VCS

The Verified Carbon Standard’s Jurisdictional and Nested REDD framework (Scenarios 2 and 3)

The Scenarios 2 and 3 of the VCS Jurisdictional and Nested REDD framework and associated documents have been recognized as consistent with the criteria set out under this approach, with the exception of X, Y, Criterion 6 (UNFCCC target). This means that jurisdictional programs that are validated by VCS under Scenarios 2 or 3 will be assumed to meet the relevant criteria, and will not need to be assessed beyond X, Y, and a confirmation that the country has submitted a UNFCCC target (now called Nationally Determined Commitment). VCS notes that Scenario 1 is not a true jurisdictional scenario. As jurisdictional programs following Scenarios 2 and 3 are validated, their information will be included on this site.

  • Green: Fully met. The standard requires jurisdictional programs to meet equivalent criteria or provide the specified information.
  • Yellow: Partially met. The standard requires jurisdictional programs to meet related criteria or provide relevant information, but is not fully consistent with the criterion or question below.
  • Orange: Not met. The standard does not require jurisdictional programs to meet related criteria or provide the specified information.

 

Criteria and Subquestions Assessment (Green, Yellow, Orange)
Criterion 1: A strategy for how to reduce emissions from forests and other lands whilst increasing agricultural productivity and improving livelihoods Green for Scenario 2 and 3

 

Scenario 1 is not eligible

Explanation:

The JNR Requirements, under Scenarios 2 and 3, require a program to implement activities to reduce emissions and/or enhance removals across the jurisdiction, and to provide a description of this strategy. Leakage must be mitigated. The Program Description Template outlines how information must be provided on how these activities will address the relevant drivers, or enhance emissions. Though not explicitly stated, taken together these requirements mean a program would need to have in place both measures to mitigate agriculture from encroaching on forests, while preventing this production from being displaced to other areas; however, there is no explicit requirement addressing the maintenance of agricultural productivity. Please see table below for relevant sections of VCS JNR documentation.

 

 

JNR has three eligible scenarios for applying the requirements, including two fully jurisdictional approaches (Scenarios 2 and 3), and a third scenario (Scenario 1 that is not a full jurisdictional approach, and requires only a jurisdictional baseline).

NOTE: Per the discussion below, the assessment of consistency with the established guidance contained in this document applies to Scenarios 2 and 3, as Scenario 1 is not a full jurisdictional approach. Jurisdictional programs applying Scenario 1 would need to be assessed for consistency with criteria on a case by case basis.

 

The JNR standard also allows different scales of programs. The standard may be applied at the national and/or subnational levels and may or may not include nested projects. Per 3.5.6 the lowest eligible jurisdictional level is the second administrative level below the national level. For example, in Brazil this would be a municipality (ie, one administrative unit below the state) or, in Indonesia, a regency (ie, one administrative level below the province).

 

NOTE: Per the discussion below, the assessment of consistency with the established guidance contained in this document applies only to programs at a jurisdictional level is that is no more than one administrative level below the national level. For example, in Brazil this would be a state or, in Indonesia, a province. Jurisdictional programs at the second administrative level below the national level would need to be assessed for consistency with criteria on a case by case basis.

 

1.1: Is a strategy or action plan to reduce deforestation adopted and being implemented for the entirety of the relevant national-scale or subnational jurisdiction (e.g. country, state or province)? Green for scenarios 2 and 3, no more than 1 administrative level below national

Orange for Scenario 1, more than 1 administrative level before national

 

Explanation: VCS JNR does require a program and its approach (e.g. strategy) be described fully. However, only two of its three possible scenarios are true jurisdictional programs, and only programs at a national level, or one administrative level below national, should be considered.

 

Per 3.2.1 the jurisdictional REDD+ program and its context shall be described in the jurisdictional program description using the VCS JNR Program Description Template. Section 1.1 requires programs to provide information on REDD+ strategies, policies or measures expected to generate GHG emission reductions and/or removals in the jurisdiction.

 

However, the JNR framework allows a wide degree of flexibility in program approach. Per 2.1.1 there are three eligible scenarios for applying the requirements, including two fully jurisdictional approaches (Scenarios 2 and 3), and a third scenario (Scenario 1).  Scenario 1 is not a full jurisdictional approach, in that it does not require monitoring across the entire jurisdiction and therefore does not strive to achieve the same overall objective of maintaining environmental integrity at the jurisdictional level as Scenario 2 or 3.

 

NOTE: Because of the above, this assessment against eligibility criteria applies to Scenarios 2 and 3, as Scenario 1 is not a full jurisdictional approach. Jurisdictional programs applying Scenario 1 would need to be assessed for consistency with criteria on a case by case basis.

 

The JNR standard also allows different scales of programs. The standard may be applied at the national and/or subnational levels and may or may not include nested projects. Per 3.5.6 the lowest eligible jurisdictional level is the second administrative level below the national level. For example, in Brazil this would be a municipality (ie, one administrative unit below the state) or, in Indonesia, a regency (ie, one administrative level below the province).

 

NOTE: Because of the above, this assessment against eligibility criteria applies only to programs at a jurisdictional level is that is no more than one administrative level below the national level. For example, in Brazil this would be a state or, in Indonesia, a province. Jurisdictional programs at the second administrative level below the national level would need to be assessed for consistency with criteria on a case by case basis.

 

1.2: Does this strategy or action plan contain a feasible plan for how emissions reductions from forests will be achieved in the jurisdiction, including by addressing the main drivers of deforestation? Green
Explanation:

The JNR Requirements (section 3.2.1) and Program Description Template (section 1.1) require a program to describe the REDD+ strategies, policies or measures expected to generate emissions reductions or removals for the jurisdiction.

 

Per sections 3.1 and 3.3 of the Program Description Template requires the program identify drivers of deforestation and/or degradation and how these are addressed by jurisdictional program strategies, polices or measures expected to reduce emission reductions and/or removals. In addition, where carbon stock enhancement will be accounted for, programs must identify any existing (baseline) forest carbon stock enhancement strategies, policies or measures. Programs must also describe how leakage risk will be mitigated.

 

1.3: Does this strategy or action plan allow for the continuation/ enhancement of agricultural productivity, while protecting standing forests? (For example, does it include elements such as land use planning, enforcement, and technical assistance on agriculture) Yellow
Explanation:

Section 1.2 of the JNR Requirements requires a program to describe how it will address the drivers of deforestation. Section 1.3 requires a program to address leakage both within and outside the jurisdiction including a description of the leakage management plan, and implementation of leakage and risk mitigation measures. Though not explicitly stated, taken together these requirements mean a program where agriculture is a driver would need to have in place both measures to mitigate agriculture from encroaching on forests, while preventing this production from being displaced to other areas. However, this requirement is not explicitly captured in a requirement. Were the question rephrased as “does the strategy or action plan not preclude the continuation/ enhancement of ag productivity…” the assessment would change to green.

 

Criterion 2: A system for measuring and monitoring reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and an established baseline Green
Explanation:

VCS requires a baseline with a base period of between 5 and 10 years and subsequently updated with the same periodicity. Substantial guidance is provided on reference level development, and on the design and implementation of a monitoring system which covers the full jurisdiction. Consistency with a country’s GHG inventory must be demonstrated. The reference level is independently validated. Monitoring must be done at least every 5 years, and results are verified by an independent body. Please see table below for relevant sections of VCS JNR documentation.

