Methane Emission Reduction by Adjusted Water Management Practice in Rice Cultivation

Modified on Fri, 22 Mar at 12:33 PM


These FAQs are on the Gold Standard methodology:
METHANE EMISSION REDUCTION BY ADJUSTED WATER MANAGEMENT PRACTICE IN RICE CULTIVATION

Sections:


General Applicability

What activities and/or key features are applicable for the Gold Standard Rice Methodology? 

An introduction to the rice methodology and its key features is included in the overview document. 


From which date is the Gold Standard rice methodology allowed to be used?

The Gold Standard rice methodology was published on 06 July 2023, and has come into force on the same date.


Can projects still apply AMS-III.AU under Gold Standard?

Projects can no-longer apply AMS-III.AU under Gold Standard, since the grace period of 30 days from the date of publication of the Gold Standard rice methodology has now passed. 


Are projects allowed to transition if they are already registered in other standards?

Projects are allowed to transition from other standards to Gold Standard for the Global Goals. However, projects must transition to the latest approved Gold Standard rice methodology and meet all mandatory principles, methodology and transition requirements. This is likely to include an interim design review and an updated design document. Please refer to Annex B of the GHG Emission Reduction and Sequestration Product Requirements for the transition rules and procedure. There is also supporting guidance on the process, which includes an overview and links to relevant documents and criteria.

 

Is it possible for farmers who have no former experience with Carbon Credits to register by themselves? Or are experts needed to help out?

This is a decision for the farmer. However, Gold Standard and IRRI (under a funded programme) are contemplating simple-to-use tools to better support smallholders and farmers in applying this methodology. 


Can the project boundaries be provided as a KML file or is the complete coordinate information required?

Yes, the project boundary can be submitted as kml files. 


Eligibility

Are project activities that replace conventional flood irrigation with modern micro irrigation systems that results in substantial methane and N2O emissions reduction, eligible under this methodology? 

The methane emission reductions will be eligible. However, at present the methodology does not cater for reductions in N2O emissions.


Why is N2O not considered? For example, if pulses/legumes are grown prior to paddy, it may reduce the need for fertiliser?

Emission reductions due to a decrease in N2O emissions are not considered by the methodology at present. 


The implementation of Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) generally leads to an increase in N2O emissions as the soil becomes aerobic - does this methodology take this into account when calculating tCO2e, or does it only consider measured CH4 reduction?

Increase in N2O emissions in Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) systems are considered in the methodology as project emissions.


Are projects in regions with a rice- other crop (e.g. wheat) system eligible as long as the project only claims emission reductions from a change in the rice cultivation practices and the project activity under rice cultivation meets all the applicability conditions of the methodology?

The methodology is applicable for existing rice fields that change the water regime during the cultivation period from continuously to intermittent flooded conditions and/or a shortened period of flooded conditions. Emission reductions may be claimed for change in water regime in the rice cultivation practice period only. 

 


Simplified Approach (small or microscale projects)

Can the simplified approach be applied by all projects?

No. The simplified approach can be applied only by small-scale or microscale projects/Voluntary Project Activities (VPAs). 


Are there any specific conditions for applying the simplified approach by small scale or microscale projects?

Small or micro scale projects/Voluntary Project Activities (VPAs) have to meet the definitions and requirements given in the Smallholder, small scale and microscale definitions and requirements for Land-Use and Forestry (LUF) projects – Gold Standard for the Global Goals. As per this, the emission reductions shall not be more than 60K tCO2e/year for a small-scale project. For microscale projects, the emission reduction shall not exceed 10K tCO2e/year, and project area shall not be more than 500 ha. If a simplified approach is considered, the small-scale or microscale projects shall demonstrate that there is no project/VPA by the same project developer which is design certified or under design review using the Gold Standard rice methodology within 1 km of the project boundary of the proposed project at the closest point. (Ref: paragraph 2.2.3 of the Gold Standard rice methodology)  


Is there any cap on emission reductions for small-scale VPAs? 

