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Latin American Carbon Credits Certification, Verification & Issuance
Proyecto Mirador has had site visits and achieved 5 successful verifications of its project by a third-party, UN approved organization. All vintages of its carbon credits have been verified and approved.
To receive Gold Standard certification, each scientific claim must be verified, annually, by an outside organization that is a United Nations Designated Operational Entity (UN DOE). SGS, a London based UN DOE, made a validation and site visit in September, 2009. In December, 2010 SGS made a verification and site visit. Proyecto Mirador selected Det Norske Veritas in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for a site visit to verify project installations and monitoring plans. In December 2014, executives from SGS formed a new company in London, Earthood, and verified the project.
Our own abbreviated version of the steps to achieve certification are outlined here.
(Note: The full and official instructions for GS certification are in the latest version of the GS rules which are to be found on the Gold Standard website. The GS cannot be held responsible for information found elsewhere.)
1) Gather Scientific Data
Obtain field and lab research on stove testing and gain an understanding of the Gold Standard Process.
2) Open an Account
Join the registry and print the Toolkit. If the project proponent/developer is unsure about qualification, the Gold standard can make a preliminary eligibility screening with regard to additionality (would a project have happened anyway without the benefit of carbon finance?); sustainability, monitoring, country eligibility, and the technical methodology used for testing.
3) Hold a Public Stakeholder Meeting
The purpose of this public gathering is to hear from all stakeholders in the project regarding its efficacy and utility. Formal invitations are sent, formal notes are taken. Participants provide written comments about what they like and don't like about the project. Participants rate the project as +, -, or neutral on a number of key aspects of sustainability, economics, effect on the quality of the environment, deforestation, biodiversity, humanitarian importance, and employment. An LSCR (page 25 of the toolkit) is submitted, comments received and answered, and eventually accepted.
Prepare and submit a Passport Document (page 24 of the Toolkit), the proof of sustainability and social benefits of the project. After submission and acceptance, the project is officially listed with the Gold Standard.
5) The Project Design Document (PDD)
The PDD (page 30 of the Toolkit) describes the project, geographic locale, type, category, technology employed and explanation of methodological choices, type of fuels and non renewability of those fuels, estimate of emission reductions, financial analysis of the project, assessment of environmental impacts, site and lab tests, other scientific studies, assessment of the project's carbon footprint.
6) Selection of Validator and Verifyer
The validator is a Designated Operational Entity (DOE) accredited by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Any UN-accredited DOE can validate a Gold Standard project. Approximately 27 have been accredited and are thus qualified to submit a project for registration. The validator thoroughly reviews the claims made in the PDD, requests corrective actions, and submits a full report.
The Validation report then undergoes Technical Advisory Committee Review by the GS Secretariat and the GS official NGO Supporters and a decision made on the validation opinion and project documentation. Requests for clarification may be brought up at this point, and must be addressed before the project can continue towards GS registration.
7) Gold Standard Registration
After validation, the project is listed officially on the Gold Standard registry and potential carbon buyers can begin to make inquiries. The project is required to complete a Monitoring Report document for submission to a UN DOE and a second site visit is coordinated.
8) Annual Verification
The UN DOE makes its site visit and reviews all claims of reduction, confirms the amount of reductions by the project during a specified amount of time, and issues a report to the Gold Standard. This is the basis on which carbon credits are issued. The DOE verification report is then submitted to the Gold Standard for additional review.
Verification of the project claims continues throughout the life of the project in order to insure the claims of emission reductions and sustainable development benefits.
The Gold Standard issues saleable certificates that certify that during a specified time period, a project activity achieved a stated amount of emissions reductions, expressed in tons of CO2e.