Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Research Report

Capacity development in national forest monitoring: Experiences and progress for REDD+

Brice Mora
Martin Herold
Veronique De Sy
Arief Wijaya
Louis Verchot
Jim Penman
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Pages: 115
  • Cite this Item

Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-2)

    The GOFC-GOLD Land Cover Office¹ and the CIFOR Global Comparative Study on REDD+² held a workshop titled ‘Stepwise approaches for national forest monitoring and REDD+ MRV capacity development’ in Wageningen, The Netherlands, on 3–5 September 2012. Institutions represented at the meeting were:

    1. intergovernmental institutions (World Bank, FAO, IPCC, UNFCCC, European Commission, ESA)

    2. national forest monitoring experts (from Brazil, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Norway, Tanzania, Vietnam, Germany)

    3. academic institutes (Wageningen University, Colegio de la Frontera Sur, CIGA)

    4. other international experts active in REDD+ MRV capacity development (such as Winrock, GIZ).

    The meeting was organised in the context of increasing demand for...

  2. Part 1. Country experiences in improving national forest monitoring

    • (pp. 5-18)
      Pradeepa Bholanath, Nasheta Dewnath and Jagdesh Singh

      Guyana’s forest area is estimated at 18.39 million ha – covering approximately 85% of the country –with more than 5GtCO2 in aboveground biomass. The Government of Guyana has embarked on a national programme that aims to protect and maintain its forests to help reduce global carbon emissions and, at the same time, to attract resources to foster growth and development along a low carbon emissions path. Guyana is committed to contributing to efforts to address deforestation and forest degradation, estimated to account for approximately 18% of global emissions and thus the second most important source of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide....

    • (pp. 19-26)
      Devendra Pandey

      The Forest Survey of India (FSI) – an organisation under the Federal Ministry of Environment and Forests that is fully funded by the Indian government – has been responsible for the periodic monitoring of national forest resources in India since 1981. However, provincial governments (states) have been monitoring forests at the local and management unit levels for much longer than that. It is important to note that provincial governments own and manage most of India’s forests under the federal government’s major policy framework.

      The practice of forest inventory was introduced at the local level in 1856 to estimate the growing...

    • (pp. 27-40)
      Ruandha Agung Sugardiman

      Policy approaches and positive incentives set out in the Cancun Agreement aim to provide encouragement to developing countries that are contributing to mitigation actions in the forestry sector by undertaking REDD+-related activities, defined as reducing emissions from deforestation, reducing emissions from forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks; sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

      The Cancun Agreement also states that implementation of REDD+-related activities is to be measured domestically, reported, and then verified as making a contribution to global mitigation efforts. Implementation at national level involves developing 1) a national strategy or action plan; 2) a...

    • (pp. 41-46)
      Manh Cuong Pham

      Until 1990, forest monitoring in Vietnam was conducted only at subnational level, particularly for State Forest Enterprises (SFEs), by using a combination of aerial photographs and field surveys. The first cycle of the National Forest Inventory and Monitoring (NFIM) programme was formally implemented in 1991; the 1994 Law on Forest Protection and Development required that the programme be conducted every five years. As of 2010, the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute (FIPI) had completed four cycles of the NFIM. Although all NFIM cycles used a combination of remote sensing data and field surveys, the types of imagery, number of ground...

    • (pp. 47-52)
      Bernardus H.J. de Jong

      The UNFCCC recommends that non-Annex 1 countries submit national communications related to climate change. Greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories that apply the most recently accepted methodology are an essential part of each communication. Consequently, Mexico, as a non-Annex 1 country, has submitted four national communications, all of which include a summary of GHG inventories for all sectors. The country has also separately presented other publications or reports that set out in more detail the procedures and data applied in each inventory. Each communication reports emission estimates for a certain base year or period, depending on the sector (see Table 1 for...

  3. Part 2. Experiences and lessons learned from donor organisations

    • (pp. 55-62)
      Maarten van der Eynden

      The Government of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) was launched by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 13th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Bali in 2007. Through NICFI, the Government of Norway aims to support efforts to slow, halt and eventually reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+). As the world fights to avoid the dangers of climate change, REDD+ is gaining recognition as one of the most important, timely and cost-effective tools at our disposal.

      Within its overall aim,...

    • (pp. 63-68)
      Alexander Lotsch

      The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility¹ is a multilateral global initiative that supports REDD+ readiness preparation activities. Since its inception in 2008, the facility has promoted a collaborative partnership among countries, donors and observers that has provided a meaningful platform for exchanges on REDD+. The World Bank hosts and manages the facility and has been the principal implementing agency thus far. An important contribution of the FCPF has been the development of an operational framework² for readiness preparation activities that encompasses 1) national readiness organisation, 2) REDD+ strategy preparation, 3) reference levels and 4) monitoring systems for forests and safeguards.


  4. Part 3. Key issues for national forest monitoring and REDD+

    • (pp. 71-76)
      Sandro Federici, Giacomo Grassi and Frédéric Achard

      Tropical countries vary widely in their technical and financial capacities and in their environmental conditions (Romijn et al. 2012). It is expected, therefore, that countries will employ a variety of methods for reporting their REDD+ activities under the UNFCCC (UNFCCC 2012a), which could lead to differences in data quality and accuracy of results. National circumstances may therefore lead to incompleteness of country-specific data or even errors in estimates when applying complex methods. As a consequence, some countries may not benefit from REDD+ performance-based payments because they will not be able to provide accurate and/or reliable estimates of forest biomass before...

    • (pp. 77-82)
      Margaret Skutsch and Arturo Balderas Torres

      A great deal has been written about measurement, reporting and verifying (MRV) in connection with REDD+ and the associated technical requirements for developing robust and reliable systems for assessing reductions in emissions and increases in carbon stock. There has also been some concern about monitoring the co-benefits of REDD+, such as the ecological co-benefits (Stickler et al. 2009) and social co-benefits (Richards and Panfil 2011), particularly since the issue of safeguards (biodiversity, indigenous rights, governance) was introduced into UNFCCC texts (e.g. UNFCCC 2009). There are, however, two other functions of monitoring associated with REDD+ that have received scant attention to...

    • (pp. 83-88)
      Martin Herold, Veronique De Sy, Arild Angelsen and Louis Verchot

      Forest reference levels (RLs) and forest reference emission levels (RELs)¹ are most commonly used as a business as usual (BAU) baseline to assess a country’s performance in implementing REDD+ (Meridian Institute 2011; UNFCCC 2011). RLs are needed to establish a reference point or benchmark against which actual emissions (and removals) are compared. The RL also serves as a benchmark for compensation or payments in a results-based REDD+ mechanism. This financial incentives benchmark (FIB) determines the emission levels after which a country, subnational unit or project should start being paid for their results. The way the FIB is set has implications...

  5. Part 4. Summary and recommendations

    • (pp. 91-100)
      Martin Herold, Jim Penman and Veronique De Sy

      Reporting of REDD+ activities¹ requires national forest monitoring systems (NFMSs)² that use an appropriate combination of remote sensing and ground-based and national inventory approaches for estimating anthropogenic forest-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by sources, removals by sinks, forest carbon stocks and forest area changes. Such systems provide the foundation for estimating, reporting and verifying the effect of all forest-related or REDD+ activities on forest carbon (Herold and Skutsch 2011).

      Many countries already have some form of national forest monitoring in place, but the existing capacity gaps relative to the likely requirements to participate fully in REDD+ are substantial and vary...