Investigating Drivers Impacting Carbon Stock and Carbon Offset in a Large-Scale Rubber Plantation in the Middle South of Thailand

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Rawee Chiarawipa
Buncha Somboonsuke
Sirima Wandao
Apichet Thongsong
Supet Jirakajohnkool


A large-scale rubber plantation in Southern Thailand is expected to capture a significant amount of carbon dioxide from emissions through carbon sinks in the vegetation and soil. The goal of this research is to create a carbon offset assessment for rubber plantations lasting for 30 years using a voluntary market contract approach. To evaluate the area of large-scale rubber plantations, this study evaluated major growing regions in five provinces in the middle-south region of Thailand (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Satun and Trang) using an integrated RS-GIS technique that incorporated biomass allometric equations, soil series databases, and object-based classification. The classification of rubber plantation areas and the mapping of rubber stand ages were conducted to estimate the above-ground biomass of the rubber tree. Texture analysis was used in the rubber classification process, and NDVI was combined with texture analysis to separate vegetation areas from other land cover. Four groups of varying ages (1–6, 7–13, 14–20 and 21–30 years old) were evaluated for their capacity to generate carbon offsets. The equations of voluntary market contract revenue according to the contract method of the CCX were applied for this case study. This evaluation was used to estimate their annual value, total and net incomes in the carbon market price regarding the RGGI Allowance (RGA). Carbon offset income was then used to estimate the potential income (over a 30-year period) of the life of the contract. The results showed that the carbon stock potential of rubber plantations depended on the age of the trees and the soil carbon stock. The total carbon stock in the rubber plantations varied from 249.73 to 301.48 Mg C/ha (or equivalently 916.49 to 1,106.44 Mg CO2e/ha). Furthermore, the potential net income of the contract was estimated to be between USD5,378.32 and USD5,930.38 Mg CO2e/ha over a 30-year period according to the voluntary market contract revenue. These results suggest that the large agricultural land plot policy could create opportunities for carbon offsetting. The policy of large-scale rubber areas could be used as a tool and mechanism for farmers who are considering participating in carbon-crediting mechanisms. Then, farmers could use voluntary market contracts as a guide and foundation for their decision-making. The carbon offset credit strategy could assist Thailand in achieving its climate goals of transitioning to a low-carbon agriculture sector.

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Investigating Drivers Impacting Carbon Stock and Carbon Offset in a Large-Scale Rubber Plantation in the Middle South of Thailand. (2024). Tropical Life Sciences Research, 35(1), 139–157.
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