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ACR Nested REDD+ Standard: Announcement of Open Public Comment Period and Stakeholder Consultation Webinar

August 28, 2012

Winrock International, a world leader in developing environmentally rigorous forest carbon standards and methodologies, has developed technical guidance for registration on its American Carbon Registry (ACR) of REDD+ projects nested within a jurisdictional accounting framework. 

The ACR Nested REDD+ Standard was developed by Winrock International and ACR with assistance from a jurisdictional REDD+ Technical Advisory Team. ACR welcomes stakeholder comments and feedback on the Standard through September 28, 2012.

The Standard provides registration requirements for project-level REDD+ activities – including conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks – following baseline, leakage, monitoring and other technical requirements developed at the jurisdictional level provided these meet certain minimum criteria. The ACR Nested REDD+ Standard also defines social and environmental safeguard requirements for registration of REDD+ projects.

The ACR Nested REDD+ Standard is another signal to the world that REDD+ projects are moving forward and now have a clear pathway for linking to state and provincial programs.  Most important is ensuring that local communities can benefit by project developers using standards like ACR and that real greenhouse gas reductions are occurring on the ground,” stated Anthony Brunello, executive director, Green Technology Leadership Group.

One primary benefit of “nesting” REDD+ projects within a jurisdictional framework is reduced transaction costs for projects, allowing them to use the baseline and other requirements developed by the jurisdiction rather than having to develop these at the project level. However, to be confident that nested REDD+ projects registered on ACR meet the same high quality standards as non-nested projects, it is important to establish the criteria that jurisdictional baselines, leakage assessments, monitoring, reversal risk mitigation, and jurisdictional registries must meet in order for projects to register on ACR. 

ACR’s new Nested REDD+ Standard may be used, in combination with the ACR REDD Methodology Modules and other ACR REDD methodologies, to register project-level activities nested within a larger jurisdictional accounting framework,” said Nicholas Martin, ACR’s chief technical officer. “The Standard does not prescribe how jurisdictions should design their accounting frameworks, but rather sets minimum criteria that must be met in order for a project nested within that framework to register on ACR.”

In addition to requiring rigorous GHG accounting, ACR raises the bar for REDD+ by being the first carbon offset standard to require that nested and non-nested REDD+ projects incorporate environmental and social safeguards, rather than making this optional. ACR’s REDD+ safeguard requirements rely on existing, credible project-level safeguard standards as well as internationally recognized jurisdictional safeguard framework approaches. ACR also defines specific ACR safeguard requirements for REDD+ projects to ensure improvements to social and economic well-being and enhancements in biodiversity and other ecosystem services.

Winrock International supports ACR’s comprehensive approach to rigorous carbon accounting paired with stringent safeguards for REDD+, towards fulfilling the organization’s global mission of empowering the disadvantaged, increasing economic opportunity and sustaining natural resources

The ACR Nested REDD+ Standard is built on 15 years of work by Winrock around the world, providing technical assistance and building local capacity to design and implement science-based methods to measure, monitor and report carbon emission reductions from forests,” said Dr. Sandra Brown, director and chief scientist of Winrock International’s Ecosystem Services group and Dr. Nancy Harris, lead scientists for the Standard. “We look forward to stakeholder feedback and ultimately to providing this new tool to encourage high-quality emission reductions from nested REDD+ projects targeting both voluntary and emerging compliance markets.”

ACR will hold a webinar on Wednesday, September 12th at 12:30 EST / 9:30 PST / 15:30 GMT to provide an overview of the ACR Nested REDD+ Standard, including technical and safeguards requirements, and to solicit comments and feedback from webinar participants. Speakers include Dr. Sandra Brown and Dr.

Nancy Harris of Winrock’s Ecosystem Services group as well as Nicholas Martin and Mary Grady of ACR.

Click HERE to register for this free webinar. 

Please direct any webinar registration questions to Paul Burman at


The nonprofit American Carbon Registry (ACR), an enterprise of Winrock International, is a leading carbon offset program recognized for its strong standards for environmental integrity. Founded in 1996 as the first private voluntary GHG registry in the world, ACR has set the bar in the global voluntary carbon market for offset quality and operational transparency and continues to lead innovation. 

Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. Since the 1990s, Winrock has been a leader in science-based GHG measurement and monitoring in the agriculture, land use change and forestry sectors. Winrock is headquartered in Little Rock, Ark.