 

2.1: Has reference level been finalized by the jurisdictional program (measured in tonnes of CO2e)?

 

Green
Explanation:

VCS has comprehensive requirements on baselines. Section 3.11 of the JNR requirements provides guidance on these reference levels. The Program Description Template requires full information on the baseline to be provided when a program is submitted for validation, and provides guidance and a template for this information.

 

Per 3.11.12, where no UNFCCC baseline has been established, jurisdiction must develop at least 2 alternative baseline scenarios: (1) historical annual average emissions or removals over an 8 to 12 year period; and (2) historical trend of emissions or removals based on changes over at least 10 years, both ending within 2 years of the start of the current jurisdictional baseline period…Jurisdiction determines the most plausible baseline and justify its selection. Per communications with VCS, the determination of plausibility is typically done using historic data. The baseline is then evaluated during validation by an independent validation/verification body, or VVB, and approved if appropriate. Jurisdictions cannot exclude data that would contradict or cherry pick data that would support a chosen baseline.

 

This baseline must be updated within 18 months should a higher-level baseline be developed; this would apply in the case of the development of a UNFCCC baseline, consistent with section 3.11.14.

2.2: Has this reference level been assessed and approved by an independent 3rd party? Green
Explanation:

VCS requires assessment by a 3rd party. Per the JNR Validation and Verification Process, as part of validation of the program, the reference level is assessed by an independent validation/verification body. They are also subject to public consultation, and may go through a peer review.

 

2.3: Is a robust monitoring system in place to allow measurements of net emissions reductions consistent with the assessed baseline? Green
Explanation:

Section 3.13.1 requires jurisdictions to establish procedures for quantifying net GHG emission reductions and removals. 3.14.9 provides a set of guidance on monitoring approaches. Per 3.14.19 para 5 emission factors used in monitoring shall be consistent with those used to set the baseline.

 

2.4: Is there periodic monitoring of and reporting results against the reference level? Green
Explanation:

Jurisdiction must submit a VCS JNR Monitoring Report for verification at least every 5 years. Per 3.14.8 of the JNR requirements, monitoring and verification shall be conducted at least every five years, starting from the program start date or the end of the last monitoring period, as applicable. 3.14.14 also specifies that Monitoring reports shall cover the entire jurisdiction, and any leakage belts where applicable, and shall be verified at least every five years from the program start date.

 

2.5: Are the measured results below the agreed baseline?  (Once reporting and verification begins) Green
Explanation:

Reporting on verified results allows a clear understanding of whether results are achieved the agreed baseline.

 

In order to generate ERs, a program’s measured results will need to be below the reference level. The independent verification of results (see above) will confirm that results are below the reference level.

Programs would receive credits if their emissions were below the baseline.

 

2.6: Are results verified or approved by an independent 3rd party every 5 years at a minimum? Green
Explanation:

Per 3.14.8 of the JNR requirements, monitoring and verification shall be conducted at least every five years, starting from the program start date or the end of the last monitoring period, as applicable.

 

Per 3.14.8 of the JNR requirements, monitoring and verification shall be conducted at least every five years, starting from the program start date or the end of the last monitoring period, as applicable. 3.14.14 also specifies that monitoring reports shall cover the entire jurisdiction, and any leakage belts where applicable, and shall be verified at least every five years from the program start date.

 

2.7: If verification/ approval is not more frequent than every 5 years, is reporting of measured results carried out at least once in the interim period? n/a
Explanation:

Per the above, monitoring and validation occurs at least every 5 years.

 

 

2.8: Are these results assessed by an independent 3rd party, and verified or approved? Green
Explanation:

JNR programs are required to be assessed by independent 3rd parties.

Per 3.14.8 of the JNR requirements, monitoring and verification shall be conducted at least every five years, starting from the program start date or the end of the last monitoring period, as applicable. Per the JNR Validation and Verification Process, verifications consist of a public stakeholder consultation hosted on the VCS project database, an independent assessment by a validation/verification body and, in certain cases, a peer review by a JNR expert panel.

 

2.9: Over time: For each subsequent program period, is the baseline increasingly ambitious, to lead towards zero emissions over time?

 

Orange

 

Explanation:

Per 3.11.2 The jurisdictional baseline shall be fixed for a period of 5 to 10 years as defined by the jurisdiction in the jurisdictional program description, and shall be updated according to such frequency. 3.11.16 provides guidance on these updates. However there is no explicit requirement that baselines become more ambitious over time; this would need to be assessed for each program over subsequent periods.

 

Criterion 3: A commitment to adhere to social and environmental safeguards and monitor these efforts Green
Explanation:

VCS JNR requires programs to adhere to all relevant social and environmental safeguards, including the UNFCCC safeguards and any relevant national or subnational safeguards. It requires regular reporting on these efforts through monitoring reports, and provides significant detail on the information that should be provided, and how this should be made available to stakeholders. While these requirements are fairly comprehensive for programs, there is no explicit link to a country’s Safeguard Information System. This relationship would need to be assessed independently. Please see table below for relevant sections of VCS JNR documentation.

 

3.1: Does the program have in place relevant policies, laws and regulations and/or safeguard plan(s) to address social and environmental risks of the strategy or action plan to reduce deforestation, and to address and respect relevant social and environmental safeguards, including the UNFCCC Cancun safeguards?

 

Green
Explanation:

JNR requirements 3.7.2 Jurisdictional programs shall comply with all UNFCCC decisions on safeguards for REDD+ and any relevant jurisdictional (national and subnational) REDD+ safeguards requirements. The jurisdictional program (or baseline) description shall describe how the program meets these requirements. Jurisdictional proponents shall also provide information in the monitoring report with respect to how, during the design and implementation of the program, UNFCCC decisions on safeguards and any relevant jurisdictional (national and subnational) REDD+ safeguards requirements have been met, and in particular how the safeguards have been addressed and respected.

VCS requires programs to comply with UNFCCC safeguards

 

 

3.2: Is the country’s Safeguard Information System in place and operational?

 

Orange
Explanation:

While very detailed guidance is provided on how programs should monitor and report on relevant safeguards, there is no explicit link to a country’s Safeguard Information System. This would need to be assessed independently.

 

3.3: Is this Safeguard Information System, or another system, being used to monitor and regularly report on how the safeguards are addressed and respected throughout the implementation of the program?

 

Green
Explanation:

Section 3.7.2 requires information be provided in monitoring reports with respect to how, during the design and implementation of the program, UNFCCC decisions on safeguards and any relevant jurisdictional (national and subnational) REDD+ safeguards requirements have been met, and in particular how the safeguards have been addressed and respected.

 

The Program Description Template requires programs provide information on the how information on data and parameters related to social and environmental safeguards will be provided with respect to how the jurisdiction has avoided (and where necessary mitigated) negative and enhanced positive social and environmental impacts in accordance with all safeguards requirements, and provides guidance on this information.

 

The Jurisdiction is required to provide information in monitoring report and jurisdictional program description.

 

3.4: Is this information accessible to all stakeholders on a regular basis?

