Revision to Standardize Components of Avoiding Unplanned Deforestation Methodologies (VM0006, VM0007, VM0009, VM0015, and VM0037)
14. Agriculture, Forestry, Land Use
Verra is updating all VCS Avoiding Unplanned Deforestation and Degradation (AUDD) methodologies (specifically, VM0006, VM0007, VM0009, VM0015, and VM0037) to reflect current best practices and state-of-the-art thinking on carbon accounting for REDD+ activities.
The revised methodologies will include standardized procedures for activity data generation, baseline development, monitoring, and leakage. These procedures, set out in four different modules that will replace the respective sections of the VCS AUDD methodologies, ensure that jurisdictional-level activity data (annual areas deforested) is allocated to projects based on their deforestation risk. The resulting project baselines will be consistent with jurisdictional forest reference emission levels (FRELs). This will ensure that standalone REDD projects continue to direct urgently needed finance to endangered forests while the development of jurisdictional REDD programs is still underway.
The AUDD modules were developed by a group of experts led by Climate Focus with Verra’s guidance: Sarah Walker and Kevin Brown (WCS), Lucio Pedroni and Juan Felipe Villegas (CDI), Till Neef (independent consultant), Igino Emmer (Silvestrum), Tim Pearson (GreenCollar), Donna Lee (independent consultant), David Shoch (TerraCarbon) and Simon Koenig (Climate Focus). The modules represent current best practices and state-of-the art thinking on carbon accounting for REDD+ activities. They require the use of jurisdictional-level activity data (annual hectares deforested) allocated to projects based on the risk of deforestation present in the project area in the baseline period. This will ensure that jurisdictional activity data is the starting point for the determination of baselines and will directly address concerns about the credibility of project baselines and their consistency with jurisdictional forest reference emission levels (FRELs).
The modules that will serve to revise AUD methodologies are the following (see below):
- Determination of jurisdictional activity data baseline for unplanned deforestation (J-ADB-UD)
- Estimation of baseline greenhouse gas emission within the project area and leakage belt from unplanned deforestation (BL-UD)
- Estimation of emissions from activity shifting for avoiding unplanned deforestation (LK-UD-AS)
- Methods for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions within the project boundary and leakage belt from unplanned deforestation (MON-AUD)
- AUD Methodology Application Guide: This module defines the application process for VCS methodologies VM0006, VM0007, VM0009, VM0015, and VM0037 to projects Avoiding Unplanned Deforestation (AUD) effective as of the “Effective Date” to be defined by Verra.
The modules were open for public comments from 31 March through 30 May 2022.
Input from this consultation will inform a revision to the modules, which a validation/verification body will then assess. Verra plans to publish the updated methodologies by the end of 2022.
Verra hosted two webinars on the proposed revisions to AUDD methodologies in the VCS Program: