Workshop on the potential application of the Verified Carbon Standard Method VM0033 to Australia’s Emission Reduction Fund

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Cannard, Toni ORCID ID icon; Baldock, Jeff ORCID ID icon; Kelleway, Jeffrey; Lovelock, Catherine; Steven, Andy; Vanderklift, Mat ORCID ID icon



26 pp

Mangrove forests, tidal marshes, and seagrasses are known as blue carbon ecosystems. These coastal ecosystems have the potential to provide new and additional economic, environmental and social benefits for Australia through their ability to capture and store carbon. The Australian Department of the Environment and Energy (DotEE) is investigating the potential of developing an Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) method for introduction/re-introduction of tidal flow to coastal environments capable of supporting mangrove and tidal marsh vegetation. As a component of this process, the DotEE commissioned a technical assessment aimed at defining the ability of an ERF method to use, or be based on components of, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) “VM0033 – Methodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration”. On 23 24 May, the project team completing the assessment, other technical experts from across Australia, and representatives from the DotEE met in Adelaide to discuss the preliminary findings of the technical assessment. A participatory approach was used in which an initial presentation of findings was followed by a period of discussion. The assessment was conducted against eight criteria that can be summarised as follows: 1) Is carbon abatement under VM0033 be consistent with IPCC and National inventory approaches? 2) Would carbon abatement under VMOO33 be additional to business as usual? 3) Are emissions or removals measurable? 4) Are all material emissions resulting from the project included in net abatement calculations? 5) Is the net abatement estimate conservative? 6) Are the approaches employed supported by clear and convincing evidence? 7) Is the scope of eligible activities and circumstances clearly defined? 8) Are the definitions and calculations technically correct and clear? At the meeting, project staff reviewed the findings pertaining to each of these criteria focussing on compatibility with what would be required in an Australian ERF method and potential solutions where inconsistencies existed. A table was constructed to identify those components of the VM0033 methodology that could be adopted directly, those that would require change and those where a new approach would be required to support the development of an Australian ERF method. Post-workshop, the project team is continuing to refine the technical assessment associated with each criterion based on the deliberations occurring during the meeting and conclusions reached. This assessment will now incorporate the expert views expressed in this workshop in the form of recommendation to DotEE regarding issues involving defining the potential to identify baselines, determine activity areas, abatement estimation, permanence and leakage related to sea level rise considerations. The workshop engaged stakeholders as expert knowledge providers in in a participatory process to identify potential method development priorities for a potential blue carbon ERF method. In this report, a summary of the findings reported against each of the listed criteria is provided. These findings are followed by a presentation and discussion of the transferability of the various components of the VM0033 method to an Australian ERF method.


Canberra, Australia

blue carbon, re-introduction of tidal flow, mangroves, tidal marshes

Carbon Sequestration Science

Published Version (pdf) (590KB)

This report has been placed on the CSIRO repository and may be made available to persons outside of CSIRO for non commercial purposes, in its entirety and without deletion of disclaimers and copyright information.

Funding Body NameProject/Grant ID
Australia. Department of the Environment200000558


Client Report (Author)



Cannard, Toni; Baldock, Jeff; Kelleway, Jeffrey; Lovelock, Catherine; Steven, Andy; Vanderklift, Mat. Workshop on the potential application of the Verified Carbon Standard Method VM0033 to Australia’s Emission Reduction Fund. Canberra, Australia: CSIRO; 2019.

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