All CDM projects are required to provide evidence that the project activity will not adversely impact local populations and other relevant stakeholders. Therefore, project developers are obliged to inform all relevant stakeholders about the project activity, invite and respond to all comments submitted by stakeholders.
In the CDM modalities and procedures, stakeholders are defined as follows:
“Stakeholders” means the public, including individuals, groups or communities affected, or likely to be affected, by the proposed clean development mechanism project activity (3/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 1(e)).
According to the set out rules, stakeholders must be consulted during the planning phase of a CDM project activity. The designated operational entity (DOE), which is an independent body assessing if the project activity meets the eligibility requirements in order to get validation, the DOE shall review the project design document and any supporting documentation to confirm that the following requirements have been met:
Comments by local stakeholders have been invited, a summary of the comments received has been provided, and a report to the designated operational entity on how due account was taken of any comments has been received (3/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 37(b)).
Global stakeholder consultation
This includes a global stakeholder involvement. Therefore, the Project Design Document (PDD) has to be made available on the UNFCCC website for 30 days. During this time, parties, stakeholders and UNFCCC accredited observers may make comments, which have to be made publicly available (3/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 40(b) – (d)).
The 30-day public commenting period is only announced online and only allows submissions in English.
Local stakeholder consultation
Although local stakeholder consultation is a key requirement in the CDM process it is so far been treated as a mere formality. Due to missing specific guidance or standards on how a local stakeholder consultation process should be undertaken, local stakeholder consultations are often undertaken superficially. It has repeatedly been reported that only likely to be favourable stakeholders have been invited to the consultation process, opposing stakeholders have been threatened to sign blank approval documents, information have been provided that do not reflecting the real situation and that false promises have been made to the public. Furthermore, local stakeholder consultations are often not announced in the local media or local language(s) and therefore do not come to the attention of likely to be affected stakeholders.
Opportunities to for the public to participate in the CDM decision- process and to raise concerns are very rare. Current weak local stakeholder consultation requirements are not broad enough and do not safeguard that affected communities and individuals are protected at their best.
While operational, there is no mechanism available for the civil society to raise concerns about negative CDM impacts.