Linking international standards to REDD+ projects


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Credible baseline setting and accurate and transparent Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of results are key conditions for successful REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) projects, and there are various international standards to which REDD projects must comply. In this presentation, CIFOR scientist Manuel Estrada gives an overview of international standards and methods for MRV and REDD.

Manuel Estrada gave this presentation on 8 March 2012 at a workshop organised by CIFOR, ‘Measurement, Reporting and Verification in Latin American REDD+ Projects’, held in Petropolis, Brazil. The workshop aimed to explore important advances, challenges, pitfalls, and innovations in REDD+ methods — thereby moving towards overcoming barriers to meeting MRV requirements at REDD+ project sites in two of the Amazon’s most important REDD+ candidate countries, Peru and Brazil. For further information about the workshop, please contact Shijo Joseph via s.joseph (at)

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Linking international standards to REDD+ projects

  1. 1. Linking internationalstandards to REDD+ projects Manuel Estrada, CIFOR Latin American MRV Workshop, Petropolis, March 8, 2012
  2. 2. International standards and methods forREDD+ Voluntary market Standards and UNFCCC methodologies Results-based VCS, REDD+ ACR, etc National level – (Subnational Project level – level) Jurisdictional level IPCC GL 2006 + IPCC LULUCF GPG
  3. 3. REDD+ project types REDD: Avoided Planned Deforestation (APD) Avoided Unplanned Deforestation and Degradation (AUDD) Improved Forest Management (IFM) Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (?)
  4. 4. VCS Approved methodologies applicable to AUDD REDD projects as of March 2012VM0006 - Methodology for Carbon Accounting in Project Activities that Reduce Emissions from Mosaic Deforestation and Degradation, v1.0VM0007 - REDD Methodology Modules (REDD-MF), v1.1VM0009 - Methodology for Avoided Mosaic Deforestation of Tropical Forests, v1.1VM0015 - Methodology for Avoided Unplanned Deforestation, v1.0
  5. 5. Basic elements and steps for AUDD baselines• REDD+ baselines are comprised of 2 main elements: a land use and land cover (LU/LC) change component and the associated carbon stock change component.• General steps for the estimation of REDD+ baselines: Step 1. Definition of the project type Step 2. Definition of the project boundary Step 3. Projection of LU/LC in the baseline Step 4. Estimation of baseline carbon stock changes Step 5. Estimation of baseline GHG emissions Step 6. Estimation of the baseline net GHG emissions and removals
  6. 6. Project boundariesThe project boundary is defined by: The geographical boundary within which the project will be implemented. Only land qualifying as ‘forest’ for a minimum of 10 years prior to the project start date can be included in the project boundary. Additionally, other geographical boundaries need to be established for AUDD projects: A Reference Region, a Leakage Belt and, if applicable, Leakage Prevention areas The project crediting period. The project crediting period for REDD projects shall be between 20 and 100 years. The sources and sinks, and associated types of GHGs (i.e. CO2, N2O and CH4), the project will affect. The carbon pools that the project will consider.
  7. 7. Source: “Project Developer’s Guidebook to VCS REDD Methodologies”.Version 1.0, November 2011, developed by TerraCarbon for Conservationinternational AUDD methodologies Characteristics of the RR in different
  8. 8. Leakage belts in different AUDDmethodologiesSource: “Project Developer’s Guidebook to VCS REDD Methodologies”. Version 1.0, November 2011, developed byTerraCarbon for Conservation international
  9. 9. Projection of LU/LC in the baselineIdentify where deforestation would likely occur using spatial analysis andprojections based on historical factors over at least the previous 10 years thatexplain past patterns and can be used to make future projections of deforestation.The criteria and procedures for identifying alternative baseline scenarios shall takeinto account such factors as historical deforestation and/or degradation rates andrequire the development of a baseline by determining and analyzing a referencethat shall be similar to the project area in terms of drivers and agents ofdeforestation and/or degradation, landscape configuration, and socio-economicand cultural conditions
  10. 10. Source: “Project Developer’s Guidebook to VCS REDD Methodologies”.Version 1.0, November 2011, developed by TerraCarbon for Conservationinternational the LU/LC projection RS required by AUDD methodologies for
  11. 11. Estimation of baseline C stock changesThe calculation of emission factors from carbon stock changes comprises 2 steps: Step 1. Estimation of the carbon stocks of the forests and each post-deforestation LU/LC category identified in the project area Step 2. Determination of emission factors of all LU/LC change categories expected in the project area: The emission factors due to the transition from forest to other LU/LC categories are estimated by obtaining the difference between the carbon stocks in the forest and in the post-deforestation LU/LC category.
