5.1. General Requirements of the Project

The project proponent shall ensure that the proposed project has written approval from the designated national authorities confirming that the project activity assists in achieving sustainable development. The project proponent shall give a description covering the details below by developing a Carbon Project Document (CPD);

a) Project site description including project title, objective, and the relevant contacts and roles and responsibilities covering a brief description of the project site before implementation of the project covering climate, hydrology, topography, relevant historic conditions, soils, vegetation, and ecosystems.

b) Type of the project activity (give a justification of the scale of the project like small or large).

c) Describe the selected project category with a justification.

d) Location of the project activity including/ country, region/state province/city.

e) Description of the unique geographical identification of different discrete areas.

f) Project relevant legislation and its compliance (EIA reports etc.).

g) Describe in detail by providing information regarding the land eligibility including its legal status considering the country-specific requirements (This requires that the lands or discrete areas of land to be forested must meet the national definition of the forest by the host country).

h) Describe the Project boundary and show it using an aerial photo with a clear demarcation.

i) Description of how the project assists it in achieving sustainable development policies of the country.

j) Description of the project approach to handle the permanence risk.

k) Describe whether the project creates other environmental or social benefits than GHG removals.

l) Description of the present environmental conditions of the area including the description of climate hydrology, soils, ecosystems, and the possible presence of rare or endangered species and their habitats.

m) Describe the technology applied to the project.

n) Description of public funding of the project, if any.

o) Describe the possible GHG emissions that can be part of the project with justifications for inclusions or exclusions of such emissions.

p) Description of management activities covering species to be planted, harvesting cycles, plantation, and replantation cycles, and the manner of choosing the same to avoid peaks in carbon stocks.

q) Description of the selection of carbon pools and justification for selecting such pools.

r) Describe the crediting period of the proposed project activity including the starting date and the operational lifetime.

s) Describe how anthropogenic GHG removals by sinks are to be achieved and if applicable indicate a description of the national/ sectoral policies and circumstances.

5.2. Application of Project Baseline and Baseline Methodology

The CPD shall describe the baseline approach chosen for the proposed project. The baseline study shall summarize that it is transparently established on a project-specific basis and considering the relevant national and /or sectoral policies and circumstances.

The CPD shall describe the most likely baseline scenario considered to be the land use before the implementation of the project activity, either grasslands or croplands. Equally, if any other carbon offsetting project is considered such as renewable energy, fuel switching, energy efficiency, eco-based agriculture, and so on, those relevant baselines would apply.

The Project Proponent shall ensure that the baseline is established in a manner that avoids double counting.

The CPD shall describe the selected baseline methodology to meet the requirements such as land eligibility, historic land use, and national, local, and sectoral policies influencing land use of the project relative to baseline.

The CPD should describe the baseline methodology been applied for the project activity and has key information and data used to determine the baseline scenario provided in table form (variables, parameters, data sources, etc.).

If an acceptable recognized baseline methodology is selected considering the type of proposed project and the selected baseline methodology, then it shall be described in the CPD by providing a specific reference and applicability justification.

5.3. Demonstration of Additionality

The CPD shall explain how and why the project is additional.

The CPD should give a clear explanation and evidence that a correct procedure for the demonstration of additionality has been followed by considering all applicable barriers such as IRR Analysis, Sensitivity Analysis, Barrier Analysis, and Common Practice Analysis.

5.4. Monitoring Methodology and Measurement Tools

The project proponent shall use a suitable methodology for the forest-based project considering the applicability of the methodology and select it from one of the options given below.

• Methodologies approved by any recognized body (e.g., CDM Executive Board).

• Methodologies published in recognized scientific peer-reviewed journals.

• Newly Developed Methodologies with the support of an eminent technical panel.

• The CPD shall justify the selected monitoring methodology’s applicability and appropriateness for the proposed project based on the opportunity provides by the selected methodology for real measurements of achieved GHG removals by sinks.

• A detailed description of the methodology shall be included as an Appendix to the CPD.

• The CPD provides an explanation of the transparency and the reflection of good monitoring and reporting practices of the selected monitoring methodology.

5.4.1. Monitoring Plan - The CPD shall describe a detailed description of the monitoring plan.

The monitoring plan shall describe the data to be collected including the units of measurements or used to estimate or measure the verifiable changes in carbon stock in the carbon pools within the project boundary.