 

Green
Explanation:

JNR requirements 3.7.2 includes: Jurisdictional proponents shall ensure such information is made readily accessible to all relevant stakeholders throughout implementation of the jurisdictional REDD+ program.

 

The Program Description Template requires proponents to describe how the required information will be made readily accessible to all relevant stakeholders throughout implementation of the jurisdictional program.

 

3.5: Are the relevant safeguards identified for the program consistent with the national safeguards approach for REDD+, and is the program contributing to the national safeguards information system and the summary of information on safeguards submitted to the UNFCCC? Yellow
Explanation:

Section 3.7.2 requires programs to comply with all UNFCCC decisions on safeguards for REDD+ and any relevant jurisdictional (national and subnational) REDD+ safeguards requirements. The jurisdictional program (or baseline) description shall describe how the program meets these requirements. It does not explicitly say that safeguard information collected for the program monitoring system should inform the summary of information on safeguards submitted to the UNFCCC.

 

3.6: Has the country submitted their summary of information on safeguards to the UNFCCC? Orange
Explanation:

JRN does not require that the country provide information on having submitted its summary of information on safeguards to the UNFCCC. Information on this would need to be collected separately

 

Criterion 4: High-level political commitment to, and support for, the compact’s design and implementation from government partners Green
Explanation:

Programs approved by VCS JNR have demonstrated participation in a major partnership. Where proponents are not the relevant authorities with legal authority over a jurisdiction, a letter of no-objection is required per section 4.1.1 of the JNR Requirements. Where the proponents are the legal authorities at a national or subnational level support should be assumed, though a clearer demonstration of high-level support could be positive.

 

 

4.1: Does the program demonstrate the support and commitment of high-level officials in country (for example through statements of support by the president, minister or governor, or through incorporation into national development plans or sectoral strategies?  

Green

 

Explanation:

Proponents may be national or subnational. Where the program proponent does not have authority over a jurisdiction, a letter of no-objection is required.

 

Per 4.1.1, where any domestic regulations governing government approval of any element covered by the jurisdictional REDD+ program exist (such as government approval of a jurisdictional baseline or approval of projects), evidence that such domestic regulation has been complied with shall be provided. Where such regulations are in place, they may substitute for the rules and requirements set out below. Where any element requiring approval is not covered by domestic regulation, the following applies:

 

With respect to the approval of jurisdictional baselines, the following applies:

a) Where the entity submitting a jurisdictional baseline for registration is the national-level jurisdictional approval authority, or a subnational-level jurisdiction that has legislated control or authority over the jurisdiction covered by such baseline (including control over forest and environmental management), there is no requirement to show evidence of approval from higher levels of government.  (eg, the national government does not need to provide a no-objection letter; see VCS document Program Definitions for definition of no-objection letter). For example, a subnational government agency with control over forest and environmental management may register the jurisdictional REDD+ program or jurisdictional baseline without a no-objection response from the national government. However, such jurisdictional proponents shall follow the stakeholder consultation requirements set out in Section 3.7, including consultation with any national jurisdictional approval authority.

 

b) Where the jurisdictional proponent has not legislated control or authority over the jurisdiction covered by the baseline, the jurisdictional proponent shall secure a no objection letter from the appropriate authority(s). For example, a subnational jurisdiction without full control over forest and environmental management may submit a jurisdictional baseline for registration where such jurisdictional proponent has received a no-objection letter from the appropriate authority(s). Alternatively, an NGO (or other implementation partner) may submit a jurisdictional baseline for registration where it has been recognized as the authorized representative of the jurisdiction, and demonstrates it has received a no-objection letter.

 

Per communication with VCS, subnational programs need a no-objection from the national government unless there is a specific law allowing the subnational government to act on its own; this would need to be secured from whichever agency has control over the national REDD+ program.

 

4.2: Does the program participate in a an international initiative that provides support for jurisdictional forest and climate programs (for example FCPF Carbon Fund, VCS Jurisdictional and Nested REDD Initiative, Governors Climate and Forest Fund, REDD Early Movers, major bilateral results-based payment partnership)? Green
Explanation:

By definition, programs approved under VCS JNR participate in VCS JNR.

 

4.3: If no, are there other partners involved in supporting the implementation of the program? n/a
Explanation:

n/a

 

 

Criterion 5: Stakeholder engagement in the program’s development and implementation Green
Explanation:

VCS has several requirements on stakeholder engagement. Among them, Section 3.7.1 requires that jurisdictional REDD+ programs, baselines and crediting options shall be developed and documented in a transparent manner, and in consultation with relevant stakeholders. The Program Description Template requires that information be provided on how this consultation was done. And Step 2 in the JNR verification & Validation Process is the 60-day public stakeholder consultation (JNR Validation and Verification Process). Please see table below for relevant sections of VCS JNR documentation.

 

 

5.1: Was the strategy or action plan developed in consultation with representatives of all stakeholder groups? Green
Explanation: Program development must be done in consultation with stakeholder groups.

 

Section 3.7.1 of the JNR Requirements requires jurisdictional REDD+ programs, baselines and crediting options be developed and documented in a transparent manner, and in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Relevant stakeholders include project proponents of existing AFOLU projects, private land owners, local communities and indigenous peoples as well as relevant government agencies. The Program Description Template requires that information be provided on how this consultation was done.

 

3.7.2 specifies that the nature of stakeholder consultations related to the design and implementation of the jurisdictional program, including who was consulted, the manner in which the consultations occurred (including input received and how this was considered) and the outcomes of the consultations, shall be included in the jurisdictional program description.

 

5.2: Is there a plan for stakeholder consultation and engagement during the implementation of the program? Green
Explanation:

Per 3.7.2 the nature of stakeholder consultations related to the design and implementation of the jurisdictional program, including who was consulted, the manner in which the consultations occurred (including input received and how this was considered) and the outcomes of the consultations, shall be included in the jurisdictional program description.

5.3: Is there an effective, transparent and accessible grievance redress mechanism for the strategy or action plan? Green
Explanation:

Section 3.7.3 requires jurisdictions following Scenario 2 or 3 shall develop a mechanism for receiving, screening, addressing, monitoring and reporting feedback on grievances and concerns submitted by affected stakeholders relating to the design, implementation and evaluation of the jurisdictional REDD+ program at the local, subnational and national levels. Principle 6.6 of the REDD+ Social & Environmental Safeguards (SES) may be used to guide development of grievance mechanisms.

 

Criterion 6: Location in a country with an ambitious national UNFCCC target (currently called an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution or INDC) Orange
Explanation:

The JNR Framework does not reference UNFCCC targets. This would need to be assessed separately.

 

6.1: Has the country submitted an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)[1]? Orange
Explanation:

The JNR Framework does not reference UNFCCC targets. This would need to be assessed separately.

 

6.2: Does the country’s NDC include forests and/ or land use? Orange
Explanation:

The JNR Framework does not reference UNFCCC targets. This would need to be assessed separately.

 

 

Global Standards

In addition to the substantive criteria addressed above, global standards which are recognized under this approach will demonstrate the following, to ensure the integrity of their process of assessment of jurisdictional programs:

G1: The standard administrator is an entity that has no conflict of interest with respect to administering the standard. Green
Explanation: There is a clear separation between those tasked with the management of the VCS program, and those entities that develop programs, projects, or methodologies, or validate or verify these programs, projects, or entities.

