Project Proposal Development Phase

Developing a project proposal involves clearly defining the specific objectives, describing project activities, defining the project location and area, choosing the methods for estimating and monitoring environmental and other impacts and project costs, specifying the institutional structure for the project, and selecting carbon pools and frequency for monitoring.

Identification of project location and defining scale of the project The exact location of the project, including the administrative and tenurial (e.g. user rights) boundaries, number of parcels, total area to be covered under each parcel and the entire project need to be described in the proposal. A map of the project location depicting the various land-use systems and the project sites along with geographic coordinates is required (refer to Chapter 8 for details on defining the boundary of a project). Description of baseline scenario It is necessary to describe the land-use characteristics such as vegetation status, carbon stocks and grazing and harvest practices in the land area proposed for the project and the historical as well as the likely changes in the future in land-use and their implications for carbon stocks in the absence of the proposed project activities. It is very important to describe the methods adopted for estimating and projecting carbon stock changes under the baseline scenario (see Chapter 7 for a more detailed description of baseline scenario development). Description of project activities An adequate description of project activities is the most critical component of the project proposal development phase and involves presenting all the activities proposed for achieving the project goals as well as for monitoring and evaluating project impacts, including carbon stock changes. Further, the project proposal should describe the phasing of different activities such as the extent of land to be planted annually, silvicultural practices and proposed harvest schedules. Some of the project activities, which have implications for carbon stock changes as well as for methods of estimating such changes, are presented in Table 5.1.

(i) Physical activities include fencing, boundary demarcation, locating irrigation source, arrangements for water distribution and establishment of laboratory facility for estimation of soil carbon or dry matter. Fencing could prevent livestock grazing with implications for regeneration and growth of seedlings. These activities need to be included in the project description.

(ii) Cultural practices and management activities could include selection of planting material, planting, fertilizer application, thinning, harvesting and transportation. The cultural and management practices have implications for carbon stocks and inventory. For example, fertilizer application could enhance biomass growth rates and land preparation could lead to loss of soil organic carbon.

(iii) Capacity and institutional development aspects including selection of staff for project implementation, administration and monitoring should be included in the project. Activities for building technical capacity to undertake various components of the project, including monitoring of carbon stock changes, need to be described.

(iv) Monitoringprocedures and activities could include description of the methods to be adopted for assessment of environmental, economic and social impacts of the project activities. In addition, the methods to be adopted for periodic monitoring of carbon stock changes should also be described.

Project budget All the investment, operational, maintenance and monitoring costs on an annual basis should be estimated and presented. The project should include

Table 5.1 Implications of project activities for carbon inventory methods for broad land-use based projects Broad project type

Activities or practices

Implications for carbon inventory methods n

Enhance crop productivity to reduce conversion of forest to cropland

Adopt sustainable harvest practices

Forest and cropland area and carbon stock changes need to be monitored

Harvest levels and changes in carbon stocks in above-ground biomass need to be monitored

Protection, natural regeneration

Monoculture plantation

Fertilizer application

Tree measurement and biomass estimation methods will vary for plantations of monoculture for naturally regenerated forests

■ Developing allometric equations for biomass is feasible for short-rotation species using harvest method

■ Monitoring of carbon pools needs to be more frequent for short rotations

■ Growth rates of biomass and soil carbon need to be monitored gn ro e tio



Intensive cultivation practices; land preparation, high density planting and fertilizer application

- Carbon pools need to be measured more frequently

- Measurement of harvested biomass is feasible

Plant trees in rows

Plant fruit orchards with low tree density

- Rate of change in soil carbon likely to be small, thus monitoring can be at longer intervals

- Tree felling not feasible

Plant rows of trees to halt soil erosion

- Carbon pools in litter and deadwood may not be significant h tx

Improved grazing - Monitoring soil carbon pool will be


$ S Soil and water conservation - Aboveground biomass pool not critical

the cost of monitoring the project benefits and impacts. The monitoring cost, particularly for carbon monitoring, includes:

• Staff and training

• Field equipment and instruments for measurement

• Laboratory instruments and chemicals

• Procurement and interpretation of data from remote sensing

Institutional structure The institutional arrangements required for implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation of project activities need to be assessed and presented in the project proposal. The institutional arrangements, roles and responsibilities of different institutions along with training and capacity development needs for carbon inventory should be incorporated in the proposal. Assessment of environmental and other impacts The proposal should include the methods, the institutional arrangements and infrastructure needed for assessing the performance and impacts of the proposed project activities against the goals and objectives defined. The impacts to be assessed could include the following:

• Environmental impacts such as carbon stock changes, soil quality including organic matter status, biodiversity, vegetation regeneration and plant productivity

• Social and economic impacts such as timber and fuelwood production, employment and income generation, costs and benefits

• Sustainability of environmental and socio-economic benefits as well as the institutional arrangements

5.3 Project Review, Appraisal and Approval Phase

Procedures for project review and appraisal vary with different agencies, and the project review phase is critical in getting a project approved and financially supported. The procedures are usually complex for land-based projects due to environmental and socio-economic linkages and trade-offs. Appraisal of the project could include consideration of long-term impacts on carbon stocks, biodiversity, soil quality and water supply. The review and appraisal process could potentially focus on the following aspects:

(i) Financial viability of the project, as indicated by the cost-benefit analysis as well as the internal rate of return, is critical in project approval. Carbon stock gains contribute to financial viability of carbon mitigation and roundwood biomass production projects.

(ii) Environmental impacts form the critical basis for achieving project goals. Carbon gains would be part of most land-use based projects involving:

° Roundwood and grass biomass production

° Biodiversity

° Soil quality (e.g. increasing organic matter or erosion control)

° Carbon stock changes in different pools

(iii) Monitoring protocols and methods are evaluated for their reliability, accuracy, verifiability and cost-effectiveness. Estimates of carbon stock changes in land-use projects are characterized by high uncertainty. High transaction costs to reduce uncertainty of carbon inventory estimates are a limiting factor for projects under Clean Development Mechanism and Global Environment Facility. Thus, selection of carbon monitoring protocols and methods involves a trade-off between accuracy and costs, requiring an optimum balance between the two.

(iv) Institutional arrangements proposed in the project description for project implementation, management and monitoring will be evaluated for adequacy, efficacy and cost-effectiveness.

(v) SustainabiJity of environmental, economic and social benefits will determine whether the project is approved. Sustaining the carbon benefits will be critical for projects related to mitigating climate change.

5.4 Project Implementation Phase

All the activities incorporated in the approved project proposal and aimed at achieving the goals of the project will have to be implemented. The activities could include land preparation, planting trees or grasses, regulating grazing, protection, fertilizer application, thinning and harvesting, measuring carbon pools, capacity building and infrastructural development. Some of the activities relevant to carbon inventory include:

(i) Establishing infrastructure for carbon inventory such as laboratory facilities and permanent field plots

(ii) Selection of staff and training for carbon inventory

(iii) Procurement and interpretation of data from remote sensing

(iv) Arrangements for periodic monitoring of carbon pools

(v) Estimation of baseline carbon stocks for different land-use categories

5.5 Project Monitoring Phase

Periodic monitoring of project performance and impacts is crucial to achieving the goals of a project. Monitoring would include periodic assessment of environmental, economic and social indicators selected for the project along with project costs and benefits. The key aspects of monitoring relevant to carbon mitigation and sustainable biomass (timber and fuelwood) production and land management would include the following activities:

(i) Identification of carbon pools and periodicity of monitoring for baseline and project scenarios

(ii) Laying of plots for measurement of carbon pools under baseline and project scenarios

(iii) Measurement of parameters related to identified carbon pools and indicators in the field and laboratory for baseline and project scenarios

(iv) Calculation of carbon stocks and changes for different land-use categories and in selected carbon pools under baseline and project scenarios

(v) Estimation of uncertainty or error involved in carbon stock estimation

(vi) Validation and quality control

5.6 Project Evaluation Phase

All projects require evaluation of the achievement of project goals. This includes the impacts at the end of the project and very often at different phases of project implementation. Project evaluation is normally carried out by an outside agency not involved in project formulation and implementation. Project evaluation activities include the following:

