April Newsletter: Project Pipeline, Wetlands, Jurisdictional REDD Coming Soon
Letter from the CEO
Dear Friends & Colleagues,
I am pleased to announce some major developments this month. To start, our project pipeline will be launched next Tuesday 1 May. Also in May we will release for public comment our much-anticipated draft requirements for jurisdictional and nested REDD+. Earlier this week, we released for comment draft requirements for crediting projects in wetlands. And last but not least, our work has received some welcome recognition lately – our REDD requirements got an important nod from the DRC government, and we were voted “Best Voluntary Standard” in Environmental Finance’s 2012 voluntary market survey. We thank all our stakeholders for their support – and for helping make VCS what it is today. I hope to see many of you at the Environmental Markets Association event this week or at Carbon Expo in May.
VCS project pipeline launches next week: Tuesday 1 May
On 1 May – next Tuesday – VCS will launch its project pipeline for listing projects that have yet to complete registration. The pipeline will help projects gain earlier exposure, and it will make more information available to the market about projects under development. Projects are not required to list in the pipeline, but any project may do so by opening a registry account and submitting the required documents. To avoid confusion with registered projects, pipeline projects will appear in a separate area of the project database. They may be listed as “under development” or as “under validation” if they have already contracted a VVB. Pipeline projects will move seamlessly to the “registered projects” area of the database once they complete validation. Detailed requirements for listing in the pipeline will be released next Tuesday 1 May – stay tuned.
DRC sets out parameters for local REDD projects, recognizing VCS
The Democratic Republic of Congo issued a ministerial decree early this year setting out parameters for local REDD projects, to ensure projects meet basic quality requirements and can be integrated into a future national framework. The decree establishes a new registry system which is fully integrated into DRC’s existing national forest monitoring system. It also requires that REDD projects be developed to an approved standard such as VCS or an emerging national or sub-national compliance standard, among other requirements. See the DRC ministerial decree or theDRC registry.
Open for Comment: Wetlands Restoration and Conservation (WRC) requirements
On 24 April, draft requirements for crediting wetlands restoration and conservation (WRC) were released for a 60-day public comment period. The draft requirements are posted on the VCS home page, and comments are invited until 23 June 2012. The draft requirements set out rules for crediting a range of wetlands activities, adding to eligible activities in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land-Use sector. Once public comments are reviewed, the draft WRC requirements will be finalized and submitted to the VCS Board for approval, after which they will be prepared for publication, likely in September. For more details see the WRC announcement.
Coming in May: Jurisdictional & Nested REDD+ requirements open for comment
In May, draft requirements for crediting Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ activities will be released for a 60-day public comment period. We will post the draft requirements on the VCS home page and announce their release to all stakeholders via email. The requirements will set out rules for accounting and crediting emission reductions or removals from REDD+ activities and programs across multiple levels – national, subnational and/or project levels. Once all public comments are reviewed, the draft requirements will be finalized and prepared for VCS Board approval, after which they will be prepared for publication. Stay tuned for the draft requirements.
Pending methodology revisions: What to expect
On 30 March, VCS announced that nine methodologies require limited updates to comply with latest requirements on standardized methods and the timing of carbon decay in select carbon pools. Most methodology owners have told us they intend to update their work via a streamlined process facilitated by VCS; however, we cannot guarantee they will do so until the updates are received. For now, projects under validation should aim to complete validation by 30 September, and projects under development should prepare to use revised versions, which we anticipate will be ready by 30 September in most cases. Please note that one methodology – Infinite Earth’s PRC methodology – is ineligible for the streamlined update process, and a revised version may not be available when the methodology is suspended on 30 September. PRC projects are encouraged to consider one of the three alternative PRC methodologies currently in the pipeline. For more details, see the 30 March announcement.
VCS Association Updates
Thank you! VCS voted EF’s “Best Voluntary Carbon Standard”
A heartfelt thank you to all the carbon market participants who voted VCS the “Best Voluntary Standard” inEnvironmental Finance Magazine’s 2012 voluntary market survey. VCS has always aimed to be #1 when it comes to efficiency, reliability and innovation – key measures in the 2012 EF survey. We will continue to work hard to ensure that VCS is a trusted standard and to emphasize additional values such as scalability, geographic accessibility and flexibility in allowing projects to combine VCS with co-benefits and/or local or regional standards. Our goal is to ensure VCS continues to merit market recognition in the months and years ahead.
We’re hiring! VCS seeks REDD+ Coordinator and Program Officers
VCS is seeking a REDD+ Coordinator to implement pilot programs as part of the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ Initiative. We are also hiring a Senior Program Officer in Washington to support and oversee the work of validation/verification bodies (VVBs) and a Program Officer with AFOLU experience to work in Chile. See the full job descriptions.