 

Per Section 2.5.6 of the VCS Program Guide, the sets out the role of the VCS Association (the organization that manages the VCS Program) is tasked with managing, overseeing and developing the VCS program, and not developing projects, programs or methodologies, nor providing validation, verification or consulting services. Section 2.5.6 further notes one of VCSA roles is ensuring the integrity of projects, programs and Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) in the VCS registry system through reviews of project documentation, issuance requests, and review reports.

 

Per communication with VCS, in furtherance of Section 2.5.6’s intent, VCS has implemented a tiered set of requirements and practices that are designed to avoid any conflicts arising from the levy on the issuance of VCUs. In summary:

·         VCS Program rules and procedures provide for a clear and absolute separation between the entities that issue the VCUs  – the registries – and the entities that validate a project’s or program’s compliance with the VCS rules and verify the emissions reductions and removals that have occurred as a result of the project or program – the VVBs.

·         Registry providers and VVBs are required to sign agreements with VCSA that include strict conflict of interest provisions.

·         For approved registry providers, provisions in the agreements ensure that they maintain internal policies for the management of potential conflicts of interest between their accountholders, participants in any carbon market, other VCS registry providers, other standards or themselves.

·         VCS-approved validation and verification bodies also need to comply with strict Conflict of interest requirements set out by their respective accrediting bodies; these have conflict of interest requirements.

·         Section 5.3.12 of the VCS Standard requires the rotation of VVBs in respect of project/program validation and verification so that no one VVB can continuously audit the same project.

·         Per communication with VCS and documentation provided, VCS also has conflict of interest policies for employees, officers and directors outlining the kinds of circumstances where real or perceived conflicts of interest may arise and require each individual to complete, in the case of an employee, an annual disclosure statement and, in the case of an officer/director, a disclosure statement at the beginning of each Board meeting.

 

Per communication by the VCS, fees charged for validation/verification services are charged to the program (or project) proponent directly by the validation/verification body (VVB) hired to carry out the audit. VCS is not involved in the contracting process between program (or project) proponents and VVBs, meaning any fees charged by VVBs for audit services are not part of the VCS’ business model in terms of revenues.

 

While VCSU does charge a levy or issuance fee on units issued, the fees support VCS administration; as a non-profit no profit is made and there is no financial benefit.

 

G2: The standard has been developed through a process of public and stakeholder consultation. Green
Explanation:

The JNR guidance was developed by the VCS Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ Initiative, overseen by an advisory committee and technical expert groups, made up of representatives from national and subnational governments, REDD+ experts, and representatives from NGOs and the private sector.

 

 

G3: The standard is publicly available. Green
Explanation:

On VCS website: http://database.v-c-s.org/program-documents

 

 

G4: Jurisdictional programs are assessed for compliance with the requirements of the standard through a transparent process based on third party assessment and all final documents and associated assessments are publicly available. Green
Explanation: All final program documents will be made available on each JNR program-specific page on the VCS Project Database.

 

JNR Validation and Verification Process

1. Introduction: The JNR validation and verification process is the process by which jurisdictional baselines and jurisdictional REDD+ programs (hereinafter referred to individually or collectively as jurisdictional element(s)) are validated, and by which jurisdictional programs are verified, under the VCS Program. Such validations and verifications consist of a public stakeholder consultation hosted on the VCS project database, an independent assessment by a validation/verification body and, in certain cases, a peer review by a JNR expert panel. Note that projects nested in jurisdictional programs and standalone projects operating under Scenario 1 are subject to the process for project validation and verification set out in the VCS Standard, and this document (the JNR Validation and Verification Process) should not be used for such project validations and verifications.

 

2.3.1 A 60-day public stakeholder consultation is required of jurisdictional baselines and jurisdictional REDD+ programs undergoing validation, as well as jurisdictional programs undergoing verification

 

Sections 4.1.10 and 4.1.11 of the JNR Registration and Issuance Process specify the documents that are required to request registration and issuance, and Sections 4.3.3 and 4.3.4 specify which documents are uploaded to the VCS project database.

G5: Jurisdictional programs are assessed periodically, at least every 5 years, for continued compliance with the requirements of the standard. Green
Explanation:

Jurisdictional programs must submit monitoring report, and have results verified, at least every 5 years.

 

G6: The standard administrator maintains a public list of jurisdictional programs that meet the requirements of the standard. Green
Explanation:

All validated programs will appear under the “JNR” link on the VCS Projects Database at http://vcsprojectdatabase.org/#/jnr. Each program will have its own record, and will have available all program data, including verification reports.

 

 

 

 

Relevant documentation:

JNR Framework:

http://www.v-c-s.org/project/jurisdictional-and-nested-redd-framework/

 

VCS Program Guide:

http://database.v-c-s.org/sites/vcs.benfredaconsulting.com/files/VCS%20Program%20Guide%2C%20v3.5.pdf

 

VCS Standard:

http://database.v-c-s.org/sites/vcs.benfredaconsulting.com/files/VCS%20Standard%2C%20v3.5%280%29.pdf

 

JNR Requirements:

http://database.v-c-s.org/sites/vcs.benfredaconsulting.com/files/Jurisdictional%20and%20Nested%20REDD%2B%20Requirements%2C%20v3.2.pdf

 

JNR Validation and Verification

http://database.v-c-s.org/sites/vcs.benfredaconsulting.com/files/JNR%20Validation%20and%20Verification%20Process%2C%20v3.0_0.pdf

 

JNR Project Description

http://database.v-c-s.org/sites/vcs.benfredaconsulting.com/files/VCS%20JNR%20Program%20Description%2C%20v3.1.doc

JNR Baseline Description

http://database.v-c-s.org/sites/vcs.benfredaconsulting.com/files/VCS%20JNR%20Baseline%20Description%20v3.0.doc

JNR Registration and Issuance Process

http://database.v-c-s.org/sites/vcs.benfredaconsulting.com/files/JNR%20Registration%20and%20Issuance%20Process%2C%20v3.0.pdf

 

VCS Projects Database

http://database.v-c-s.org/program-documents

 

VCS Program Description Template

http://database.v-c-s.org/sites/vcs.benfredaconsulting.com/files/VCS%20JNR%20Program%20Description%2C%20v3.2.doc

 

 

Relevant text sections for each criterion

Criterion Relevant text
1 JNR Guidelines

2.1.1 The jurisdictional and nested REDD+ requirements set out in this document may be applied at the national and/or subnational levels and may or may not include nested projects. There are three eligible scenarios for applying the requirements, including two fully jurisdictional approaches (Scenarios 2 and 3), and a third scenario (Scenario 1), that while itself not a complete jurisdictional approach, could be a useful precursor to developing a full jurisdictional approach…. Scenario 1 is not a full jurisdictional approach, in that it does not require monitoring across the entire jurisdiction and therefore does not strive to achieve the same overall objective of maintaining environmental integrity at the jurisdictional level as Scenario 2 or 3.