• Developing evaluation criteria and indicators, based on the agency (GEF, UNFCCC, multilateral banks, bilateral agencies and national government ministries) as well as the project type (CDM, industrial roundwood production, community forestry, forest and biodiversity conservation and land reclamation), for assessing;

° Carbon stock gain and roundwood production ° Socio-economic impacts

° Sustainability of project benefits, including carbon stock gain

• Evaluating selection of carbon pools, periodicity of measurements, methods, sampling and calculation procedures for baseline as well as project scenarios

• Validating carbon stock estimates under baseline and project scenarios

• Assessing institutional and technical capacity for monitoring carbon benefits

• Estimating the uncertainty involved and assessing quality control procedures adopted

5.7 Carbon Mitigation and Non-Carbon Land

Development Projects: Implications for Carbon Inventory During Project Cycle

Carbon inventory guidelines and methods could vary for different types of projects and at various phases of a project cycle. The focus of carbon mitigation projects is different from non-carbon forest, land conservation and development projects. Thus, the importance given for carbon inventory could vary with different phases of the project cycle. However, it is important to note that carbon inventory is required generally for all land-based projects. Some of the key differences between carbon mitigation projects and other land-based projects are highlighted in Table 5.2.

Carbon inventory methods will form the primary criterion for the approval phase of carbon mitigation projects. Further, monitoring and evaluation of carbon mitigation projects will be largely focused on the reliability, accuracy and verifiability of carbon stock estimates and changes.

Table 5.2 Key differences relevant to carbon inventory at different project phases for carbon mitigation projects and non-carbon land-based projects

Forest, grassland, cropland conservation Project phase Carbon mitigation projects and development projects (non-carbon)

e Primary focus: carbon mitigation Primary focus on forest and biodiversity

•g and carbon credits - global conservation, watershed protection, liz environmental benefit commercial roundwood production

3 Secondary focus: soil and Co-benefits: carbon mitigation often not cep biodiversity conservation mentioned in proposal m p v e d al

Clear historical records of the past vegetation and soil carbon status needed

Project boundary impacted by project activities needs clear definition

Estimation of baseline carbon stocks is critical

Intensive plan needed for monitoring carbon stock changes

Historical vegetation status not so critical to project eligibility

Project boundary needed for estimating environmental and socio-economic benefits restricted to project area Baseline economic benefits, soil fertility and biodiversity critical Well-defined plan needed for monitoring roundwood production and local environmental and socio-economic impacts



Baseline and project scenario

Monitoring plan for local environmental

ie vi

s rai p

carbon monitoring methods

and socio-economic benefits critical

e r

and arrangements very criti-




je oj r P

d and

Activities aimed at maximizing carbon benefits, followed by other co-benefits

Activities aimed at maximizing biomass production, biodiversity conservation and livelihood improvement

Activities aimed at maximizing carbon benefits, followed by other co-benefits

Activities aimed at maximizing biomass production, biodiversity conservation and livelihood improvement

Approved methodologies

Additionality of carbon stock gain critical

All the five carbon pools need to be considered

Large transaction cost likely for carbon inventory and monitoring

Project-specific methodology: no global standards

Additionality of local environmental and socio-economic benefits critical -Above-ground biomass pools critical for roundwood production -Soil carbon critical for land development projects

Moderate transaction cost for monitoring

5.8 Conclusions

Carbon inventory is required for most land-based projects, whether aimed at carbon mitigation or at development of forest, grassland and agroforestry and at commercial roundwood production. The focus and intensity of carbon inventory will vary based on the mechanism or programme for which a project is designed and the primary goal of the project. Carbon inventory is required at all phases of a project cycle from project conceptualization to evaluation at the end of the project. Given the high uncertainty in the estimates of carbon stock changes, the transaction costs for improving the accuracy and reliability of estimates are likely to be high. Advanced planning is required for identifying the infrastructural, staff and capacity building needs for carbon inventory process. Adequate planning and incorporation of carbon inventory monitoring methods will facilitate the approval process of a project as well as monitoring and verification of carbon benefits from a project.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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