Blue Carbon Financing of Mangrove Conservation in the Abidjan Convention Region: A Feasibility Study

7. Provide assessments of permanence and estimate leakage effects. The project must account for the effects of projected sea-level rise around the project area and determine appropriate buffer pool contributions to show non-reversibility of net carbon stock accumulation due to the project. It must also show that activities are not displaced by leakage effects, which could be ecological, activity-shifting or market changing, and can be overcome by buffer zones, community benefits in the project area and so forth. 8. Set up a transparent mechanism and procedures for the receipt, holding and disbursement of funds. Funds should be earmarked and managed through an account established for this sole purpose. The project proponent, a third party or a trust fund can all be charged with the handling of the funds. 9. Adjust projections according to newdata that becomes available. Periodic (e.g. every five years or after disturbance) monitoring and verification of pre-defined parameters are required: their associated costsmust be described in the project document. 10. Perform a socioeconomic impact assessment in a participatory manner to measure changes relative to the baseline scenario. Take into consideration the potential for differentiated impacts on different groups of participants as well as vulnerable non-participants. Develop an equitable benefit- sharingmechanism. [This step is not explicitly required in theVCS methodology. However, the Plan Vivo Standard for Community Payments for Ecosystem Services Programmes offers this as one of the principles to ensure equitable allocation of benefits in the project area and the surrounding region.] 11. Validate, register and verify project activities. Validation refers to an initial assessment of project design and governance (described in the project document) by a third party expert, which leads to the registration of the project under the standard. Typically, projects that are implemented before validation must followmonitoring protocols described in the methodology to receive pre-registration credits (within a five year time frame). Verification refers to the periodic performance evaluation (i.e. emission reductions below the projected business-as-usual scenario). 12. Open and hold a credit account in one of the applicable registries (for VCS these include APX or Markit). The credits generated can then be sold to different markets in over-the- counter transactions (forward, forward option, or spot sale) or at auction (spot sale) once potential buyers have been identified with the help of brokers or wholesale traders, or in the case of public project holders through procurement.

• estimate financial feasibility, including income and expense estimates, financial flows over the lifetime of the project, and best practices for structuring carbon finance, and • perform a stakeholder analysis (including gender analysis) and legal and institutional feasibility (e.g. carbon and land tenure, taxation, regulatory requirements and transactional structures) to understand local, national, and international laws relevant to the project. 3. Define project area and project goals. Identify and describe each discrete area of land in the project area and estimate the effects of sea-level rise on the project area. The project must fit under a recognized activity such as avoided conversion, afforestation, reforestation, conservation, restoration, improved forest management or reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. 4. Demonstrate proof of clear and stable land tenure using officialrecords.Documentationthatfacilitatescleardelineation of the project area should also be used. The project proponent does not need to be the landowner or hold a land lease, but should have the “right of use” of the land to implement the blue carbon project and generate carbon credits. Title to the land or to the use of land typically point to the “right of use”, although how it actually translates into the right to the carbon credits generated is only evaluated as part of the validation process (i.e. VCS does not provide any legal analysis). Carbon rights might need to be formally assigned in writing to avoid tenure ambiguities, with due consideration of gender roles in tenure and linkage with distribution of benefits. 5. Show how much carbon is stored in the business-as-usual scenario, the rate of GHG emissions due to disturbance (e.g. deforestation) and net GHG emissions avoided (benefit) due to the project activity or activities in terms of changes in biomass carbon, soil carbon or other GHGs. In this technically complex phase, project developersmay use—when they are or become available—proxies,models, publisheddata, fielddata, historical or chronosequence-derived data, or default factors to cover carbon pools in soils and biomass. The GHG estimates must calculate or describe uncertainty around estimates of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions using GHG accountingmethodologies approved by the methodology. 6. Itmust be clearlydemonstrated that theproject is additional, such that in the absence of carbon finance it would not have been implemented, and that it is not required by law, statute or regulatory framework. For this assessment, the business- as-usual scenario must be described as the most likely of alternative futures without the project. There must also be a financial, technological or institutional barrier demonstrated between the business-as-usual scenario and its project counterpart. It must also be demonstrated that the project activities are not common practice in the project region.

* Plan Vivo. 2013. The Plan Vivo Standard for Community Payments for Ecosystem Services Programmes. Available at Plan-Vivo-Standard.pdf, last accessed 3/25/2016.


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