 

2) Scenario 2: Jurisdictional program with crediting to the jurisdiction and direct crediting of nested projects. Where jurisdictions follow Scenario 2, the following applies:

a) Jurisdictional proponents shall develop and register a jurisdictional baseline and jurisdictional program, in accordance with Section 3.11 and VCS document JNR Registration and Issuance Process, respectively.

 

b) Jurisdictional proponents may register a jurisdictional baseline simultaneously with a full jurisdictional program (including program elements as described in Section 3.2.2) or register the jurisdictional baseline and jurisdictional program sequentially. Where the baseline is registered in advance of the jurisdictional program, project development in the jurisdiction shall operate according to Scenario 1, until the jurisdictional program is registered…

 

d) GHG emission reductions and removals shall be accounted for across the entire jurisdiction (ie, across all included carbon pools, activities and areas) and GHG credits may be claimed by the jurisdictional and/or project proponents for emission reductions and removals achieved at their respective level.

e) Monitoring shall be conducted across the entire jurisdiction (ie, across all included carbon pools, activities and areas) and may also be conducted at lower jurisdictional and project levels, as set out in Section 3.14.

 

3) Scenario 3: Jurisdictional program with crediting only to jurisdiction and no direct crediting of nested projects. Where jurisdictions follow Scenario 3, the following applies:

a) Jurisdictional proponents shall develop and register a jurisdictional baseline and jurisdictional program, which may include a benefit-sharing mechanism (to distribute GHG credits or other benefits to stakeholders or projects within the jurisdiction), in accordance with Sections 3.2, 3.11 and VCS document JNR Registration and Issuance Process, respectively.

b) GHG emission reductions and removals shall be accounted for across the entire jurisdiction (ie, across all included carbon pools, activities and areas) and GHG credits may be claimed only by the jurisdictional proponent for emission reductions and removals achieved across the jurisdiction (ie, all credits run through the jurisdiction and no projects or lower-level jurisdictional proponents may request issuance of GHG credits directly from the VCS)…

 

c) Monitoring shall be conducted across the entire jurisdiction (ie, across all included carbon pools, activities and areas).

 

3.1.1 As set out in the VCS Standard, default factors and standards used to ascertain GHG emission data and any supporting data for establishing the baseline and demonstrating additionality shall be publicly available from a recognized, credible source, such as IPCC 2006 Guidelines for National GHG Inventories or the IPCC Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry. See the VCS Standard for the full rules and requirements for the use of default factors and standards

 

3.2.1 The jurisdictional REDD+ program and its context shall be described in the jurisdictional program description using the VCS JNR Program Description Template

 

3.5.1 A national jurisdictional proponent may determine the boundaries of subnational jurisdictions and may submit such boundaries to a VCS registry as set out in Sections 3.2 and 4.1. All subsequent subnational jurisdictional boundaries shall conform to the boundaries submitted by the national jurisdictional proponent. Such boundaries may follow existing administrative (ie, politically defined) boundaries, or may be based on ecosystems (ie, ecoregions) or other designations. The determination of subnational boundaries shall be precise, and shall not result in overlapping subnational jurisdictions.

 

3.5.2 Where a national government has not submitted subnational jurisdictional boundaries, subnational jurisdictions shall follow existing administrative boundaries rather than developing new boundaries based on ecosystem or other forest type designations.

 

3.5.4 A jurisdiction’s geographic areas shall not contain gaps (ie, areas not accounted for), except under the following cases… Where the precise boundary of an administrative unit is unclear, the national government’s jurisdictional approval authority shall provide written approval of the boundary as set out in Section 4.1.

 

3.5.5 Multiple administrative subdivisions, such as several municipalities, may form one jurisdiction for the purposes of a jurisdictional REDD+ program, provided the administrative units are adjacent to each other.

 

3.5.6 The lowest eligible jurisdictional level is the second administrative level below the national level. For example, in Brazil this would be a municipality (ie, one administrative unit below the state) or, in Indonesia, a regency (ie, one administrative level below the province)

 

JNR Program Description Template

1.1                 Summary Description of the Jurisdictional REDD+ Program

Provide a summary description of the jurisdictional REDD+ program to enable an understanding of the nature of the jurisdictional program and its implementation, including the following (no more than three pages):

·         Type of jurisdiction (ie, national or subnational, how many levels below national level).

·         Scenario followed (2 or 3).

·         The location of the jurisdiction.

·         UNFCCC REDD+ activity categories included in the jurisdictional program (ie, avoided emissions from deforestation and/or degradation, carbon stock enhancement).

·         REDD+ strategies, policies or measures expected to generate GHG emission reductions and/or removals in the jurisdiction.

·         Relevant REDD+ institutions established.

·         Where Scenario 2 is applied, whether the jurisdictional proponent will seek to credit emission reductions and/or removals generated outside of projects or lower-level jurisdictions.

·         Forthcoming nested activities (projects and lower-level jurisdictions), including registered nested activities to be grandparented and nested activities under development, where known. Where registered, identify GHG program and relevant ID number of nested activity.

·         Quantified jurisdictional baseline GHG emission reductions and/or removals.

·         An estimate of annual average and total GHG emission reductions and/or removals (optional).

1.3            Leakage Management

Describe the approach for addressing leakage both within and outside the jurisdiction including a description of the leakage management plan, and implementation of leakage and risk mitigation measures (for both domestic and international leakage).

Summarize any jurisdictional requirement(s) with respect to leakage from lower-level jurisdictions or projects, where the jurisdiction will allow these nested activities to be registered under the VCS Program and issued VCUs directly.

 

 

2 JNR Guidelines

3.1.1 As set out in the VCS Standard, default factors and standards used to ascertain GHG emission data and any supporting data for establishing the baseline and demonstrating additionality shall be publicly available from a recognized, credible source, such as IPCC 2006 Guidelines for National GHG Inventories or the IPCC Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry. See the VCS Standard for the full rules and requirements for the use of default factors and standards

 

3.9.1 Where requisite precision requirements set out in Section 3.14.11 can be achieved, jurisdictions following Scenario 3 (ie, where projects are not directly credited) may use land-based accounting approaches, and where results from land-based accounting can be separated by activity, jurisdictions following Scenario 2 may also use land-based accounting.

3.9.2 The relevant carbon pools for REDD+ activities are aboveground tree biomass (or aboveground woody biomass, including shrubs), aboveground non-tree biomass (aboveground non-woody biomass), belowground biomass, litter, dead wood, soil (including peat) and wood products.

 

Jurisdictional proponents may determine which pools and sources will be accounted for. The choice of carbon pools and sources shall be conservative (ie, pools that are at risk of decreasing, relative to the jurisdictional baseline, due to jurisdictional REDD+ program or project activities shall not be excluded, where deemed above de minimis in accordance with Section 3.9.5

 

3.9.3 Subnational jurisdictions and nested projects may include additional carbon pools that are not accounted for at a higher level and, where included, shall follow the requirements for such pools set out in Section 3.11.14.

