Launch of the project VOluntary CArbon Land Certification (VOCAL)

9 December 2015 - Foreword of the week

I4CE and its agricultural and forestry partners launch a project creating a national carbon certification aimed at agricultural and forestry projects. VOluntary CArbon Land Certification (VOCAL) will certify greenhouse gas emission reductions from projects implemented in France in the agricultural and forestry sectors through a reference framework and methodologies validated by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE in French).

A necessary carbon certification

The VOCAL project aims at creating new opportunities for carbon valorization for the agricultural and forestry sectors, by allowing the certification of projects that hardly develop with the current carbon certification provisions. This framework will thus fill the gap in certification tools for national projects in the agricultural and forestry sectors, and bring up a complementary source of income for project holders to the extent of the emissions reductions. It will also provide a guarantee for the carbon units’ buyers, ensuring the quality of the projects.

The certification framework project is supported by the MEDDE and may also contribute to the achievement of national and European goals in terms of GHG emission reductions. More specifically, VOCAL partakes in the objective of an accelerated national transition towards a green economy, from the mobilization road map towards COP21 presented by the MEDDE during the Environmental Conference of 2014.

A project already on its way

The VOCAL certification should be operational in 2017. Meanwhile, here are the actions planned:

      • Completion of a study on demand for national carbon credits from agricultural and forestry sectors
      • Evaluation of the expectations and motivations of forest owners regarding this mechanism;
      • Elaboration of a general reference framework and specific methodologies that will be tested through a network of pilot projects

The study of demand for local carbon credits from companies and local authorities is currently under way. It will enable the mapping of demand for voluntary carbon credits in France and evaluate the will to pay for environmental services given by forest and agriculture. This will allow the certification framework to adjust at best to potential buyers’ expectations.

The innovating result of the work of the Action-Research Clubs

The certification project stems from the work of the Carbon Forest and Wood Club and the Agriculture and Climate Club managed by I4CE and its partners. For years, both Clubs have been a forum for exchange and sharing of experience and expertise on carbon offset and the valorization of the mitigation role of agriculture and forestry sectors. The acknowledgement of the difficulties to carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural and forestry sectors led a dozen private and public organizations members of the Clubs to consider a national certification framework.

The project is co-funded by the European Union through the European Fund for Regional Development in Massif Central (FEDER). The Public Interest Group Massif Central, the National Centre on Forest Ownership (CNPF), the Livestock-breeders’ Institute (IDELE), InVivo, Interbev, the National Interprofessional Centre for Dairy Economy (CNIEL) and the Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) have helped to build the project and are now part of it.

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