Design Options for a Forest Carbon Legal Framework for Lao PRD: Drawing lessons from across the globe

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Summary

This study looks at the possible design options that could form the basis of a legal framework for carrying out forest carbon activities and investments in Laos by both public and private sector actors. It provides an overview of the features of forest carbon schemes across the globe and examines Laotian forest-related legislation and implementation. It then suggests possible REDD+ options for Laos consistent with and building on both current Laotian policies and international thinking.

Items investigated include scope and eligibility requirements, linking sub-national activities to national level accounting, institutional arrangements, MRV systems, and carbon registries.

 Current UNFCCC REDD proposal and CDM AR project requirements were assessed, along with a mix of practical national, sub-national and project-based approaches across compliance and voluntary markets. These include Brazil’s Amazon Fund and policies of the State of Amazonas, Indonesia’s evolving policies, New Zealand’s ETS, and the Climate Action Reserve of North America. The evolving national forest carbon MRV systems of Australia, Canada and India were also examined.

 The report explores two instances where sub-national forest carbon activities coexist with higher level monitoring and accounting (New Zealand and Brazil). A possible nested REDD+ model that integrates the multiple crediting and financing pathways sought by Laos is presented in Section 5.4. It includes many of the pluses of the New Zealand and Brazilian models while attempting to overcome the minuses and gaps.