VCS releases robust accounting framework for REDD+ Projects in Tropical Peatswamps

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The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) has approved a comprehensive carbon accounting methodology for REDD+ projects in tropical peatswamp forests. This methodology for the first time provides a practical and scientifically robust framework for quantifying emission reductions from peatland conservation and restoration efforts, an essential prerequisite to catalyzing climate finance for these highly threatened ecosystems.

The framework is a revision to VCS methodology VM0007 (REDD+ Methodology Framework (REDD-MF)) and enables carbon accounting for projects that address deforestation of tropical peat forests and projects aimed at restoring damaged peatlands. The methodology now includes REDD+ activities for avoided conversion and forest rehabilitation on all forest types, including forested peatlands.

This comprehensive revision introduces six new modules for the determination, quantification and monitoring of the baseline carbon stock changes and project emissions associated with peatland conservation and restoration and afforestation, reforestation, and re-vegetation activities. Particularly of note is a streamlined procedure for crediting avoided emissions from peat fires, a significant source of baseline emissions. It provides new and revised modules and tools to quantify changes in all carbon pools and GHG fluxes in tropical peatland areas.

Globally peatland soils cover only 3% of the land surface but store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests.[1]  When drained, peatlands become large sources of greenhouse gases (GHG) and are susceptible to fire. Over the last decades, tropical peat swamps have been subject to rapid deforestation and drainage for agriculture – predominantly for oil palm and pulp-wood plantations. In Indonesia peatland conversion contributes towards around half of the country’s GHG emissions.

The revision  was undertaken by Permian Global (an investment firm dedicated to the protection and recovery of tropical rainforest to mitigate climate change), Wetlands International (a conservation NGO), Silvestrum, Greifswald University, Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH, Deltares, and Alterra WUR, and validated under the VCS Standard by Environmental Services Inc. and DNV – GL.

One of the first projects to apply this revised methodology will be the Katingan Peat Forest Restoration Project, which aims to protect and restore around 150,000 ha of peatland forest in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, led-by the Indonesian company PT Rimba Makmur Utama.

Stephen Rumsey, Chairman of Permian Global: “We are very pleased with the approval of this methodology, as it enables robust carbon accounting for REDD+ projects in tropical peatswamp forests and encourages investment in peatland conservation and restoration.”

Marcel Silvius, Wetlands International: “This opens the door for investors to reduce the huge GHG emissions associated with peatland loss, a major investment opportunity with large benefits for climate, biodiversity and for enhancing sustainable livelihoods of local people in the project areas.”

Webinar

VCS staff and representatives from Permian Global, Wetlands International, Silvestrum, and Environmental Services, Inc (one of the VVBs who assessed the methodology) will host a webinar providing a comprehensive introduction to the revision of this methodology on 7 April 2015 at 11:00am-12:00pm Eastern Standard Time. Register for the webinar.

For more information:

Permian Global, Nicholas Scott : Tel +44 (0) 2036173310, email: [email protected]

Wetlands International, Marcel Silvius:  +31 318 660924, email: [email protected], web: www.wetlands.org

VCS methodology

Permian Global works together with a number of leading NGOs and strategic partners, including Wetlands International to achieve long-term climate change mitigation through conservation and recovery of carbon rich ecosystems. Through their partnership, Permian Global and Wetlands International develop and implement projects to maintain and optimise carbon sequestration and storage in forests and wetlands as a significant and cost-effective contribution to climate change mitigation, with associated safeguards and benefits for biodiversity and society. For more information, visit www.permianglobal.com and www.wetlands.org


[1] Parish, F., Sirin, A., Charman, D., Joosten, H., Minaeva, T. & Silvius, M. (eds) 2008. Assessment on peatlands, biodiversity and climate change. Global Environment Centre, Kuala Lumpur and Wetlands International, 179 p