Public Comment Period for IFM v2.1 in January 2024
In January 2024, ACR will publish for public comment a draft methodology update, “Improved Forest Management (IFM) on Non-Federal U.S. Forestlands version 2.1.”
Ahead of that time we wanted to highlight a few key parts of the proposed revision.
First and foremost, this update includes a framework for periodic baseline reassessment. Rather than relying on assumptions made at project initiation for the crediting period duration, projects developed under version 2.1 will require periodic baseline reassessment – and recalculation when relevant – at intervals not to exceed five years. This proposed change is aligned with accounting under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
In addition, the revised methodology requires that baseline setting explicitly consider “common practice silviculture” in the region where the project is located. This includes substantiating the baseline silviculture and harvest intensities based on actual harvest activities occurring on comparable lands in the vicinity of the project. The methodology will allow a range of tools, including remote sensing, to guide the common practice silviculture assessment.
The methodology will prescribe a practical checklist to validate the assumptions underpinning the baseline over time. This checklist will consider changes in legality, operability and access, financial feasibility, forest products market capacity, and common practice silviculture. Baseline recalculation would be required in intervening reporting periods if the baseline cannot be substantiated by the assessments above.
When the methodology update is final, ACR will also publish an optional tool compatible with previous methodology versions that existing projects can use to implement the new approach to baseline setting as desired.
ACR recognizes that projects developed under our methodologies require long-term commitments from landowners. We undertake the revision with this understanding clearly in mind, which is why we are providing advanced notice about the public consultation and proposed changes.
ACR sincerely appreciates engagement from stakeholders to ensure the final methodology delivers high-quality, high-value credits into the carbon market.