VCS Approves New REDD Methodology to Avoid Unplanned Deforestation

Thursday, 14 July 2011
Announcements

New methodology developed by Brazil's Sustainable Amazonas Foundation & World Bank's BioCarbon Fund

An important new methodology to quantify the greenhouse gas benefits of activities that reduce unplanned deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) has been approved for use under the VCS Program.

Developed by Brazil’s Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) and the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund, the new methodology can be used to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions from areas where unplanned deforestation is taking place and to quantify the emission reductions that occur when deforestation is curbed.

Importantly, the new methodology provides a way to address simultaneously both frontier and mosaic deforestation, or any combination of the two. Frontier deforestation is forest destruction that occurs along a discernible frontier, such as a new road cut into a forest. Mosaic deforestation, in contrast, occurs in patches across a forested area. However, in many areas deforestation can exhibit both frontier and mosaic patterns of development.

The new REDD methodology provides a comprehensive set of tools for analyzing both frontier and mosaic deforestation patterns to establish a robust baseline deforestation rate, monitor emission reductions and assess leakage.  Approval means projects may use the methodology to quantify emission reductions and removals and issue verified GHG credits, known as Verified Carbon Units, or VCUs.

“This methodology provides a comprehensive and sophisticated new approach for estimating emissions across areas where there are multiple drivers of deforestation,” said VCS CEO David Antonioli. “We are seeing that REDD methodologies can channel carbon revenue to forested areas, tipping the balance so that economic incentives favor conservation instead of forest destruction.”

The approach, called VM0015 Methodology for Avoided Unplanned Deforestation, was assessed by two independent validation bodies under the VCS Methodology Approval Process. The first independent validation body was Bureau Veritas Certification and the second was Rainforest Alliance, contracted directly by the VCS Association. All assessment reports and other documents are available on the VCS website.