Pina Earth and the Ecosystem Value Association e.V. are currently in the accreditation process of our forest adaptation method. This is an important step in the process to certify our forest adaptation projects under the “Wald-Klimastandard” in the future - the first German standard to certify forest ecosystem services.
With the newly published “Waldzustandserhebung 2022” from the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the topic gains even more relevance: 4 out of 5 trees are ill!
We asked Ronja Wolf, forest carbon project manager at Pina Earth, how certifying our project type and methodology under a general standard can help to accelerate German forest adaptation efforts.
For the first time, forest owners in Germany can be rewarded for forest adaptation under a national standard. Having achieved this, we can scale project areas to many thousand hectares of forests. This will accelerate the speed to make German forests more climate resilient in the future.
Ronja Wolf, Forest Carbon Project Manger at Pina Earth
In the interview, Ronja gives us some background information on the process of certifying forest adaptation projects under a German standard. Find the full transcript below:
What is the Wald-Klimastandard?
We currently have very few German greenhouse gas projects available, but the demand for local credits is quite high. The “Wald-Klimastandard” is the first German standard to certify forest ecosystem services.
Why do we need a standard?
A standard is important to create transparency and how greenhouse gas projects are set up. It defines criteria and indicators to ensure that there is a consistent and high quality of projects. This is important to foster the confidence and trust of project owners, but also of carbon credit buyers.
The approach that we take at Pina Earth is forest adaptation. We want to transform endangered pure stands in Germany to climate-resilient, mixed forest stands. We aim to include this specific project type under the “Wald-Klimastandard”
How does it work?
Part of approving a methodology - in our case forest adaptation - in a given standard is to test and approve the validity of the approach according to the requirements of the standard. This is done by various checks in form of independent auditors, expert interviews and also a public consultation.
So what is the public consultation? It means that we as a methodology developer, provide all the material necessary to understand our project type and how we calculate greenhouse gas emissions in our project and make it available to the public. And then, everyone can provide feedback how to make our methodology even better. And we take this feedback to further improve our approach.
What is the process?
To kick off the public consultation, we held two webinars and we published two papers that describe our methodology in detail. One is more focused on a general project type, and the second one provides a deeper insight into the methodology: how we simulate the baseline and the project scenario, how we calculate the carbon stored in the forest in both scenarios. All of these documents are now available online to the public. Anyone can provide feedback and submit that via a feedback form. At the end of the feedback period, we collect all viewpoints and suggestions and we use that to develop our methodology further.
Then, we go through the next steps of approving our methodology under the German “Wald-Klimastandard”. Among others, one important next step is a pilot phase where we will develop a few pilot projects in German forests.
What is the outcome?
When we successfully complete all steps in the accreditation process, we will have achieved a major milestone. It means that for the first time, forest owners in Germany can be rewarded for forest adaptation under a national standard. Having achieved this, we can scale project areas to many thousand hectares of forests. This will accelerate the speed to make German forests more climate resilient in the future.
Curious to learn more?
You find all the materials, including the recordings of the webinars, here (German only).