3 December 2010 – A new methodology to credit projects that reduce emissions from deforestation (REDD) was approved for use under the VCS Program Friday.

Developed by environmental consultancy Terra Global Capital, the methodology is the second REDD methodology approved for use under the VCS Program and the first approved methodology for crediting activities that curb mosaic deforestation.

Mosaic deforestation is forest destruction caused by a variety of factors, from commercial logging to forest fires to encroachment by settlers. The new methodology provides carbon accounting frameworks for crediting a range of forest protection activities, including initiatives to develop sustainable forest management plans, prevent fires with controlled burning and decrease fuel-wood consumption by introducing fuel-efficient wood stoves.

The 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. The methodology also establishes a robust monitoring framework for ongoing tracking of deforestation.

“This approval is a milestone. It is the second VCS-approved methodology for crediting projects that reduce deforestation – and it is the first to lay out credible carbon accounting rules for a whole range of activities to address mosaic deforestation,” said VCS CEO David Antonioli. “This proves it is possible to create practical tools to finance economic alternatives to forest destruction on the ground, and that is a major contribution to global efforts to fight climate change.”

The methodology is called the Methodology for Carbon Accounting in Project Activities that Reduce Emissions from Mosaic Deforestation and Degradation, and it was reviewed by two independent auditors under the VCS Methodology Approval Process.

The first independent auditor to review the methodology was Tuev Sued. The second was Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), contracted directly by the VCS Association. The assessment reports and all other methodology documents are available on the VCS web site.