 

3.9.4 Where a jurisdiction contains forested wetlands, such as peatlands (or forested wetlands would be created by afforestation or reforestation activities and/or by changes in drainage), soil carbon shall be accounted for, at minimum, within such wetland areas, except where deemed de minimis or where it is conservative to exclude the pool, as set out in Section 3.9.5…

 

3.9.5 All significant sources of GHG emissions related to the activities accounted for shall be included, except where a source is deemed de minimis or conservative to exclude. Excluded sources, including emissions from leakage that have not been accounted for (in accordance with Section 3.12.2), shall not collectively represent more than 10 percent of total emissions, and their exclusion shall be adequately justified

 

3.9.6 Specific carbon pools and GHG sources, including those that cause project, jurisdictional or leakage emissions, are deemed de minimis and do not have to be accounted for where together the omitted decreases in carbon stocks (in carbon pools) and increases in GHG emissions (from GHG sources) collectively amount to less than 10 percent7 of the total GHG emission reductions and removals generated by the jurisdiction…

3.9.7 Specific carbon pools and GHG sources do not have to be accounted for if their exclusion leads to conservative estimates of the total GHG emission reductions and removals generated.

 

3.10.1 Additionality is factored into the jurisdictional baseline by taking account of all existing constraints and land areas where deforestation, forest degradation and carbon stock enhancement is feasible given the activities considered in the baseline, as set out in Section 3.11. The onus is on rigorous baseline determination to provide a conservative benchmark for measuring reductions in GHG emissions such that any emission reductions and removals relative to the baseline are considered additional. Relevant commitments to reduce GHG emissions or increase sequestration shall be included in the baseline estimation, in accordance with Section 3.11.13. There are no further additionality requirements for jurisdictions

 

3.11.1 A jurisdictional baseline shall be established for the purpose of estimating baseline GHG emissions or removals.

 

3.11.2 The jurisdictional baseline shall be fixed for a period of 5 to 10 years as defined by the jurisdiction in the jurisdictional program description, and shall be updated according to such frequency. Additional rules and requirements with respect to updating jurisdictional baselines are set out in Section 3.11.16

 

3.11.3 A jurisdictional baseline may be broken down into any of the broad activities set out in Section 3.8.1. Such…

 

3.11.4 Jurisdictional proponents shall demonstrate how the development of the jurisdictional baseline has achieved, or is expected to achieve, consistency with the data and methods used to account for forest-related GHG emission reductions and removals contained in the country’s existing or emerging UNFCCC GHG inventory.

 

3.11.5 A historical level of GHG emissions across the historical reference period shall be calculated for each selected activity. Such historical level shall form the basis of the baseline projection as set out in Section 3.11.13…

 

3.11.8 Where remote sensing imagery is used to estimate activity rates, the following applies…

 

6) The most recent point in time of the historical series shall be within two years of the start date of the (current) jurisdictional baseline period. The LULC map created from such most recent data point shall serve as the benchmark map, indicating which areas are forest and non-forest at the start of the jurisdictional baseline period. Such forest benchmark map shall have an accuracy of at least 75 percent for distinguishing forest versus non-forest classes.

7) Calculated rates of LULC change shall be gross rates (ie, not including any reforestation or natural regeneration that may have subsequently occurred).

 

3.11.9 Where remote sensing imagery is not used to estimate activity rates in accordance with Section 3.11.8, historical activity data may be based on other data sources including social surveys, governmental and non-governmental records. Such data sources may be used where it can be demonstrated (eg, through ground verification surveys) that they yield conservative activity rates.

3.11.10 Activity data shall be converted to GHG emission levels using an emission/removal factor, noting the following

 

1) Jurisdictions may reference the IPCC 2006 Guidelines for National GHG Inventories to establish procedures for quantifying GHG emissions/removals, in particular with respect to the development of emission factors associated with the following carbon pools…

 

2) Calculated GHG emission and removal factors shall meet the uncertainty requirements set out in the VCS Standard, mutatis mutandis…

 

3) Field measurements used to calculate carbon stocks shall have been collected within 10 years prior to the start of the (current) jurisdictional baseline period.

4) Default data (eg, from IPCC or those established in the scientific literature) may be used for minor pools in the determination of GHG emission and removal factors, where minor pools are defined as pools representing less than 15 percent of the total carbon stock.

 

3.11.11 Where land-based accounting12 is elected by jurisdictional proponents operating under Scenario 2 or 3, historical GHG emissions shall be calculated from changes in carbon stocks. Such accounting shall meet the uncertainty requirements set out in Section 3.14.12.

Under land-based accounting, changes within and between all land-use categories shall be regularly monitored, using methods to ensure the consistent treatment of land areas over time….

3.11.12 Where no baseline (or reference level) has been established under the UNFCCC for the purposes of crediting or compensation in a market-based mechanism, alternative jurisdictional baselines shall be identified and developed based on the historical reference period, and may be adjusted as noted below. The jurisdictional proponent shall select the most plausible jurisdictional baseline scenario, or a scenario that is more conservative than the most plausible, and shall provide justification of the criteria and procedures used to determine the selected scenario…

 

3.13.1 Jurisdictions shall establish procedures for quantifying net GHG emission reductions and removals (the net GHG benefit), which shall be determined as the difference between the GHG emissions and removals from GHG sources, sinks and carbon pools in the jurisdictional baseline scenario and the jurisdictional REDD+ program scenario (including any emissions resulting from the implementation of jurisdictional program activities), minus leakage.

 

3.14.2 Jurisdictions shall monitor the activities and carbon pools that were selected in the jurisdictional baseline using the same or demonstrably equivalent methods to those used to set such baseline.

 

3.14.6 The geographic area to be monitored shall be the entire forested area of the jurisdiction, though certain areas may be excluded, as follows:

1) Where they are determined not to have been impacted by the jurisdictional REDD+ program’s activities (including leakage from those activities) following coarse-scale analysis;

2) Where they have been excluded due to a significant natural disturbance or large-scale infrastructure project excluded in accordance with Section 3.11.12(5); or

3) Where their exclusion is otherwise permitted in accordance Section 3.5.4.

 

3.14.8 Monitoring and verification shall be conducted at least every five years, starting from the program start date or the end of the last monitoring period, as applicable.

 

3.14.9 Jurisdictional REDD+ programs shall undertake monitoring according to the following methods:

1) Land-use changes shall be determined according to IPCC Approach 3 for deforestation.

2) Degradation and enhancements in forest carbon stocks (including afforestation, reforestation and revegetation) may be monitored using direct methods (eg, remote sensing or forest inventory) or indirect methods (eg, survey data or statistical data on timber harvesting).

3) Any proxies used to measure land use change shall be transparently documented, and it shall be demonstrated that they are strongly correlated with actual land use change and that they can serve as an equivalent or better method (eg, in terms of reliability, consistency or practicality) to determine land use change than direct measurement of land use change itself.

4) Any change in drivers of deforestation or degradation shall be considered to aid land use change analysis (eg, changes in significance of drivers, changes in location of drivers) and any related changes to stratification based on such change shall be documented.

5) IPCC Tier 2 or higher methods shall be used to establish GHG emission factors, and jurisdictions shall document the precision level for each emissions factor. Defaults (eg, IPCC

or those established in the scientific literature) may be used for carbon pools representing less than 15 percent of total carbon stocks. Emission factors used in monitoring shall be consistent with those used to set the baseline.

6) Community-based monitoring methods are encouraged where appropriate and results of such monitoring shall be subject to the same accuracy assessment and uncertainty deductions as all methods.

