Each year, the private sector invests significant amounts of money on sustainable development activities worldwide; some companies aspire to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); a series of 17 goals designed to be a blueprint for how countries can develop economically while enhancing human welfare and the natural environment; others are simply interested in advancing human well-being and conservation for its own sake. For either case, programs and frameworks are needed to ensure that this finance drives real impact and transformation.

To this end, Verra is establishing the Sustainable Development Advisory Group (SDAG) to ensure that Verra’s standards and frameworks promote and advance sustainable development through results-based market mechanisms. Specifically, the SDAG will offer technical support on guidance/rules for the implementation and monitoring of activities that contribute to the SDGs, strategic guidance on the evolution and positioning of Verra’s standards and frameworks that assess sustainable development benefits, and advice on existing and prospective market opportunities for projects with sustainable development impacts.

The SDAG will primarily focus on the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) Program, Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Program, and the Sustainable Development Contributions Report (SD Contributions Report). The SD VISta, launched in 2019, allows projects to make verified claims about their sustainable development impacts. The CCB Standards, developed in 2005, enables land-based projects to demonstrate positive benefits to the climate,  local communities, and biodiversity. The SD Contributions Report, launched in 2020, allows projects to make self-reported claims about their contributions to the SDGs.

A secondary focus of the SDAG will be to review how Verra’s remaining standards programs could more strongly catalyze measurable sustainable development outcomes by driving investment into activities that reduce emissions, improve livelihoods, and/or protect the natural environment.

The SDAG will consist of approximately 10 to 15 individuals. Further details on the scope of the working group, criteria for participation, and instructions for applying can be found in the Terms of Reference. Interested and qualified stakeholders can apply through Friday, 30 April 2021. Successful candidates will be notified by 14 May 2021, and the first working group meeting will be held in June. If you have general comments or questions on Verra’s sustainable development work, please contact us at secretariat@verra.org.