The Kyoto Protocol sets out binding targets for emissions of greenhouse gases from developed countries. It recognises that such targets can in part be achieved by reducing emissions released into - and removing greenhouse gases from (sequestration) - the atmosphere. This report outlines policy and potential practice of carbon sequestration and land management activities, known as Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry (LULUCF) activities.

The authors, Bernhard Schlamadinger and Gregg Marland, explore whether LULUCF activities provide the same long-term benefit for the climate system as does reducing emissions from fossil fuel combustion, and sketch out the development of international negotiations on LULUCF issues. They outline the consensus negotiated so far, and examine the ambiguities of the Kyoto Protocol, issues yet to be resolved, and decisions yet to be made. They conclude that while the potential for increasing carbon stocks in the terrestrial biosphere might be limited compared to total greenhouse gas emissions, their impact could be considerable in relation to the reductions necessary for compliance in the first commitment period (2008-2012).

The report provides a thorough introduction to carbon sequestration, afforestation and reforestation issues under the Kyoto Protocol. It would be of interest to anyone looking for a primer in LULUCF and sinks issues in the context of global climate change.