7) Leakage monitoring, where applicable, shall follow the same requirements as project or activity class area monitoring.

3.14.10 The jurisdictional monitoring report describes all the data and information related to the monitoring of GHG emission reductions and removals.

 

3.14.14 Monitoring reports shall cover the entire jurisdiction, and any leakage belts where applicable, and shall be verified at least every five years from the program start date…

 

3.14.15 Nested projects and nested subnational jurisdictional REDD+ programs may undergo periodic monitoring and verification, and request issuance of credits, at different intervals than the higher (jurisdictional) level. However, such projects and subnational jurisdictional proponents shall reconcile monitoring results with the higher-level at least once every five years, except when operating within the grandparenting period, in accordance with Section 3.11.15

 

3.11.16 Jurisdictional baselines shall be updated and revalidated every 5 to 10 years. The following jurisdictional baseline components shall be updated:

1) The GHG emissions and removal factors that are more than 10 years old shall be updated, calculated in accordance with Section 3.11.13;

2) The activity rates shall be updated…

3) The spatial component (ie, the specific location of baseline activity), where applicable, shall be updated taking into account any areas that were targeted for REDD+ activities in the previous jurisdictional baseline period, to prevent double counting of the same reduction on the same area.

 

Where an applicable baseline (or reference level) is approved under the UNFCCC after a VCS jurisdictional baseline has been registered, and where the VCS jurisdictional REDD+ program will continue, the VCS jurisdictional baseline shall be updated and harmonized with the UNFCCC baseline and revalidated within 18 months of the UNFCCC approval.

 

JNR Verification and Validation Process

The JNR validation and verification process is the process by which jurisdictional baselines and jurisdictional REDD+ programs (hereinafter referred to individually or collectively as jurisdictional element(s)) are validated, and by which jurisdictional programs are verified, under the VCS Program. Such validations and verifications consist of a public stakeholder consultation hosted on the VCS project database, an independent assessment by a validation/verification body and, in certain cases, a peer review by a JNR expert panel

 

3 JNR Guidelines

3.7.1 Jurisdictional REDD+ programs, baselines and crediting options shall be developed and documented in a transparent manner, and in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Relevant stakeholders include project proponents of existing AFOLU projects, private land owners, local communities and indigenous peoples as well as relevant government agencies. Principle 6 of the REDD+ Social & Environmental Safeguards (SES)5 ; the Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+ Readiness of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility; or the UN-REDD Programme may be used to guide the stakeholder consultation process.

3.7.2 Jurisdictional programs shall comply with all UNFCCC decisions on safeguards for REDD+6 and any relevant jurisdictional (national and subnational) REDD+ safeguards requirements. The jurisdictional program (or baseline) description shall describe how the program meets these requirements. Jurisdictional proponents shall also provide information in the monitoring report with respect to how, during the design and implementation of the program, UNFCCC decisions on safeguards and any relevant jurisdictional (national and subnational) REDD+ safeguards requirements have been met, and in particular how the safeguards have been addressed and respected.

Jurisdictional proponents shall ensure such information is made readily accessible to all relevant stakeholders throughout implementation of the jurisdictional REDD+ program. The nature of stakeholder consultations related to the design and implementation of the jurisdictional program, including who was consulted, the manner in which the consultations occurred (including input received and how this was considered) and the outcomes of the consultations, shall be included in the jurisdictional program description. Additional standards such as the REDD+ Social & Environmental Standards (REDD+SES), Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards (CCBS) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification may be used, where appropriate, to provide such information

 

3.7.3 Jurisdictions following Scenario 2 or 3 shall develop a mechanism for receiving, screening, addressing, monitoring and reporting feedback on grievances and concerns submitted by affected stakeholders relating to the design, implementation and evaluation of the jurisdictional REDD+ program at the local, subnational and national levels. Principle 6.6 of the REDD+ Social & Environmental Safeguards (SES) may be used to guide development of grievance mechanisms.

 

JNR Program Description Template

2                     Safeguards

Summarize how the jurisdictional REDD+ program has been developed and documented in a transparent manner and in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Include a description of the stakeholder consultations related to the design and implementation of the jurisdictional program, including the following:

·         Identify all of the relevant stakeholders consulted.

·         Describe the manner in which the consultations occurred (including timing, methods used, input received and how this was considered).

·         Summarize the outcomes of the consultations (eg, with regard to establishing rights of use, developing internal allocation system and leakage polices).

List any national and subnational social and environmental safeguards requirements relevant to the design, implementation and evaluation of the jurisdictional REDD+ program, and demonstrate how the jurisdictional REDD+ program has addressed and respected safeguards in accordance with all of these requirements and all of the safeguards contained in Appendix 1 of Decision 1/CP.16 of the UNFCCC Cancun Agreements.

Describe the mechanism for handling and resolving grievances and disputes relating to the design, implementation and evaluation of the jurisdictional program.

Indicate whether additional standards (eg, REDD+ Social & Environmental Standards, Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards, and/or Forest Stewardship Council) have been followed, and/or whether other tools and approaches developed by third parties (eg, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility or UN-REDD Programme) have been used as guidance to meet safeguard requirements, including in the design of the stakeholder consultation process.

 

3                     Safeguard Information System

Where a jurisdiction uses an additional standard, such as REDD+SES, separate documentation describing the jurisdiction’s safeguards information system may be referenced (provided as a link to where such documentation is available publicly, or submitted as a separate file). For any information required in Sections 6.1 to 6.3 that is not covered in separate documentation, details must be provided in the respective sections below.

3.1                 Description of the Safeguards Information System

Describe how information on data and parameters (eg, indicators) related to social and environmental safeguards will be provided with respect to how the jurisdiction has avoided (and where necessary mitigated) negative and enhanced positive social and environmental impacts in accordance with all safeguards requirements. Describe how such information will be made readily accessible to all relevant stakeholders throughout implementation of the jurisdictional program.

Describe the process and schedule for obtaining, recording, compiling and analysing the data and parameters set out in Section 6.2 (Data and Parameters Assessed) above. Include details on the following:

·         The methods for measuring, recording, storing, aggregating, collating and reporting data and parameters.

·         The organizational structure, responsibilities and competencies of the personnel that will be carrying out measurement/assessment.

·         The policies for oversight and accountability of measurement/assessment activities.

·         The procedures for internal auditing and QA/QC.

·         The procedures for handling non-conformances with the validated safeguards information system.

·         The sampling approach used, where relevant, including target precision levels, sample sizes, sample site locations, frequency of measurement and QA/QC procedures.

 

VCS JNR Requirements, v3.2

3.7.2 (Summarized): Comply with UNFCCC decisions on safeguards for REDD+ and jurisdictional (national and subnational) REDD+ safeguards requirements. Provide information on how safeguards requirements have been met, & how safeguards have been address and respected. Additional standards, e.g. REDD+ SES, CCBS, and FSC may be used to guide process.

