Due to recent interest, Verra wishes to offer an interpretation of rules in the VCS Standard, v4.4 (PDF) about landowners’ eligibility to enroll in Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) projects after participating in a short-term harvest deferral program outside of the VCS Program. This statement does not constitute an update to or clarification of the VCS Standard, v4.4 or any other VCS Program rules.

Landowners that have participated in a short-term harvest deferral program other than the VCS Program (e.g., NCX) may enroll in a project under a VCS methodology. Per Section 3.22 of the VCS Standard, v.4.4, projects may register with the VCS Program after participating in another greenhouse gas (GHG) program if they and all participants enrolled in them comply with the following:

  • Meet all VCS Program rules and requirements
  • Disclose their previous participation in a short-term deferral program and provide evidence that they are not subject to any commitments or liabilities under that program
  • Do not seek credit for the same GHG emission reduction or removal under the VCS Program and another GHG program
  • Use the start date of prior participation in the short-term harvest deferral program as the project start date in the VCS Program
  • Adhere to the validation requirements set out in Section 3.7 of the VCS Standard, v4.4

Further, the end of such a project’s total project crediting period shall be the earliest end date of all applicable project crediting periods, per Section 3.9.7 of the VCS Standard, v4.4. The project crediting period under a short-term harvest deferral program would be one year multiplied by the number of times a participant may re-enroll in that program. If the project crediting period of the harvest deferral program is not specified or exceeds the crediting period allowed in the VCS Program, the maximum VCS crediting period (100 years for Improved Forest Management projects) applies.

For questions, please contact Spencer Plumb, Manager, Forest Carbon Innovation (splumb@verra.org).