Small scale VPAs will be subject to the definitions and requirements detailed in Smallholder, small scale and microscale definitions and requirements for Land-Use and Forestry (LUF) projects – Gold Standard for the Global Goals. As per this, the emission reductions shall not be more than 60K tCO2e/year for a small-scale project. The total annual emission reductions from individual VPAs shall be considered. Please refer the following document for definitions of small scale and microscale projects: RULE UPDATE- Smallholder, small scale and microscale definitions and requirements for Land-Use and Forestry (luf) projects (goldstandard.org)


What is the possibility of developing a PoA with several small-scale VPAs and using simplified 1 approach to measure emission reductions from the project (even if the total size of all VPAs exceed the 60k tCO2e/year limit)?

Scale of the Programme of Activity (PoA) will be decided at real case Voluntary Project Activity (VPA) level. VPAs opting for small or micro  small scale if applying tier 1 default values, shall demonstrate compliance with reference to paragraph 2.2.3 of the Gold Standard rice methodology. Small or micro scale projects/VPAs applying the simplified approach shall demonstrate that there is no project/VPA by the same project developer, which is design certified or under design review using this methodology, within 1 km of the project boundary of the proposed project.


Can several size projects be integrated into one Programme of Activity (POA)?

As per the Programme of Activity Requirements, the scale is determined at real case VPA level. This means one PoA can include both small and large-scale VPAs.


Is it possible to develop a PoA with several small-scale VPAs and use simplified approach to measure emission reductions from the project?

Yes, it is possible to develop a PoA with several small-scale VPAs and use the simplified approach. However, the conditions in paragraph 5.1.2 in conjunction with paragraph 2.2.3 of the rice methodology need to be complied with. 

 


Project Design

Should all the parameters mentioned in the methodology be considered for stratification?

The Gold Standard rice methodology has provided examples of seven parameters to be considered for stratification. There could be further considerations, for example, in Tier-2 approach. The project developer has the flexibility to choose the parameters for stratification based on the availability of information. However, the following three parameters are mandatory while stratifying the project area: Water regime on-season, water regime pre-season and organic amendments. Project area can be stratified, with all areas having the same patterns forming a stratum.


How many reference fields are required?

At least three reference fields are required for each stratum in the project fields as well as baseline fields. The reference fields have to be aligned to the stratification, where, each project and baseline field has been classified according to guidance provided in the methodology. The reference fields should be as close as possible to the project fields, with no lateral water movement, and with the appropriate justification of ecological attributes for all the reference fields. 


How to avoid duplication while onboarding a farmer or a field? For example, a farmer can partner with two project developers.

Project areas have to be spatially demarcated, which is verified during the design review and project certification process. The same farmer can choose to work with two different project developers, however the same farmer cannot use the same land in two projects.



Data Measurement and Monitoring

Does the methodology detail the Tier 2 approach and provides any guidelines on field measurements? 

Details for the Tier 2 approach and guidelines on field measurements can be located in Appendix A and B of the methodology itself.


What is the frequency of measuring the data from the fields? 

The frequency of measurement is provided in section of 4.1 the Gold Standard rice methodology. The methane measurements are required at least once a week.


What can be done if there is no information available in the host country / region on parameters to be used for stratification?

Peer-reviewed scientific literature on methane emission in rice fields may be scarce for some regions/countries. In this case, a feasible option is the use of scientific articles from zones with similar agroclimatic conditions and cultural practices. Veracity of the same will be checked during design review process. 


Is the uncertainty discount of 15% applicable in direct measurement and Tier-2 approaches as well?

The uncertainty discount of 15% is to be applied only in the simplified approach, which is allowed only for small-scale and microscale projects. In other cases, uncertainty deductions would be applied as per the estimated uncertainty band as per the Land Use and Forestry (LUF) Activity Requirements.


Which default emission factor is to be applied if country and regional values are both available?

Country, regional and global default values are to be applied in that order.


Are process based models included in the new rice methodology?

At present modelling is not allowed as per the methodology. A separate module to consider that component is being contemplated.


Which countries have country-specific values? 

