Mission Statement

The Committee seeks to ensure that Project Vesta’s research program:

  • Comports with the highest standards of scientific rigor, integrity, and transparency;
  • Complies with all pertinent laws and regulations in the proposed initial field experiment’s venue, and best practices, including regarding human rights; and
  • Effectively engages the public in exploring the potential impacts of coastal enhanced weathering at the designated field test site, as well as seeking to explore global attitudes about potential large-scale deployment of this approach.


Terms of Reference

  • The primary work of the Board will be effectuated by consideration of three aspects of the project: science, legal compliance/financial integrity, and public engagement:
  • PVAC is charged with scrutinizing the science associated with both phases of the field experiment proposed by the Research Team. It will be provided access to all pertinent scientific data associated with the development and execution of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the field experiment. The Committee’s science remit will include:
  • Assessment of the research methodology for both phases of the proposed initial field experiment in the Dominican Republic;
  • Identification of strategies and options to reduce any risks associated with Phase 2 of the field experiment;
  • Assessment of research results in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the field experiment, including a mapping on the experiment’s objectives and evaluation of impacts of the experiment on the field experiment venue’s coastal ecosystem;
  • Assessment of the project’s ongoing monitoring program;
  • Recommendations for further research.

It is anticipated that PVAC will consult with outside scientific experts in pertinent phases of its inquiry, including scientists with knowledge of the specific venues in which Project Vesta experiments may be conducted.

  • Legal/Financial. PVAC is charged with charged with providing advice on the Project’s compliance with pertinent host country legal and regulatory requirements, other relevant international standards or guidance, as well as questions associated with funding of the experiment. More specifically, its remit includes the following:
    • Review legal advice provided to the Project Team on pertinent environmental laws and regulations in the Dominican Republican (the site of the Project’s initial field experiment) and the Project Team’s plan for compliance; identify any concerns and assess the Project Team’s compliance with this framework in Phases 1 & 2 of the field experiment;
    • Identify any additional standards, guidelines or best practices relevant to the project, propose measures to comply, and assess Project Team’s compliance with these standards;
    • Based on information on funding sources provided by the Project, identify any situations that may give rise to potential conflicts of interest or self-dealing practices.
  • Public Engagement. PVAC recognizes the critical role of public education and engagement related to this potential emerging climate response given its wider implications for climate policymaking, and the potentially substantial ramifications in terms of coastal ecosystems and economies, as well as ocean ecosystems. PVAC will review Project Vesta’s engagement plans and provide advice in an effort to ensure effective public education and deliberation.
  • PVAC will provide guidance and advice to the Project teams in terms of optimal public engagement protocols for the local and national contexts of the experimental venue in the Dominican Republic. It may also recommend public deliberative protocols for a global audience given the Project’s aspirations to ultimately deploy coastal enhanced weathering globally in the future. The Sub-Committee will emphasize the need to ensure that deliberative fora are broadly representative and accessible.
  • PVAC deliverables, all of which will be available on the Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy’s website (https://www.american.edu/sis/centers/carbon-removal/), will include the following:
    • A report appraising the research methodology for the proposed initial field research experiment of the Project Vesta Research Team in the Dominican Republic, as well as legal compliance and assessment of financial integrity;
    • A report assessing the scientific results from the initial field experiment, including estimated carbon sequestration, ecosystem co-benefits, if any, and negative ecosystem impacts, if any, and recommendations for next steps;
    • A report assessing the Project Team’s public engagement protocol and results of public engagement processes.