Development of the monitoring plan
Monitoring of a CDM project activity takes place pursuant to a monitoring plan which requires approval at registration. The monitoring plan provides for the collection and analysis of all data relevant to the calculation of emission reductions from the project activity.
Project participants are required to develop and describe the monitoring plan for the proposed CDM project activity in accordance with the selected methodology and all other applicable CDM rules and requirements. The monitoring plan is a key component of the project design document (PDD) which sets out the structure, operation and scope of the CDM project activity.
The requirements for a monitoring plan were originally set out in paragraph 54 of the modalities and procedures of the CDM:
Project participants shall include, as part of the project design document, a monitoring plan that provides for:
- The collection and archiving of all relevant data necessary for estimating or measuring anthropogenic emissions by sources of greenhouse gases occurring within the project boundary during the crediting period;
- The collection and archiving of all relevant data necessary for determining the baseline of anthropogenic emissions by sources of greenhouse gases within the project boundary during the crediting period;
- The identification of all potential sources of, and the collection and archiving of data on, increased anthropogenic emissions by sources of greenhouse gases outside the project boundary that are significant and reasonably attributable to the project activity during the crediting period;
- Quality assurance and control procedures for the monitoring process;
- Procedures for the periodic calculation of the reductions of anthropogenic emissions by sources by the proposed CDM project activity, and for leakage effects. (3/CMP.1, paragraph 53)
The CDM Project Standard sets out further elements that must be included in the monitoring plan:
- The operational and management structure to be put in place to implement the monitoring plan;
- Provisions to ensure that data monitored and required for verification and issuance be kept and archived electronically for two years after the end of the crediting period or the last issuance of CERs, whichever occurs later;
- Definition of responsibilities and institutional arrangements for data collection and archiving;
- Quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) procedures;
- Uncertainty levels, methods and the associated accuracy level of measuring instruments to be used for various parameters and variables;
- Specifications of the calibration frequency for the measuring equipment. In cases where neither the selected methodology, nor the Board's guidance specify any requirements for calibration frequency for measuring equipment, project participants shall ensure that the equipment are calibrated either in accordance with the local/national standards, or as per the manufacture's specifications. If local/national standards or the manufacture's specifications are not available, international standards may be used. (CDM Project Standard, paragraph 56)
The monitoring plan must be based on an appropriate approved monitoring methodology or a new monitoring methodology:
A monitoring plan for a proposed project activity shall be based on a previously approved monitoring methodology or a new methodology, in accordance with paragraphs 37 and 38 above, that:
- Is determined by the designated operational entity as appropriate to the circumstances of the proposed project activity and has been successfully applied elsewhere;
- Reflects good monitoring practice appropriate to the type of project activity (3/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 54).
In addition, the PDD must include the following information relating to the monitoring plan:
- Identification of data needs and data quality with regard to accuracy, comparability, completeness and validity;
- Methodologies to be used for data collection and monitoring including quality assurance and quality control provisions for monitoring, collecting and reporting; and
- In the case of a new monitoring methodology, a description of the methodology, including an assessment of strengths and weaknesses of the methodology and whether or not it has been applied successfully elsewhere (3/CMP.1, Annex, Appendix B, paragraph 2(h)).