Helping Save Habitat for the Endangered Orangutan
The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) and Shell Canada initiated the Mawas Peatland Conservation Project (MPCP) to prevent the conversion of approximately 18,000 ha of tropical peat swamp forest to plantations and to prevent additional areas of degraded peat swamp forest from uncontrolled peat fires. The MCP is one of the few contiguous blocks of lowland peat forest left where several wild orangutans still live. Winrock became involved in the project to develop the capacity of BOSF to conduct measuring and monitoring activities within the project area and to develop new project documents for generating voluntary carbon credits.
The Mawas Conservation Project is one of the first avoided deforestation projects in the world, developed initially to conserve vast areas of orangutan habitat but with additional carbon benefits as well. The overall objective of Winrock's activities was to assist BOSF in developing a project design document (PDD) and new methodologies in a form that is acceptable to international requirements for carbon projects. The objective was achieved through the following core activities:
• Initial training workshops for BOSF staff in measuring and monitoring carbon stocks in the project area
• Intensive technical assistance for BOSF staff in the collection of field measurements
• Collection of high resolution aerial imagery to ground-truth an existing land cover map and to estimate aboveground carbon stocks remotely
• Development of two new methodologies for quantifying avoided carbon emissions resulting from the prevention of land use change and fire
• Creation of a Project Design Document (PDD) that will be verified by an independent third party
1. Project review and technical assistance – Assistance includes field visit in August 2006 and May 2007 by Winrock staff member to project location where suggestions in project design and technical guidance will be given.
2. Develop base-year, baseline, and monitoring methodologies – These will be developed based on existing work in the project area, and prepared in the CDM-AR-NM type format in cooperation with BOS, SarVision Indonesia and SarVision Netherlands. In-country BOS/SarVision Indonesia field staff will then be trained on this methodology and the methodology will be field tested. Following this trial, a formal methodology will be developed. A report on base-year carbon stocks and pre-project estimated avoided emissions will be created for inclusion in the PDD.
2.1 Assist in the creation of pre-project estimated avoided emissions for each land use strata over life of project.
2.2 Develop base-year measuring methodologies.
2.3 Develop baseline measuring and monitoring methodologies to take place over life of project. Each land use activity that would have taken place without the project will most likely have separate baseline measurements.
2.4 Develop project monitoring methodologies to take place over the life of the project.
2.5 Develop leakage monitoring methodologies to take place over life of project.
2.6 Finalize methodologies through testing and train field staff in data collection.
2.7 Assist in base-year data collection.
3. Coordinate Project Design Document (PDD) formation – Winrock International will take lead in writing the PDD-type document with assistance given where needed by BOS/SarVision Indonesia and SarVision Netherlands. Section of the PDD that Winrock will take the lead on are: pre-project avoided emission estimates, base-year carbon stock estimates report, baseline monitoring plan, project monitoring plan, leakage monitoring plan, and estimation of greenhouse gas reductions.
4. Assist in Responding to Corrective Actions and Revisions from Verification Process – After third-party verification for issuance of VERs, it is our experience that a certain number of corrective actions will likely be needed. This would include collating all actions needed to be addressed and responding to them and revisiting the PDD and Methodologies as needed.
• Training of over 20 BOSF staff in carbon measurement and monitoring methodologies
• Conservation: Protection of 18,000 ha of peat swamp forest under direct threat of conversion to oil palm and pulpwood plantations
• Conservation: Protection of an additional 82,000 ha of peat swamp forest susceptible to burning
• Conservation: Avoided carbon emissions estimated at over 2 million tons CO2e in the first 3 years of the project
• Spatial product: ground-truthed land cover map for 100,000 ha of the Mawas Conservation Project area
• Spatial product: series of maps that predict the baseline rate and location of fire occurrence in peat swamp forests in the absence of project activities over the next thirty years
• Two new methodology (NM) documents produced in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) format: (1) methodology for estimating carbon benefits from preventing land use change (such as plantation establishment) in peat swamp forests; (2) methodology for estimating carbon benefits from preventing fire in degraded peat swamp forests
• Project Design Document (PDD) produced in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) format, completed August 2008
• Methodologies underwent independent review and verification in April 2009 by Rainforest Alliance, several corrective actions are currently being addressed by Winrock.