The monitoring plan should specify the technique and methods for sampling and measuring individual carbon pools and GHG removals by sinks are included in the actual GHG removals by sinks that reflect commonly accepted principles and criteria concerning forest inventory.

The CPD shall mention that the indicators identified in the monitoring plan are reasonable and provide an opportunity for real measurements of achieved GHG removals by sinks.

5.4.2. Monitoring Leakage - The monitoring of GHG leakage should explain adequately if applicable. In instances where the leakage is applicable, then the appropriate indicators to monitor GHG leakage needs to be identified and described in the CPD.

The monitoring plan should specify the procedures for the periodic review of the implementation of the activities and measures to minimize leakage.

The CPD shall establish and maintain a procedure for monitoring, measuring, and reporting data.

5.5. Application of Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA)

The CPD shall explain the operational & management structure for monitoring GHG removals by sinks. The CPD shall adequately define documented QA/QC procedures for,

• Collecting reliable field measurements.

• Verifying methods used to collect field data.

• Verifying data entry and analysis.

• Dealing with possible monitoring data adjustments and uncertainties.

• Data maintenance and storage.

• Calibration of monitoring equipment.

• Management & maintenance of records.

• Training of personnel attending to monitoring work.

• Emergency preparedness.

• Internal audits of GHG project compliance.

• Corrective action to ensure appropriate actions are taken.

5.6. Record Keeping

The project proponent shall have a procedure for the management of records related to the project activity and maintain all relevant records. The CPD shall indicate that all relevant records of the projects are maintained.

5.7. Quantification of Net Anthropogenic GHG Removals by Sinks

5.7.1. Quantification of Actual GHG Removals by Sinks

The CPD shall explain the calculation process and demonstrate that the process used for calculation is in line with the selected methodology.

The CPD shall describe the estimated sum of verifiable changes in carbon stocks.

The CPD shall explain GHG calculations completely and transparently covering the estimate of actual net removals.

The corresponding calculations should provided in a separate excel file.

The calculations should properly explain and document any uncertainties in the estimates of GHG emissions including external data used from local journals and publications.

5.7.2. Quantification of Baseline Net GHG Removals by Sinks

The CPD shall indicate an estimate for each carbon sink by identifying the most relevant and likely operational characteristics and baseline indicators have been chosen as reference for baseline removals.

The CPD shall clearly define the baseline boundaries and they need to sufficiently cover sources and sinks for baseline removals.

The CPD shall mention the GHG calculations completely and transparently.

All conservative assumptions used to calculate project GHG removal by sinks shall be documented and any uncertainties applicable are also indicated in the documentation in a very clear manner.

5.7.3. Quantification of Leakage

The CPD shall indicate potential leakage effects beyond the chosen project boundary.

The CPD shall calculate the leakage properly and be document it completely and transparently.

The CPD shall ensure that leakage effects have been properly accounted for in calculations.

All conservative assumptions used to calculate project leakage shall be documented and any uncertainties applicable are also indicated in the documentation in a very clear manner.

5.8. Quantified Net Anthropogenic Removals

The CPD shall indicate the calculations in a spreadsheet and the aggregated tables are presented using the appropriate equations given in the selected methodology.

The CPD shall describe whether conservative assumptions are used when calculating net anthropogenic GHG removals by the sink and whether uncertainties in the GHG emission estimates are documented.

The CPD shall indicate whether the project result will increase net GHG removals by sinks than the baseline scenario.

5.9. Environmental Impacts

An environmental impact analysis shall be carried out covering impacts, on biodiversity and natural ecosystems, and impacts outside the project boundary and the results shall indicate in the CPD.

This analysis should include, where applicable, information on, inter alia, hydrology, soils, risk of fires, pests, and diseases.

If the environmental analysis report provides any significant adverse effects, then an EIA report shall require to be obtained.

Reference to that report shall be mentioned in the CPD.

The CPD should address planned monitoring and remedial measures to address. the identified significant impacts, if any, given in the EIA report.

5.10. Socio-Economic Impacts

A socio-economic impact analysis shall be carried out including impacts outside the project boundary covering impacts, on, where applicable, information on, inter alia, local communities, indigenous people’s land tenure, local employment, food production, cultural and religious sites, and access to fuel wood and other forest products.

