New VVB manual, grasslands, standardized approaches coming soon

Letter from CEO David Antonioli

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

June started in a whirlwind at Carbon Expo in Barcelona, and it will end with several new initiatives rolling forward. Among these is progress on our work to develop guidance for standardized approaches – the Steering Committee guiding this work had a productive meeting in Barcelona and presented first draft guidance to the Board. Also in June, we posted for public consultation expanded AFOLU requirements which include new rules for crediting the avoided conversion of grasslands and updated leakage requirements. We will finalize the requirements after the public consultation closes in early August.

In the meantime, we are progressing with our efforts to develop a training manual to provide detailed guidance for VVBs working under the VCS, which will promote greater consistency among VVBs. And finally, we announced in June that we are seeking a Regional Director to head our new office in Santiago, Chile, and we issued a call for experts to join our AFOLU Steering Committee. Read on to learn more about these initiatives below.


David Antonioli

Program Updates

Open for consultation: Expanded AFOLU requirements for grasslands and leakage

On 7 June, expanded AFOLU requirements were released for public consultation, including updated leakage requirements and new requirements for the avoided conversion of grasslands and shrublands (ACoGS). All new requirements are integrated directly into an AFOLU Requirements consultation document and highlighted in red. The ACoGS requirements appear throughout the document in the relevant sections. The updated leakage requirements appear in section 4.6, and they clarify and expand rules for estimating market leakage and for quantifying leakage from migrant activities. All requirements were drafted by technical experts and have undergone peer review and review by the VCS AFOLU Steering Committee. Stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments ahead of the deadline on 6 August. Comments should be sent to

Update on standardized approaches

On 31 May, the Steering Committee for Standardized Approaches to Setting Baselines and Assessing Additionality held a highly productive meeting on the sidelines of Carbon Expo in Barcelona. A first round of draft requirements were presented to the VCS Board, where further recommendations were made. It is expected that draft requirements will go to peer review in the third quarter of this year. If work continues apace, comments will be collected and revisions will be made in the fourth quarter, with the aim of releasing draft requirements for open public consultation by the end of the year.

Coming Soon: VVB Training Manual

VCS is moving forward with an initiative to develop a new training manual that will provide guidance and support to validation/verification bodies working under the VCS Program. The manual will set out specific guidelines for working with VCS requirements in order to clarify expectations and promote quality and consistency in project validation and verification. We have already completed project scoping and hope to begin work on the new manual in the third quarter with the aim of completing the project in late 2011 or early 2012. Questions may be submitted

New methodology pipeline

New methodology to quantify GHG benefits of capturing coal bed methane seeps

On 14 June, a new methodology developed and submitted by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Growth Fund and WSP Environment and Energy was approved for use under the VCS Program. The methodology can be used to quantify the GHG benefits from intercepting, recovering and using methane captured from coal-bed methane seeps, which would otherwise be released to the atmosphere. VCS and the methodology developer will conduct a webinar in late June to introduce the new approach to stakeholders. Read more.

VCS Association updates

VCS seeks Regional Director for new office in Santiago, Chile

VCS seeks a dynamic Regional Director for its new office in Santiago, Chile. The right candidate will be able to spearhead outreach across Spanish-speaking South America, working closely with VCS headquarters on policy and strategy issues. Applications will be accepted until 24 June 2011. For more details, please see the full job description.

Open call for experts to join AFOLU Steering Committee

On 7 June, VCS issued an open call for new members to join its AFOLU Steering Committee. Please see the VCS website for detailed terms of reference. Applications should be submitted by 7 July 2011 to

VCS AFOLU program staff to attend Africa Carbon Forum in July 2011

From 4-6 July, VCS staff will attend the Africa Carbon forum in Marrakech, Morocco. Naomi Swickard will speak about latest developments in our VCS AFOLU work, and Carolyn Ching will be on hand to discuss AFOLU methodologies and the development of new requirements for crediting wetlands projects, among other issues. To contact Naomi or Carolyn, email or


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