The Commodities & Jurisdictions Approach (CJA) offers a standardized assessment of jurisdictional programs that are reducing deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions at scale, based on six criteria which are in line with the provisions for REDD+ institutionalized in the Paris Agreement.
A plan to reduce deforestation and improve livlihoods.
A forest monitoring system and baseline.
Measures to address and monitor social and environmental safeguards.
Government support for the jurisdictional program.
Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted to the UNFCCC including forests, agriculture, and/or land use-related commitments.
Eligibility of Jurisdictions
To determine the eligibility of jurisdictions, CJA follows an assessment that was defined by CJA Brain Trust - a multi-stakeholder consortium of experts from companies, government, and civil-society organizations.
The assessment process follows one of two pathways:
Pathway1: A full assessment of jurisdictional programs against 32 sub-questions grouped under the 6 broader criteria. The CJA eligibility criteria are available here.
Pathway 2: A screening to confirm eligibility of jurisdictional programs that have been formally accepted under pre-qualified global standards.
What Global Standards are Pre-Qualified Under the CJA?
So far, two global standards have been determined to be consistent with CJA criteria and indicators:
- the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s Carbon Fund (FCPF-CF)
- the REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard (TREES) developed by the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) (ART-TREES)
Jurisdictional programs approved by these standards are highly likely to meet all CJA criteria. In addition, the standards’ administrators have laid out clear and objective processes for ensuring program compliance with the requirements of the standard, including a transparent process based on third-party assessment and periodic re-assessment, at least every 5 years.
Given this alignment, jurisdictional programs formally accepted under these standards are considered automatically eligible under the CJA, pending assessment against any remaining requirements not covered by the standard, such as the inclusion of forest and/or land use commitments in the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) (CJA Criteria 6).
CJA Assessment Process
Before programs are assessed for inclusion in the CJA, jurisdictions opt-in by submitting an expression of interest letter signed by a representative from the leading government institution of the jurisdictional program. They also share relevant publicly available documentation on the initiative to inform the assessment process.
Jurisdictions then follow one of two pathways for assessment, depending on whether or not they participate in any of the pre-qualified global standards.
The full assessment process is conducted in the following phases:
- A. Assessment including a review and approval by an independent Assessment Panel
- B. Final no-objection approval by CJA Brain Trust
Assessment and Panel Review
The assessment consists of an evaluation of the jurisdiction against all criteria and 32 sub-questions. The full list of CJA eligibility criteria is available here. Each criterion and sub-question is assessed according to the following scoring guide:
A volunteer review panel – a group of experts with relevant expertise and no conflict of interest drawn from the CJA Brain Trust – then reviews the results of the assessment for quality and consistency with CJA eligibility criteria. The panel concludes that the jurisdiction does or does not meet the eligibility criteria of the CJA. Requirements for assessment volunteers are provided here.
Approval and Notification
The outcome of the assessment is then submitted to the full CJA Brain Trust, who makes the final decision on a program’s approval for CJA participation on a no-objection basis. Once a jurisdiction is approved, the jurisdictional program becomes formally eligible under CJA, and the jurisdictional representative is informed.
Confirmation of Eligibility by Pre-Qualified Standards
Jurisdictions become pre-qualified under CJA by being formally accepted in any of the following pre-qualified global standards:
- FCPF-Carbon Fund, following signature of an Emissions Reduction Payment Agreement between the jurisdictional representative and the World Bank.
- ART TREES, following TREES Registration (i.e. when the program’s TREES Registration Document and Monitoring Report are approved by the ART Board, and the program is listed in the ART Registry as “Registered”)
Documentation and Completeness Check
These jurisdictional programs go through an assessment process as required by the standards, which means that they automatically meet the CJA's eligibility criteria, apart from minor gaps that are checked separately.
A completeness check for all the pre-existing, publicly available documentation submitted by the jurisdictional representative is first conducted. To confirm eligibility against any remaining gaps in alignment with the standards, additional documentation will be reviewed. For example, the NDC of the jurisdiction’s national government is reviewed separately for FCPF-Carbon Fund jurisdictions.
Once a completeness check is performed for all documentation and all criteria, the jurisdiction is confirmed to be eligible under CJA.
Notice of eligibility is then provided to the Brain Trust and to the representatives of the eligible jurisdictional initiative.
Results from both types of CJA assessment as well as links to documentation demonstrating eligibility for positively assessed jurisdictions are available on this website for use by anyone wishing to apply this approach. Information on commodities produced in eligible jurisdictions is also available on this site.