carbon stocks calculated over several rotations, i.e. including several growth, harvesting and regeneration cycles. For projects where no felling and regeneration takes place, the long-term average is estimated to be at least over 100 years. Since forest felling and regeneration is planned, the long-term average is calculated from several growth cycles of a given length with the carbon reserves at any given time ranging from a minimum at the beginning of the cycle to the maximum at the end of the cycle for felling and regeneration.

Monitoring Report

A report summarising the results of field measurements and other monitoring prior to verification.


Paris Agreement

Adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2016. It deals with greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 onwards. This is an international treaty that replaced the Kyoto Protocol, which ran its course in 2020. Each country is trusted to set climate goals, plan and report regularly on its action on climate change.


Pending Issuance Unit (PIU)

The purpose of these units is to set down the amount of likely sequestration in the project. Pending issuance units are helpful in advance sales. However, they cannot be retired against emissions (used as offsets), since the sequestration behind them has not been realised, validated and verified.


The question of how long carbon taken from the atmosphere is stored in a forest.


One specific afforestation project of any size where planting can take place in up to five years. A project can consist of multiple separate plots. Forest plots must be in single ownership.

Project Design Document

A document by which the project owner confirms the project. The design document describes, inter alia, how a new project meets the requirements set by Skógarkolefni – Forest Carbon Code.

Project Developer

A person or organisation accompanying/guiding a project or project group through the validation and verification process.

Project Duration

The period during which the performance of a given project shall be subject to inspection, certification and compliance with binding requirements. Projects can last up to 100 years.

Project End Date

The last date on which carbon sequestration is required for inclusion in the accounts of a particular project.

Project end date = project start date + project time.

If the start date is May 1, 2023 and the project period is 50 years, the end date is April 31, 2073.

Project Implementation Day

The day that planting commences.

Project Progress Report

A report that the landowner/project manager is responsible for submitting for confirmation showing that the project continues to meet the standards set by Skógarkolefni – Forest Carbon Code.

Project Registration Date

The date on which the project is recorded in the International Carbon Registry (ICR).

Project Start Date

Last day of planting.


Transfer of Forest Carbon Units in the International Carbon Registry (ICR) to a publicly available derecognition account. This is to show that the units in question have been decommissioned, usually for carbon offsetting in green accounting, and they must not be used any more.


When the net carbon benefit of a given project is negative over a certain period of time.


The time between planting the forest and its felling and regeneration.

Skógarkolefni – Forest Carbon Code (FCC)

A code of rules managed by the Icelandic Forest Service that deals with carbon sequestration through afforestation and how Forest Carbon Units in Iceland should be managed, established, verified, certified and retired. The code ensures that afforestation planning, project documentation, measurements and audits are properly carried out and that the process is validated and verified by competent certification bodies.


Assessment of the compliance of projects with the Skógarkolefni – Forest Carbon Code. The assessment is carried out by appropriately accredited certification bodies.

Validation and Verification Body (VVB)

An appropriately accredited independent third party for validating, verifying and certifying projects according to the Skógarkolefni – Forest Carbon Code.


When a third party (certification body) ascertains the status of the project and its carbon sequestration.


A year or number of years over which Forest Carbon Units are certified. It is expected that verification of sequestration take place every five or ten years, e.g. from 2020 to 2030. Such a period is referred to as the vintage of the carbon units sequestered over that time.