  12. 12. Source: “Project Developer’s Guidebook to VCS REDD Methodologies”.Version 1.0, November 2011, developed by TerraCarbon for Conservationinternational methodologies C stock estimates in AUDD
  13. 13. Simplified example – Estimating an AUD Baseline1. Definition of boundaries2. Analysis of historical LU/LC change3. Analysis of agents, drivers and causes of D and chain of events leading to D4. Projection of annual areas and location of D in the RR in the baseline5. Identification of forest classes in areas Based on the VCS approved methodology VM0015 that would be D in the baseline and post D LU classes in the project area6. Estimation of baseline C stock changes and non-CO2 from fires (if any) Non-forest Forest Historical deforestation (e.g. 2002-2011) Projected deforestation (e.g. 2012-2021) Reference Region Forest 100tC/ha Project boundary Agriculture 5tC/ha Leakage prevention areas C stock change: -95tC/ha Leakage belt
  14. 14. Combined projects Project developers may implement multiple activities across a landscape in connection with a REDD project, for example, carrying out forest protection in one area with complementary improved agricultural management activities in another. Project developers may either: Develop the project as a stand-alone REDD activity, being sure to account for any increases in emissions resulting from activities implemented outside the project area, unless deemed de minimis, or Combine multiple activities under a single VCS Project Description (PD), each delineated as a separate VCS project activity. When combining multiple activities under a single VCS project, different activities must be segregated spatially (i.e. no overlap) to facilitate accounting by activity type using an activity-specific methodology, or a methodology that covers multiple activities (currently none exists).
  15. 15. Results-based REDD+ under the UNFCCC Parties need to establish REDD+strategies, MRV and baselines Subnational allowed as an “interim” measure Subnational results-based actions require national monitorin Methodological guidance and modalities and procedures are still being negotiated.
  16. 16. UNFCCC Review body MRV reports Approval MRV reports “REDD+ units” National governmentIncentives at the national level Reference levels, MRV and Subnational Policies and Aggregator governments programs Rest of the country´s Successful REDD+ activities forest areas
  17. 17. VCS Jurisdictional & Nested REDD Initiative • Jurisdictional and Nested REDD Initiative Developing guidance and criteria for jurisdictional REDD programs to enable crediting at multiple scales (project, state/province and national) Create a pathway for projects to “nest” within larger scale jurisdictional programs (both sub-national and national) Develop best practice nested accounting and crediting at jurisdictional scales Frameworks may serve multiple markets (voluntary, bilateral, pre-compliance, potentially compliance) Interest and participation from a number of countries and donors seeking to set up jurisdictional and/or nested project crediting schemes 9 March 2012
  18. 18. Current thinking Multiple accounting and crediting pathways to give flexibility Scenario 1: Project crediting only (with jurisdictional baseline) Scenario 2: Jurisdictional and project crediting Scenario 3: Jurisdictional crediting only “Nesting” can occur at multiple scales Project within jurisdiction Subnational jurisdiction within national jurisdiction 9 March 2012
  19. 19. Simplified visual representation…. VCS VCS VCS Registry Registry Registry Buffer Buffer Buffer ? ?Scenario 1: Jurisdictional Scenario 2: Jurisdictional Scenario 3: Jurisdictionalbaseline with stand alone crediting scheme with direct crediting scheme with project crediting crediting to nested activities internal allocation programNote: Only 1 jurisdictional scale is shown. Grandfathering is not depicted = jurisdictional BL only = VCS credited project = jurisdictional BL & crediting = jurisdiction “credited” project
  20. 20. 9 March 2012
  21. 21. Developing a nested systemRequires addressing technical issues such as: Defining boundaries Developing and nesting baselines (inc. scope, pools, additionality, updating) Grandfathering Leakage MRV Crediting (inc. timing, distribution, double counting) Reversals and force majeure (inc. crediting implications in nesting)Requires addressing other issues such as: Legal issues Safeguards Approvals 9 March 2012
  22. 22. Process and Timeline Advisory and Technical Committees convened in Q1 2011 Technical Recommendations released Oct 2011, peer and Advisory Committee review Oct-Nov 2011, currently under revision Draft guidance and requirements to be issued for public comment by end of 1st quarter of 2012 Final release in mid-2012 Phase Two: Pilots, 2012- 9 March 2012
  23. 23. Thank you.