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2.1 Commitment of landowners and project developers/ group managers

Requirement

  • The landowner/ project developer shall commit to the terms as specified below.
  • Groups shall have a nominated Group Manager and a formal management structure between members.
  • Groups shall have a Group Agreement setting out terms as specified below.

This requirement is checked at validation.  If the landowner or group members/terms change, then a new commitment statement/group agreement will be required at verification.

Landowner/ Project Developer Commitments

This section brings together in one place all the commitments required of the landowner and/or project developer.  Some of these commitments are referred to in more detail in other sections of the code (referred to in brackets), but are shown together here for clarity.

There may be more than one party involved in the management of a WCC project.  A landowner could develop their own project or contract a third party.  A Group Manager is effectively a project developer for several projects working together for validation/verification.  Whichever setup applies, there are a number of commitments that the each party involved in WCC projects should make.

The Landowner shall commit to:

  • conform to this standard
  • permanent land-use change
  • manage the land as per the management plan for the establishment period and as per the longer-term management intentions for the project duration and beyond (2.3)
  • comply with the law (1.4) and conform with the UK Forestry Standard (1.5)
  • restock where projects involve harvesting (2.5)
  • replant or undertake alternative planting should woodland area be lost due to wind, fire, pests, disease or development (2.3) 
  • inform future landowner(s) of the commitment to the Woodland Carbon Code and any carbon contracts (2.3)
  • monitor and maintain verification for the project duration as per WCC guidance (unless the thrid party project developer agrees to take this on - 2.5)
  • if there is a loss of woodland carbon, notify the Forestry Commission immediately and submit a Loss Report within six months of discovery (2.3)
  • ensure the project, any PIU listings, sales to carbon buyers, retirement for use of verified Woodland Carbon Units is accurately represented and up to date in the UK Woodland Carbon Registry (either in their own account or via the project/group manager's - 2.6)
  • make true and accurate carbon statements about the project which conform with guidance (2.7)
  • abide by the WCC logo rules of use

The project developer / group manager shall commit to:

  • conform to this standard
  • comply with the law (1.4) and conform with the UK Forestry Standard (1.5)
  • monitor and maintain verification for the project duration as per WCC guidance (unless the landowner has agreed to take this on - 2.5)
  • ensure the project/group, any PIU listings, sales to carbon buyers, retirement for use of verified Woodland Carbon Units is accurately represented and up to date in the UK Woodland Carbon Registry (2.6)
  • make true and accurate carbon statements about the project which comply with guidance (2.7)
  • make carbon buyers aware of the WCC guidance on carbon claims and include in contracts with buyers (2.7)
  • abide by the WCC logo rules of use and make carbon buyers and landowners aware of the WCC logo rules of use

The Group Agreement

The group needs to

  • have a Group Manager/ individual (who may be a named individual within an organisation)
  • have a formal management structure between individual woodland owners, project managers and the Group Manager.
  • be legally constituted in such a manner as to allow them to enter a service contract with the validation/verification body.

Once validated as a group, it is anticipated that groups will continue to work together for the duration of their projects/the Group Agreement.

The Group Agreement between the landowners, land managers of constituent projects (if there are any) and the Group Manager shall, as a minimum, set out:

  • The name of the group, its size and geographic scope and any other limitations on membership.
  • The name and contact details of the Group Manager and the arrangements for replacing the Group Manager should this be necessary.
  • The name and contact details of the constituent landowners (and land managers if there are any)
  • Details of the projects covered by the agreement (unique IDs, project names, loactions and areas)
  • Each projects liability for the group’s carbon rights and commitments (including consideration of whether the carbon is sold collectively or individually).
  • The group's management structure and any other group rules.
  • If not specified separately, the commitments of each landowner and the group manager as outlined above.
  • Signatures of the Group Manager, all the landowners (and land managers if there are any).
  • The roles and responsibilities of the Group Manager and the group members as below:

The Group Manager shall:

  • Maintain a register of members of the group and the individual planting projects covered by the group scheme.
  • Ensure the requirements of the contract between the Group Manager and the constituent group members are adhered to.
  • Establish and implement a system of document control and record keeping, holding copies of documents as required by the WCC.
  • Act as the main point of contact with the Forestry Commission, the validation/verification body and the registry.
  • Register the projects in the group on the registry and coordinate the project-group design (including production of a group PDD and collation of associated documentation).
  • Lead on project-group validation and ongoing verification including addressing corrective actions for non-conformities.
  • Inform group members of relevant developments.
  • Deal with complaints relevant to WCC validation/ verification.
  • Revise the Group Agreement (as necessary) with any changes to the group membership or terms.
  • Commit to other terms for project developers as detailed above.

Group members shall:

  • Abide by the Group Agreement.
  • Inform successor landowner(s) of their commitment to this group. 
  • Allow the Group Manager to apply for WCC validation/verification on their behalf.
  • Supply information required by the group manager and agree to internal audit by the group manager.
  • Take any corrective action required by the group manager to address non-conformities.
  • Commit to other terms for landowners as detailed above.

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Last updated: 14th March 2018