What is a methodology?
There are two types of methodologies for afforestation and reforestation (A/R) projects – baseline methodologies and monitoring methodologies.
Baseline methodologies in the context of A/R projects are defined as follows:
A methodology is an application of an approach as defined in paragraph 22 of the CDM A/R modalities and procedures, to an individual A/R CDM project activity, for the determination of the baseline scenario. A baseline methodology should reflect aspects such as environmental conditions and past land uses and land use changes. No methodology is excluded a priori so that project participants have the opportunity to propose a methodology. In considering paragraph 22, the Executive Board agreed that, the following cases apply:
- Case of a new methodology: In developing a baseline methodology, the first step is to identify the most appropriate approach for the proposed A/R CDM project activity and then an applicable methodology;
- Case of an approved methodology: In opting for an approved methodology, project participants have implicitly chosen an approach (Glossary of CDM Terms, Version 03).
Ultimately, the baseline methodology used in a CDM project (including an A/R project) represents the means by which the baseline scenario for that project is defined. The baseline scenario for A/R projects is in turn defined as:
the scenario that reasonably represents the sum of the changes in carbon stocks in the carbon pools within the project boundary that would occur in the absence of the proposed A/R CDM project activity (EB 35 Annex 21, Part III, paragraph 10 (a)).
Thus, A/R baseline methodologies are the tools used to define the changes in carbon stocks in the carbon pools within the project boundary that would occur in the absence of the proposed A/R project.
Monitoring methodologies in the context of A/R projects are defined as follows:
A monitoring methodology refers to the method used by project participants for the collection and archiving of all relevant data necessary for the implementation of the monitoring plan (Glossary of CDM Terms, Version 03).
Therefore, a monitoring methodology is the means by which the net anthropogenic GHG removals by sinks achieved by the A/R project are calculated, taking into account any emissions from sources within the project boundary. A monitoring methodology sets out how project proponents should develop and implement a monitoring plan for a project in order to gather the data required to calculate emission removals generated.
Both the baseline methodology and the monitoring methodology must be specified in the project design document (PDD). Project participants may use existing baseline and monitoring methodologies if methodologies appropriate to the project already exist. In this event, the PDD need only state the baseline and monitoring methodologies to be used (by reference number). If no baseline or monitoring methodologies appropriate to the project have yet been developed, a new methodology must be developed. This section explains the process for the development, submission, approval and revision of methodologies for use in A/R projects.
Baseline and monitoring methodologies for A/R projects must be developed together, using a single form (CDM-AR-NM). The Executive Board has clarified that once a methodology is approved, it may be used for both CDM project activities and CDM Programme Activities (CPAs) under a Programme of Activities (PoA) (EB 35, paragraph 15).
A list of approved A/R methodologies and proposed A/R methodologies under consideration is available on the UNFCCC website.