Countries trained on carbon-credit process

Energy, climate change and finance experts from six Pacific Island Countries have gathered at the Holiday Inn, in Suva, Fiji this week for the third capacity building workshop for the Pacific on Clean Development Mechanism. 

Wind turbines in Fiji - they can be winched down to protect them against the extra high winds of tropical storms . Photo: Andrea Athanas

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of carbondioxide. These CERs can be traded and sold, and used by industrialized countries to meet a part of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol. This provides an opportunity to be part of the world effort to mitigate climate change.

Though the CDM has been in operation since 2004 and has already registered more than 3400 projects, only three projects from the Pacific have met the standards of CDM and have been registered.

The unequal distribution of projects is one of the challenges of CDM which the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), one of the leading organizations on CDM, aims to rectify through its 4-year project on Capacity Development for CDM.

The series of capacity building workshops undertaken for the Pacific in the past year intends to assist Pacific Island Countries to overcome the complexities of the CDM process by improving local capacity in terms of familarising with rules and procedures of the mechanism and identifying opportunities for participation.

“The CDM workshops are an essential forum for us in the Pacific as we work together towards fulfilling our commitment to the Kyoto Protocol in mitigating the impacts of climate change,” said Samuela Lagataki, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Fiji Government who delivered the welcoming remarks at the opening of the four day workshop.

“We are happy to see that CDM is practically strengthening the link between the big Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and opportunities in the energy sector,” said Taholo Kami, Regional Director of IUCN Oceania Regional Office.

This third workshop in particular will focus on validation and verification by Designated Operational Entities (DOE) and voluntary carbon markets with a closer look at the finance aspect. A DOE is an independent auditor accredited to validate project proposals or verify whether implemented projects have achieved planned greenhouse gas emission reductions.

“DOE validation and verification are key quality assurance steps all CDM projects need to pass in order to get CDM revenue,” says Dr. Xianli Zhu, senior economist from the UNEP Risoe Centre based in Denmark. “Our next step is asking countries to identify over twenty projects they would like to support and arranging regional and international consultants to help write the CDM documents for these projects. Local consultants will also be invited to support the work and learn from the process”.

Participating countries at this workshop are Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

“I also attended the previous workshops which have provided useful insight on procedures of the CDM,” says Anna Kalpokas, National Ozone Officer from the Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation, Vanuatu.

“The practical examples in this third workshop are very useful because we learn of the kind of information that DOEs look at. We have a Designated National Authority set up already, and now it’s a matter of kickstarting our country activities.”

Susan Sapa, Financial Analyst from PNG Power reflected “I learned that the methodology is very important, that must be strictly followed because if the project participant deviates from it, the project will be denied CERs”, the carbon credits.

“The workshop provides an opportunity for the regional participants to learn about how to pass the assessment when it is time to validate and verify CDM projects highlights Manasa Katonivualiku, the CDM coordinator at the Department of Environment, Fiji.

The series of workshops are a result of a project launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with support from the EU, to enhance capacity for Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) implementation in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

All workshops have been co-organized and facilitated by Fiji’s Department of Environment, the UNEP Risoe Centre and the IUCN Oceania Regional Office.

For more information please contact:
Larissa Brisbane, Senior Energy Programme Officer, Ph: +679 3319084;  E: larissa.brisbane@iucn...

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