We assess how all parties are collaborating to implement the project and identify any risks to project operations and deliverables. Lastly, we evaluate the level of impact a project is having on the local communities engaged and the ecosystem or landscape in which it is being developed.
Site visit objectives are developed for each project visit around the following themes:
- Project management
- Stakeholder engagement
- Activity delivery and progress
- Monitoring practices
- Start up or implementation challenges and opportunities
- Carbon credit delivery risk assessment
- Carbon standard alignment (e.g. leakage, permanence, sustainability, additionality, durability)
- Community benefits, equity and engagement
- Provision of project management, implementation or monitoring support and guidance
Site visits also provide an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing our project partners — sometimes in unforgiving natural, socioeconomic or political environments — and the realities of implementing a carbon project on the ground vs on paper. Everything can be laid out nicely and on time in project design documents and work plans … until the only project access road is flooded out and takes three weeks to repair.
Carbon sampling plans are developed following registry methodologies, but then the project’s unique landscape requires methods to be adapted to meet the local context and might delay the first credit issuance.
Opportunities arise as well — such as when a hands-on project developer, our partner Imperative Global, supported their implementation partners to fully re-think their improved biomass cookstove supply chain after soliciting community feedback and testing of cookstove designs. Instead of ordering cookstoves from China, the team decided to transform an old tobacco storage facility into a local cookstove manufacturing center, hiring local staff, directly overseeing design quality, and shortening their distribution time to communities.
We visited the new cookstove manufacturing facility in Malawi to assess function, supply chain risk, and distribution operations, thus ensuring community members’ expectations were met and carbon credit delivery was on schedule.