WASHINGTON, DC – 19 April 2023 | Verra, the world’s leading standards setter for climate action and sustainable development, today reached a major milestone in its years-long process to update its REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) methodologies to ensure the integrity and quality of its forest carbon credits: it made public for the first time the updated draft methodology for REDD projects and launched a call to crowdsource data for its new standardized baselines.

“Verra’s REDD approach has significant benefits for international climate action. The updated draft methodology published today is the most significant revision since our first REDD methodology was introduced in 2009.”

Julianne Baroody, Senior Director, Forest Carbon Innovation at Verra

Verra first announced this review in January 2020, and has held several consultations and technical reviews in the intervening time. Now, in addition to being made public, the draft methodology has been sent to an independent auditor – Aster Global – as part of Verra’s robust methodology development process, and is expected to be finalized and released in Q3 of this year.

In the most extensive evolution of the methodologies, the updated draft will replace five separate methodologies that include Avoiding Unplanned Deforestation (AUD) activities – a substantial subset of REDD projects – with one consolidated methodology. For the first time, this process will let Verra set baselines for all AUD projects in a specific country or region, providing increased consistency and certainty.

“Verra is constantly reviewing and refining its standards to include the latest data and science, and our landmark Verified Carbon Standard Program is no exception. We seek to establish the best possible standards through transparent, open consultation across civil society and the corporate sector, and we are confident the draft changes announced today are the next critical step in that ongoing journey of reflection and improvement.”

David Antonioli, CEO of Verra

In addition to making the draft methodology public, Verra launched an open call to crowdsource data for supporting the development of these new standardized baselines. Governments, remote sensing companies, scientific organizations and other data providers are invited to apply between now and April 30, 2023. This initial call is focused on 12 jurisdictions, comprising six countries (Cambodia, Colombia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and six subnational regions in Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo. By the end of 2024, jurisdictional baselines will be set in all of the 40+ jurisdictions with AUD projects worldwide.

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Verra is a nonprofit organization that operates the world’s leading carbon crediting program, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, as well as other standards in environmental and social markets. Verra is committed to helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve livelihoods, and protect natural resources by working with the private and public sectors. We support climate action and sustainable development with standards, tools, and programs that credibly, transparently, and robustly assess environmental and social impacts and enable funding for sustaining and scaling up projects that verifiably deliver these benefits.