Please refer to Table 9 of the rice methodology for country-specific default values that are available with reference to IPCC 2019. Project developers are also free to propose country-specific values based on Appendix B of the methodology.


What are the guidelines for project emissions? Should N2O and CO2 be included?

Quantification of N2O emissions are explained in section 3.6 of the Gold Standard rice methodology. CO2 and N2O emissions are to be accounted.


How many years of data is required for the baseline data?

The methodology does not prescribe a specific number of years for the baseline data


What is the difference between the country-specific default value (Table 9) and the Tier 2 country-specific value (derived using Appendix B)?

The default values provided in Table 9 of the rice methodology can be applied only by those projects that opt for the simplified approach. The simplified approach is restricted to small or micro-scale projects. Country-specific values as derived using the guidance in Appendix B can be applied to projects of any scale.


Is there any guidance on how project developers should monitor the water regime (project activity) during monitoring period? 

Section 4 of the rice methodology provides details of what is expected during monitoring.


Given the labour intensity of closed chambers, how do you view the use of field trace gas analysers for emission measurements?

Technical deviations or improvements to the methodology can be submitted to the Gold Standard secretariat. For deviations, the process is outlined in the deviations approval procedures and the template for the deviation request form should be submitted to help@goldstandard.org and help@sustain-cert.com.

 

More information on the process for submitting improvements is located in the procedure for development, revision and clarification of methodologies. The template for the methodology concept note should be sent to methodology@goldstandard.org.

 

Can a large-scale project use a Tier 2 approach to derive Emission Factors for use in ex-post estimations?

Please refer to para 3.8.4 of the rice methodology. This methodology follows the principle of no-backsliding i.e. the ex-post approach in monitoring report shall either be a higher tier or be the same tier as applied in the Project Design Document (PDD). For large scale projects the ex-anteestimation will be either Tier 2 or based on direct measurements. If a project has considered direct measurements for ex-ante estimations, then it cannot take a Tier 2 approach for ex-post estimations. Further paragraphs 3.8.18 to 3.8.22 of the methodology also details the considerations of using Tier 2 approach.


Can a large-scale project use IPCC scaling factors for Tier 2 Emission Factors in ex-post estimations?

The values of the scaling factors in the IPCC guidelines (2019) may not be fully representative to the agricultural practices of the host country. The preferred approach is to consider country-specific figures derived from the field or peer-reviewed literature. However, in case there are no sources for scaling factors, then IPCC default values may be considered. More information on this can be found in sections E and F of the Gold Standard rice methodology (Appendix B).


How does the methodology account for projects with a 3-season rice cultivation practice while applying IPCC defaults for small/micro scale projects?

IPCC default values are for single and double cropping. Unless it is specifically mentioned that the values are also allowed for triple cropping, default values cannot be applied. The rice methodology can however be applied to three-season rice practice.


How does the methodology account for projects with a 3-season rice cultivation practice while applying a Tier 2 approach?

Appropriate scaling factors for a three-season rice cultivation may be developed. Please refer to Appendix B of the rice methodology. The methodology can be applied to three-season rice practice. 


How can projects using a Tier 2 approach for emissions factor establishment for use in ex-post estimations meet point 2.2.1 (g) of the applicability condition requirement?

Point 2.2.1 (g) of the applicability condition states that 'Except the case where the IPCC default value approach indicated in this methodology is chosen for emission reductions calculations, project developers have access to infrastructure to measure CH4 emissions from reference fields using closed chamber method and laboratory analysis'

 

Ideally, country specific emission factors shall be developed through the collection of field data such as, effects of soil type and rice cultivar etc., hence this condition is given in the rice methodology. However, in cases where there is an exception, a deviation request can be submitted to the Gold Standard secretariat.

 

Regarding the uncertainty calculation of large-scale projects, if there is no literature to refer to, is there a simplified calculation method for direct measurement?

At present there is no simplified calculation that has been approved. However, if you would like to propose a new method, you may please do so by submitting a methodology concept note should be sent to methodology@goldstandard.org. More information on the process is located in the procedure for development, revision and clarification of methodologies



For any remaining questions please contact us at help@goldstandard.org


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