6 December 2010 – A broad new methodology to credit a wide range of projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) was approved for use under the VCS Program Friday.

Developed by non-profit organization Avoided Deforestation Partners, this broad methodology is the third REDD methodology approved for use under the VCS Program.

The methodology is divided into a set of modules and tools that, when used together, set out robust carbon accounting rules for crediting a wide range of activities to reduce deforestation under a variety of circumstances. These include planned deforestation, unplanned deforestation and degradation caused by the extraction of wood for fuel.

The modular methodology was assessed under the VCS Methodology Approval Process. Approval means that relevant projects may use it to account for greenhouse gas emission removals and to issue Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs) under the VCS Program.

“This methodology opens the way for a whole range of project types to issue verified credits for reducing deforestation,” said VCS CEO David Antonioli. “It creates a clear pathway for the conservation of vast areas of forest through the implementation of a number of different project activities. The entire conceptual framework of the methodology is quite revolutionary – this is a major contribution by AD Partners.”

The methodology is called the VM0007 REDD Methodology Modules, and it was reviewed by two independent auditors under the VCS Methodology Approval Process.

The first independent auditor to review the methodology was Swiss Association for Quality and Management Systems (SQS). The second was Rainforest Alliance, contracted directly by the VCS Association. The assessment reports and all other methodology documents will be available on the VCS web site Tuesday 7 December.