Verra will phase the transition of projects to a new consolidated REDD methodology. This transition will enable proponents using existing VCS Avoiding Unplanned Deforestation and Degradation (AUDD) project methodologies to familiarize themselves with and plan for the new approach. This staggered timeline also allows Verra to develop and operationalize a new consolidated REDD methodology incorporating the allocation approach.

The goal of adopting the allocation approach is to ensure the integrity of greenhouse gas accounting for individual projects within a jurisdiction and enable the utilization of the most up-to-date science, data, and technologies. The allocation approach is aligned with Verra’s Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR) framework.

During the transition to the new consolidated REDD methodology, Verra will:

  • Strengthen elements of the current VCS AUDD methodologies (VM0006, VM0007, VM0009, VM0015, and VM0037) prior to projects’ mandatory transition to the allocation approach.
  • Continue the development of the new consolidated REDD methodology that will establish robust project baselines consistent with jurisdictional activity data (AD). Verra will do this by finalizing the Avoiding Unplanned Deforestation (AUD) allocation approach modules that were open for consultation in April and May 2022. We will also develop a framework to guide the application of those modules and enable the addition of other REDD project activities over time.

During the transition period, projects may use either of the above approaches.

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Revised Versions of Current AUDD Methodologies

Verra will release revised versions of the current VCS AUDD methodologies (VM0006, VM0007, VM0009, VM00015, and VM0037) prior to requiring projects to transition to the allocation approach. The methodologies will be updated to ensure the integrity of the associated VCUs issued. Updates may include:

  1. Revisions to the selection procedures for reference regions;
  2. Standardization of approaches for projecting the future location of deforestation for large, ecologically intact, and relatively undisturbed natural forests (frontier deforestation);
  3. Restriction of accounting for frontier deforestation to methodologies that include projection of future deforestation location
  4. Standardization of projecting deforestation rates using the historical average, except in cases with a clear downward trend, when a linear regression must be used; and
  5. Revisions to capturing remote sensing and field-data uncertainties and ensuring conservativeness in net emission reductions calculations.

Verra will open the proposed updates for public consultation in October 2022. After the consultation has ended, we will revise each individual methodology. Prior to their publication, the revised methodologies will be assessed by a validation/verification body (VVB) to ensure consistency with the VCS Program rules and requirements.

Consolidated REDD Methodology

Concurrent to the above revisions of existing VCS AUDD methodologies, Verra will develop a new consolidated REDD methodology to ensure projects align with jurisdictional-level carbon accounting. By April 2023, this novel methodology will include the following components:

  1. A framework methodology to guide REDD project proponents in the allocation approach and define other core components for any REDD activity, and
  2. Procedures for activity data generation, baseline development, monitoring, and assessing leakage for Avoiding Unplanned Deforestation activities. These procedures will be adapted from the AUD modules that underwent public consultation in April and May 2022.

The consolidated REDD methodology will undergo assessment by a VVB to ensure consistency with the VCS Program rules and requirements. By 2025, Verra plans to build this methodology out by incorporating modules for additional REDD activities, including avoiding planned deforestation and avoiding unplanned degradation. Each new module added to the methodology after its initial assessment will undergo public consultation and VVB assessment.

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Implications for Projects

VCS REDD projects may choose to use the consolidated REDD methodology at any time after it is published in 2023. By 31 December 2025, all VCS REDD projects must use this new methodology.

The mandatory deadlines for projects to start using the revised AUD methodologies or the consolidated REDD methodology are as set out in the table below. When reviewing the table, proponents should consider their project’s current status, noting that during the transition period (between 1 April 2023 and 31 December 2025) a project’s status (and resulting methodology options) may change.

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If you have any questions about this phased approach, please see the frequently asked questions or contact Salvador Sánchez Colón, Manager, REDD+ Technical Innovation, (scolon@verra.org). If your question is related to a project listed on the Verra Registry, please provide that project’s identification number in your email.