The Forest Project Protocol (FPP) provides guidance for the development of forest carbon projects. The FPP addresses eligibility and accounting requirements for the calculation of emissions removals and reductions associated with reforestation, improved forest management, and avoided conversion projects.
|Protocol Version and Link to Further Information||Adoption Date||Notes|
|Version 3.3||November 15, 2012||Available for project submission|
|Version 3.2||August 31, 2010||No longer available for project submission.
Forest projects seeking to submit under the California Compliance Offset Protocol should follow the instructions available here.
ARB Compliance Offset Protocol for U.S. Forest Projects
|Version 3.1||October 22, 2009||No longer available for project submission|
|Version 3.0||September 1, 2009|
|Version 2.1||September 6, 2007|
|Version 1.0||June 13, 2005|
Versions 2.1 and 3.0 through 3.2 of the Forest Project Protocol were approved by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) and credits issued under these versions are eligible to be Early Action Offset Credits. In June 2013, ARB published a notice on its website regarding early action project guidance. The notice may be accessed here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/offsets/offsets.htm
The Forest Project Protocol (FPP) is currently undergoing a policy revision to Version 4.0. The Reserve is proposing a number of improvements to the protocol, including eligible location expansion to Hawaii and U.S. territories, a new public lands baseline methodology for improved forest management projects, replacement of the Logical Management Unit approach with project area requirements for managing selection bias, incorporation of the Reserve’s standardized inventory methodology and inventory tool, and several other updates to enhance usability. The draft protocol and revised Quantification Guidance are now available for public review and comment below.
- Forest Project Protocol Version 4.0 – Draft for Public Comment (Updated April 27, 2017)
- Forest Project Protocol Version 4.0 – Draft for Public Comment – REDLINE (April 5, 2017)
- Quantification Guidance – Draft for Public Comment (April 5, 2017)
- Quantification Guidance – Draft for Public Comment – REDLINE (April 5, 2017)
- Summary of Changes from Version 3.3 to Draft Version 4.0
The FPP Version 4.0 is available for a 45-day public comment period. The Reserve will use feedback from the public comments to inform decisions about the protocol revisions. Please submit written comments, preferably in Word format, to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 pm PDT on Friday, May 19.
The Reserve hosted a webinar on April 27, 2017 to discuss the proposed changes to the protocol and quantification guidance and solicit public comment. The meeting recording and presentation slides are available below.
If you have questions about the FPP Version 4.0, please send them to Sarah Wescott at email@example.com.
Protocol Companion Documents and Tools
The documents and tools below are companions to the protocol and must be used for project development and verification oversight. Forms for requesting verification or project development assistance are found below.
The Reserve is working closely with ARB to assist with its review of all Reserve-issued guidance relating to this protocol and the Reserve’s other four protocols that ARB adopted for early action. ARB retains final authority as to what guidance will be accepted for use in the compliance program.
|Document/Tool||Description||Project/Protocol Version Relevance|
|Biomass Equations||The biomass equations have been obtained from the United States Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) National Program. The equations are the same equations used to generate the Common Practice estimate for each Assessment Area (by site class where applicable). Project Developers must use these same equations for their projects.||Required for all FPP Versions 3.0 and later.|
|Batch 1.0||Optional for projects listed prior to March 25, 2011.|
|Batch 1.1||Required for all projects listed after March 25, 2011 and optional for previously listed projects.|
|The Assessment Area Data File provides data to calibrate protocol requirements to projects based on the forest communities in which the project is located.||Required for all FPP Versions 3.0 and later.|
|Does not include Alaska or Hawaii. Required for all Early Action projects, as well as voluntary projects located outside of Alaska and Hawaii.|
|Includes Alaska and Hawaii only. To be used for voluntary projects located in these two states.|
Monitoring Calculation Worksheet
(November 1, 2012)
|The Monitoring Calculation Worksheet is a Microsoft Excel application for inputting project data and calculating project-related data, including CRTs. It is designed to help forest project developers organize their project data and facilitate verification. A print copy of the calculation worksheet is required as part of annual monitoring and must be included with the Monitoring Report.This tool is made available to account holders upon request. To receive a copy, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the body of the e-mail message, please include the following information:
||Required for 3.0 and later projects.|
|The Reserve will work with earlier projects to ensure previous reporting can be modified to the most current version|