 

4 4.1.1 Where any domestic regulations governing government approval of any element covered by the jurisdictional REDD+ program exist (such as government approval of a jurisdictional baseline or approval of projects), evidence that such domestic regulation has been complied with shall be provided… Where any element requiring approval is not covered by domestic regulation, the following applies

 

a) Where the entity submitting a jurisdictional baseline for registration is the national-level jurisdictional approval authority, or a subnational-level jurisdiction that has legislated control or authority over the jurisdiction covered by such baseline (including control over forest and environmental management), there is no requirement to show evidence of approval from higher levels of government (eg, the national government does not need to provide a no-objection letter

 

b) Where the jurisdictional proponent has not legislated control or authority over the jurisdiction covered by the baseline, the jurisdictional proponent shall secure a no-objection letter from the appropriate authority(s).

 

5  

JNR Guidelines

3.2.2 All information in the jurisdictional program description, jurisdictional baseline description and any accompanying documents shall be presumed to be available for public review, though program sensitive information may be protected, as set out in VCS document JNR Registration and Issuance Process, where it can be demonstrated that such information is program sensitive. The validation/verification body shall check that any information designated by the jurisdictional proponent as program sensitive meets the VCS Program definition of program sensitive information. Information in the jurisdictional program description, jurisdictional baseline description and any accompanying documents related to the determination of the baseline scenario and monitoring of GHG emission reductions and removals shall not be considered to be program sensitive and shall be provided in the public versions of the documents.

 

3.7.1 Jurisdictional REDD+ programs, baselines and crediting options shall be developed and documented in a transparent manner, and in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Relevant stakeholders include project proponents of existing AFOLU projects, private land owners, local communities and indigenous peoples as well as relevant government agencies. Principle 6 of the REDD+ Social & Environmental Safeguards (SES)5 ; the Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+ Readiness of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility; or the UN-REDD Programme may be used to guide the stakeholder consultation process.

 

3.7.2 The nature of stakeholder consultations related to the design and implementation of the jurisdictional program, including who was consulted, the manner in which the consultations occurred (including input received and how this was considered) and the outcomes of the consultations, shall be included in the jurisdictional program description.

 

 

Program Description Template

Summarize how the jurisdictional REDD+ program has been developed and documented in a transparent manner and in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Include a description of the stakeholder consultations related to the design and implementation of the jurisdictional program, including the following:

·         Identify all of the relevant stakeholders consulted.

·         Describe the manner in which the consultations occurred (including timing, methods used, input received and how this was considered).

·         Summarize the outcomes of the consultations (eg, with regard to establishing rights of use, developing internal allocation system and leakage polices).

 

 

6 n/a
Standards  

JNR Validation and Verification Process

1. Introduction: The JNR validation and verification process is the process by which jurisdictional baselines and jurisdictional REDD+ programs (hereinafter referred to individually or collectively as jurisdictional element(s)) are validated, and by which jurisdictional programs are verified, under the VCS Program. Such validations and verifications consist of a public stakeholder consultation hosted on the VCS project database, an independent assessment by a validation/verification body and, in certain cases, a peer review by a JNR expert panel. Note that projects nested in jurisdictional programs and standalone projects operating under Scenario 1 are subject to the process for project validation and verification set out in the VCS Standard, and this document (the JNR Validation and Verification Process) should not be used for such project validations and verifications.

 

2.3.1 A 60-day public stakeholder consultation is required of jurisdictional baselines and jurisdictional REDD+ programs undergoing validation, as well as jurisdictional programs undergoing verification

 

 

VCS Program Guide

2.5.6 VCS Association The VCS Program is managed by the VCS Association (VCSA), which is an independent, non-profit, organization incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia in the United States. The VCSA is responsible for managing, overseeing and developing the program. It maintains an impartial position in the market and does not develop projects, programs or methodologies, nor does it provide validation, verification or consulting services.

 

One of the VCSA’s roles is in respect of overseeing and ensuring the integrity of projects, programs and VCUs in the VCS registry system. The VCSA conducts reviews of project and program registration and VCU issuance requests, and quarterly and annual reviews of projects and VCUs in the VCS registry system. The VCSA is also responsible for overseeing the validation/verification bodies operating under the VCS Program. Where the VCSA identifies shortcomings in a validation/verification body’s performance, it may provide feedback and require the validation/verification body to address nonconformities.

 

It reserves the right not to register projects and programs, or issue VCUs where it deems that they are not in compliance with the VCS rules or may otherwise impact the integrity of the VCS Program or the functioning of the broader carbon market, and to delist projects, programs and VCUs where it deems that they have not been registered or issued in accordance with the VCS rules. The VCSA also reserves the right to take action against validation/verification bodies and VCS registries in accordance with the provisions set out in the agreements signed with the VCSA. The rights and obligations for validation/verification bodies and VCS registry operators are set out in such agreements.

 

The VCSA is also responsible for managing the methodology approval process, and it reserves the right 2 | Overview of the VCS Program 11 VCS Program Guide: VCS Version 3 to not accept methodology elements into the process, not approve methodology elements, or review and update, put on hold or withdraw approved methodology elements where it deems that they are not in compliance with the VCS rules, would sanction politically or ethically contentious project activities, or may otherwise impact the integrity of the VCS Program or the functioning of the broader carbon market.

 

The VCSA may convene steering committees, advisory committees or working groups to support its work in specific areas. These groups draw in expertise from outside the organization to develop and support specific elements of the VCS Program. A full list of steering committees and working groups is available on the VCS website.

 

 

JNR Registration and Issuance Process

4.1.10 Where a jurisdictional baseline or jurisdictional REDD+ program is presented for registration without VCU issuance, the relevant documents that shall be provided to the VCS registry administrator are the jurisdictional baseline description or the jurisdictional program description, the jurisdictional registration representation, the jurisdictional validation report, the jurisdictional validation representation, the JNR expert panel peer review report, the non-permanence risk report, and any relevant government approvals/no-objection letters or communications agreement.

4.1.11 Where a jurisdictional REDD+ program is presented for registration and VCU issuance, the relevant documents that shall be provided to the VCS registry administrator are the jurisdictional program description, the jurisdictional registration representation, the jurisdictional validation report, the jurisdictional validation representation, the JNR expert panel peer review report, the jurisdictional monitoring report, the jurisdictional issuance representation, the jurisdictional verification report, the jurisdictional verification representation, the non-permanence risk report, and any relevant government approvals/no-objection letter or communications agreement.

 

4.3.3 Where a jurisdictional baseline or jurisdictional REDD+ program is presented for registration without VCU issuance, the jurisdictional baseline description or jurisdictional program description, the jurisdictional registration representation, the jurisdictional validation report, the jurisdictional validation representation, the JNR expert panel peer review report, the non-permanence risk report, and any relevant government approval/no-objection letter or communications agreement shall be uploaded to the VCS project database as public documents.

 

4.3.4 Where a jurisdictional REDD+ program is presented for registration and VCU issuance, the jurisdictional baseline description or jurisdictional program description, the jurisdictional registration representation, the jurisdictional validation report, the jurisdictional validation representation, the JNR expert panel peer review report, the jurisdictional monitoring report, the jurisdictional issuance representation, the jurisdictional verification report, the jurisdictional verification representation, the non-permanence risk report, and any relevant government approval/no-objection letter or communications agreement shall be uploaded to the VCS project database as public documents.

[1] Note NDCs will replace INDCs when a country formally joins the Paris Agreement.