Upcoming Revision of Standards must strengthen Stakeholder Consultation (Newsletter #17)

The Aguan biogas project in Honduras (see article on Human Rights) not only highlights the need to address human rights issues in the CDM. It is also made it clear that CDM rules and procedures on local stakeholder consultation do not lead to effective stakeholder consultation. As the CDM Executive Board is revising its validation and verification standard which provides guidance on local and global stakeholder consultation, CDM Watch urges the inclusion of much needed improvements.

At the upcoming meeting, the CDM Executive Board will consider the draft validation and verification standard (VVS) as well as the project standard (PS).[1] Both standards include guidance on how to conduct local and global stakeholder consultation. At the same meeting, a report[2] on sustainable development co-benefits and negative impacts of CDM project activities will be discussed. The report summarises the responses by CDM stakeholders to a call for input on how to include co-benefits and negative impacts in the documentation of CDM project activities and the role of the different actors and stakeholders in this process.

CDM’s guidance on both local and global stakeholder consultation has been criticised for not being strong enough to allow affected stakeholders to raise their concerns in time and to follow up on problems with CDM projects during implementation. A detailed compilation of CDM Watch’s concerns and recommendations can be viewed at the CDM Watch public input on direct communication, March 2011 CDM Watch public input on sustainability benefits, July 2011 and CDM Watch public input to the validation process, August 2011.

The report includes many suggestions for improvements to the current rules and highlights areas of possible further work:

(a)    The definition of sustainable development co-benefit indicators and/or ‘do no harm’ safeguards for CDM projects

(b)   Improvement of stakeholder involvement at local and global levels including a means to enable stakeholders to address grievances and/or make them public

(c)    Improvements to the declaration of sustainable development co-benefits including monitoring and verification.

CDM Watch recommends

CDM Watch welcomes the revision of the VVS and the PS and urges the CDM Executive Board to follow the recommendations in the report on sustainable development co-benefits and negative impacts of CDM project activities, and to task the Secretariat to:

  • Prepare a revised list of sustainable development criteria or indicators and safeguards. In doing so, develop a simple ‘sustainable development tool’ or checklist to assist project developers in describing their project co-benefits in the PDD; invite public and DNA input on the ‘sustainable development tool’
  • Recommend enhancements to CDM procedures for stakeholder involvement at both local and global levels, and outline a means to raise grievances during the lifecycle of a CDM project
  • Prepare a revised applicable reporting and verification standard to monitor and verify claims made in the PDD or indicators chosen in using the ‘sustainable development tool’, to ensure actual realisation of the stated sustainability benefits of CDM projects.

CDM Watch also urges the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol to request the CDM Executive Board to implement the recommendations in the report on sustainable development co-benefits and negative impacts of CDM project activities.

[1] Go here and download:
Annex 7 – Draft clean development mechanism validation and verification standard
Annex 8 – Draft CDM project standard (289 KB)

[2] Go here and download: Annex 17 – Report on sustainable development co-benefits and negative impacts of CDM project activities


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