If the socio-economic analysis report provides any significant adverse negative impacts, then the CPD shall indicate the plan of action intends to take to address such negative effects.

Reference to that report shall be mentioned in the CPD.

5.11. Stakeholder Consultation

The CPD shall indicate the process, or the mechanism used to consult the stakeholders. The procedures or methods used for engaging local stakeholders (e.g., dates of announcements or meetings, periods during which input was sought) shall require to be indicated.

If a stakeholder consultation process is required by regulations/laws in the host country, it is necessary to conduct the stakeholder consultation process.

The CPD shall indicate whether the risks, costs and benefits the project may bring to local stakeholders are communicated.

The CPD shall include all the comments received in tabular form.

The CPD shall mention the actions taken for stakeholder comments received.

5.12. Validation of the GHG Project

The purpose of validation is to determine whether the proposed project fulfils the PCS requirements or not.

The Project Proponent shall select a recognized third-party body to conduct the validation.

The Project Proponent shall submit the “Carbon Project Document” (CPD) along with the other documents to the validation body as requested for validation.

PCS requires that for the first validation the validation body shall make a field visit to the site. The Validation body shall conduct the validation and any issues arising out of validation shall be resolved by the project proponent successfully.

The validation body shall give the validation opinion along with the validation report to PCS.

PCS shall review the report and the validation opinion and has the right to accept or reject it.

If the validation opinion is positive and it is accepted by the PCS, the project is granted full registration status and listed on the PCS portal by assigning a unique registration number.

5.13. Verification of the GHG Project

The purpose of verification is to determine whether the project requirements have been implemented as per the registered CPD requirements and to ascertain other physical requirements (measuring equipment, technology, etc.,) available within the project premises.

The Project Proponent shall select a recognized third-party body to conduct the verification.

The Project Proponent shall submit the CPD, and Monitoring Plan along with the other documents to the verification body, as requested.

The verification body shall conduct a desktop review of all documents and make an on-site assessment to verify whether the requirements specified in the CPD including the monitoring system have been implemented effectively.

The verification body shall ensure that the monitoring plan has been implemented by the approved monitoring methodology.

The verification body shall conduct a comprehensive verification covering the scope of verification.

Once the verification body has completed the verification, any issues arising out of verification shall be resolved by the project proponent successfully. The verification body shall give a conclusion statement in the verification report on the verified amount of emission reductions achieved during the verification period. The verification body shall give a written assurance (Certification) that, during a specified period, the project activity achieved the reductions in anthropogenic emissions by sources of greenhouse gases as verified. PCS shall review the verification report and decides to issue the Emission Reductions for the amount specified in the verification report for the specified period considering the type of project and it is renewable for two other periods. Once these are issued for the project PCS updates the portal concerning the project accordingly. Guidance Note 2: ISO 14065:2020: General principles and requirements for bodies validating and verifying environmental information.

5.14. Crediting Period and Duration

The selected crediting period shall be documented clearly in the carbon project document. The crediting period shall be considered by PCS based on the expected lifetime of the proposed project. Guidance Note 3: As a recommended practice crediting period can be considered fixed” or “renewable”. Normally for renewable twenty years cycle is considered acceptable whereas for a fixed crediting period thirty years is considered. The duration is normally sixty years.

5.15. Renewal of Crediting Period

The Project Proponent shall update the CPD considering the latest methodologies available and shall demonstrate the validity of the original baseline or update it by assessing the GHG emission reductions or net anthropogenic GHG removals that would have resulted from that scenario.

The Project Proponent shall update the data and parameters used for determining the original baseline, which was determined previously and not monitored during the crediting period, are no longer valid, the Project Proponent shall update such data and parameters.

The Project Proponent shall select a recognized Verification and Validation Body (VVB), and submit the updated CPD, together with supporting documentation, to the VVB for validation for renewal of the crediting period of the project activity. The Project Proponent shall have a contractual arrangement with the VVB for the validation.

5.16. Cancellation of the Registration

The Project Proponent may request the PCS Board to deregister the project activity in writing whenever they wish to do so, and the PCS Board decides to deregister the project and accordingly delete the name of the project by updating the register and the connected website.

Last updated