Climate Benefit Estimation

Projects that develop Plan Vivo certificates (PVCs) must contribute to climate change reduction by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and/or enhancing carbon sinks as a result of project interventions. These  climate  benefits must  be quantified  in  tonnes  of  carbon  dioxide  equivalent  (tCO2e)  which were reduced  or  removed  from  the  atmosphere  as  a result  of  project  interventions.

The potential project interventions are:

  • Ecosystem restoration – Enabling the recovery of an eco-system which has been degraded, damaged or destroyed. This is done by re-establishing the structure, productivity and species diversity that was previously present in the areas, such as through planting trees.
  • Ecosystem rehabilitation – Assisting the recovery of an ecosystem which has been degraded, damaged or destroyed by repairing processes, productivity and services, but without re-establishing pre-existing structures. For example, inter-planting native tree species on degraded agriculture land to restore soil functions.
  • Prevention of ecosystem conversion or degradation – Protecting an ecosystem from degradation or conversion. An example would be preventing deforestation by reducing agricultural expansion into forest land, or the introduction of new grazing practices to stop grassland degradation.
  • Improved Land Use Management – Improving land use and land use management to increase the provision of ecosystem services, e.g. reduce GHG emissions and/or increase carbon stocks.

In each intervention, climate benefits are estimated by comparing expected greenhouse gas emissions and removals without the intervention, against the baseline scenario emissions and removals after project intervention, minus any emissions from leakage.

Expected climate benefits and the approaches for their estimation are included within a Project Design Document (PDD). Each project must therefore:

  • Create a PDD outlining expected climate benefits and the approaches used.
  • Submit the PDD for effectiveness review by the Plan Vivo Foundation and experts from the Plan Vivo Technical Advisory Group.
  • Monitor activities and impacts to demonstrate the expected climate benefits are being achieved.

A PDD consists of:

  • Baseline Scenario – a description of the most likely land use scenario in the project area(s) if interventions aren’t introduced.
  • Estimation of emissions and removals – a before and after of the expected climate benefit of the project interventions, in terms of emissions and removals.
  • Risks of non-delivery and reversals – An assessment of the risks of non-delivery, and an appropriate risk buffer to be applied.
  • Monitoring – The indicators which will be monitored to determine whether climate benefits have been achieved.
  • Please consider the list of Approved Approaches (AA) to estimate climate benefits.