Background to the UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was signed in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 with the aim of stabilizing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to a level which would prevent changes in the global climate. To put the convention into operation, the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997. The protocol is a legally-binding document that gives 39 developed countries a series of mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One of these mechanisms is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The CDM has significance for developing nations because it allows developed nations to achieve part of their reduction obligations through projects in developing countries that reduce emissions or 'fix' or sequester CO2 from the atmosphere.
The CDM and sustainable forest management
There are opportunities for funding for sustainable forest management projects in the context of the CDM. The CDM is of interest to developing countries that want to begin projects that may involve sustainable forest management as part of a project to improve sequestration of carbon in carbon sinks or possibly to supply bioenergy projects.
The prerequisites for developing and implementing a CDM project are quite complex and depend on local institutional conditions and national preparedness for the CDM. Much quality information on the CDM is already available on the Internet. For an accessible overview of the CDM refer to A quick guide to the Clean Development Mechanism>.
Developing a project for CDM funding
The first step in the development of a sustainable forest management project that could attract CDM funding is a concept note which is submitted to the designated national authority, the body which has the power to approve CDM project applications.
Once the project concept has been drafted and approved by the national authority, a project design document can be elaborated using the official project design document (CDM-PDD).
The completed CDM-PDD is once again submitted to the local national authority for approval. On approval, an operational entity should then validate it. On validation, the design document is reviewed by the CDM executive board, prior to it being registered in the CDM project registry. The project then enters the implementation and monitoring phase which may result in Certified Emission Reductions being issued.
To be eligible to develop a CDM project, the project must comply with certain criteria. In addition, the Marrakesh Accords, the rulebook of the Kyoto Protocol, have added the following eligible activities in the LULUCF sector:
The Kyoto Protocol identifies the following eligible Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) activities to help meet emissions targets:
To be eligible to develop a CDM project, the project must comply with certain criteria.
In addition, the Marrakesh Accords, the rulebook of the Kyoto Protocol, have added the following eligible activities in the LULUCF sector:
LinksUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism
UNFCCC Financial Mechanism
A quick non-UN guide to the CDM