Harvested Wood Products Calculation Worksheet
(July 18, 2012)
|The Harvested Wood Products Calculation Worksheet is a Microsoft Excel application for inputting a project’s harvest data, as well as calculating project and assisting in calculating baseline carbon from harvested wood products. It is designed to help forest project developers organize their project data and facilitate verification. An annually updated print copy of the harvested wood products calculation worksheet is required as part of annual monitoring and must be included with the Monitoring Report.This tool is made available to account holders upon request. To receive a copy, please send an e-mail to email@example.com. In the body of the e-mail message, please include the following information:
||Required for 3.0 and later projects.The Reserve will work with earlier projects to ensure previous reporting can be modified to the current version|
(July 29, 2013)
|A template to be used for Annual Monitoring Reports||Required for 2.1 and later projects.|
Forest Project Design Document (PDD) Template (April 05, 2012)
|The Project Design Document (PDD) template is a structured outline Project Operators must use. The PDD ensures both consistency and completeness in documenting project information. The PDD is the main document reviewed by verifiers.||Required for Version 3.3 and later|
June 6, 2012
|The PIA is a legal agreement between the Reserve and a Forest Owner setting forth: (i) the Forest Owner’s obligation (and the obligation of its successors and assigns) to comply with the Forest Project Protocol, and (ii) the rights and remedies of the Reserve in the event of any failure of the Forest Owner to comply with its obligations.||Required for all Versions 3.0 and later.|
|Quantification Guidance||Guidance for quantifying a Forest Project’s onsite carbon stocks and carbon in harvested wood products, both for purposes of estimating a project’s baseline as well as providing ongoing estimates of onsite project carbon stocks throughout the project life.||Required for Version 3.3 and later|
(September 12, 2016)
|A Microsoft Excel application to be used by verifiers.||Required for verification of optional soil carbon quantification in Avoided Conversion projects (Versions 3.0 – 3.2) and verification of all sampled and credited carbon pools in Version 3.3. Optional for verification of all (non-soil) sampled and credited carbon pools in all previous versions of the protocol.|
(April 7, 2017)
|A Microsoft Excel application to be used by verifiers.||Required for verification of all sampled and credited carbon pools in Version 3.3 of the protocol, and appropriate for use with ARB’s Compliance Offset Protocol – US Forest Projects. Please note that this is not an official ARB-approved tool.|
|Supplemental Verification Methodology – Sequential Sampling (July 3, 2012)||Supplemental guidance required for the verification of soil carbon estimates (if included) in Avoided Conversion projects. The verification method may be applied to other sampled carbon pools.||Optional for verification of all (non-soil) sampled and credited carbon pools in all previous versions of the protocol.|
|Verification of Forest Carbon Project Plots Using Sequential Statistical Methods by Tim Robards, PhD||This is a reference paper used to provide a statistical approach to checking plots as part of the CAR verification process. Sequential statistical methods are used to collect plot data until a threshold is reached where a decision may be made as to the adequacy of the plot data.||Can be used as a resource when using sequential sampling methods|
|In 2010, the Reserve released final guidelines for aggregating smaller forest projects with a goal of making smaller projects more cost-effective.||Projects submitted under Version 3.0 – 3.2 are eligible to aggregate under these rules. The same aggregation rules are embodied within Version 3.3.|
Request for Project Guidance (April 11, 2011)
|A form to be used by project developers to request project-specific guidance. The form, which will include both the request and the Reserve response, will remain as part of the project record.||As needed for 2.1 and later projects.|
(April 11, 2011)
|A form to be used by verifiers to request project-specific guidance. The form, which will include both the request and the Reserve response, will remain as part of the project record.||As needed for 2.1 and later projects.|
Protocol White Papers
The Reserve has commissioned the development of white papers that address topics relating to carbon accounting of optional pools, criteria for sustainable forest management and natural forest management, and assessing forest project eligibility on federal lands. The federal lands white paper is available for review; the public comment period ended on July 18. Please click the link below for more information.
Forest Project Protocol Development
In response to a mandate set out in California Senate Bill 812 (Sher, 2002) the Climate Action Reserve began work on a set of Forestry Protocols in April 2003. The development of the Forest Project Protocol has evolved over time as the Reserve has worked closely with stakeholders, forest experts, environmental organizations and government agencies to update, improve and expand the protocol. Please click the link below for more information on the development process.