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This publication was produced for review by the United States Agency for
International Development. It was prepared by Tetra Tech.

This publication was produced for review by the United States Agency for International Development by Tetra Tech ARD,
through a Task Order under the Prosperity, Livelihoods, and Conserving Ecosystems (PLACE) Indefinite Quantity
Contract Core Task Order (USAID Contract No. EPP-I-00-06-00008-00, Order Number AID-OAA-TO-11-00022).

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Stephen Kelleher, Chief of Party

Olaf Zerbock, USAID Contracting Officer’s Representative

• Jennifer Hewson, Conservation International
• Marc Steininger, FCMC & Conservation International
• Stelios Pesmajoglou, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute

Contributing authors:
• Angel Parra, Consultant; GHG inventory & LULUCF sector expert
• Gordon Smith, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute
• David Shoch, TerraCarbon, LLC
• John Musinsky, National Ecological Observatory Network
• Fred Stolle, World Resources Institute
• Kemen Austin, World Resources Institute
• Irene Angeletti, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities
(FCMC) Program to provide its missions, partner governments, local and international stakeholders with assistance in
developing and implementing REDD+ initiatives. FCMC services include analysis, evaluation, tools and guidance for
program design support; training materials; and meeting and workshop development and facilitation that support US
Government contributions to international REDD+ architecture.

Please cite this report as:
Hewson, J., M.K. Steininger and S. Pesmajoglou, eds. 2014. REDD+ Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Manual,
Version 2.0. USAID-supported Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities Program. Washington, DC, USA.





The author’s views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the
views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United
States Government.


TABLE OF CONTENTS....................................................................................... III
ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ...................................................................... V
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................................... VIII
1.0 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................... 1
1.1 PURPOSE, SCOPE AND STRUCTURE ...................................................................................... 1
1.2 BACKGROUND ............................................................................................................................... 4
1.3 REFERENCES...................................................................................................................................... 8
2.0 INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS.............................................................. 9
2.1 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................ 9
2.2 ELEMENTS OF A MRV SYSTEM FOR REDD+ .......................................................................13
2.4 STEPS IN ESTABLISHING INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS.....................................19
2.5 EXAMPLES ........................................................................................................................................22
2.6 EPA NATIONAL SYSTEM TEMPLATES ...................................................................................26
2.7 REFERENCES....................................................................................................................................30
3.1 INTRODUCTION ..........................................................................................................................31
3.2 IPCC GUIDANCE...........................................................................................................................34
3.3 INVENTORY AND REPORTING STEPS .................................................................................38
3.4 DEFINITIONS OF CARBON POOLS AND LAND USES ..................................................41
3.6 REFERENCES....................................................................................................................................49
4.0 FIELD-BASED INVENTORIES .................................................................... 50
4.1 INTRODUCTION ..........................................................................................................................50
4.2 CARBON POOLS AND THEIR MEASUREMENT ................................................................54
4.3 CONCEPTS AND CONSIDERATIONS IN INVENTORY DESIGN ................................ 57
4.4 THE FOREST CARBON INVENTORY TEAM .......................................................................66
4.5 FIELD WORK AND ANALYSIS .................................................................................................67
4.6 CALCULATING CARBON STOCKS FROM FIELD DATA ...............................................69


4.7 DATA CHECKING ........................................................................................................................75
4.8 CONSOLIDATING INVENTORY DATASETS ......................................................................76
4.9 THE GAIN-LOSS METHOD ........................................................................................................78
4.10 REFERENCES .................................................................................................................................79
4.11 SELECTED RESOURCES ............................................................................................................81
5.0 REMOTE SENSING OF LAND COVER CHANGE ........................................... 82
5.1 INTRODUCTION ..........................................................................................................................82
5.2 LAND USES AND CATEGORIES IN THE UNFCCC ..........................................................84
5.3 OVERALL STEPS AND NEEDS...................................................................................................90
5.4 REMOTE SENSING OVERVIEW ................................................................................................93
5.5 EMERGING AREAS OF RESEARCH....................................................................................... 109
5.6 REFERENCES................................................................................................................................. 114
5.8 SELECTED RESOURCES............................................................................................................ 121
6.1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................... 125
6.2 REPORTING.................................................................................................................................. 127
6.3 VERIFICATION ............................................................................................................................ 141
6.4 REFERENCES................................................................................................................................. 151
7.0 THEMATIC REVIEWS ............................................................................. 152
7.1 HISTORY OF REDD+ UNDER THE UNFCCC .................................................................. 152
7.2 COMMUNITY-BASED MONITORING ................................................................................ 165
7.3 NEAR-REAL TIME MONITORING AND ALERT SYSTEMS ........................................... 181


VERSION 2. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL. ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ACR American Carbon Registry AD Activity Data AFOLU Agriculture. Markets and Communities Program FCPF Forest Carbon Partnership Facility REDD+ MEASUREMENT.0 v . Forestry and Other Land Use AGB Aboveground biomass BCEFs Biomass conversion and expansion factors BRDF Bi-directional reflectance distribution function BURs Biennial Update Reports CH4 Methane CI Conservation International CMP Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol CO2 Carbon dioxide COP Conference of the Parties CV Coefficient of Variation DBH Diameter at Breast Height DEM Digital Elevation Model DTs Decision Trees EFDB Emissions Factor Database EFs Emissions Factors EM Electromagnetic EOS Earth Observation System EPA Environmental Protection Agency FAO Food and Agriculture Organization FAS Fire Alert System FCMC Forest Carbon.

REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL.0 vi . Reporting and Verification N20 Nitrogen oxide NAMA Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Strategies NASA National Aeronautics and Space Agency REDD+ MEASUREMENT. Land-use Change and Forestry GPS Global Positioning System IDEAM Colombian Institute for Hydrology. VERSION 2. Meteorology and Environmental Studies ILUA Integrated Land Use Assessment INPE Brazilian National Space Research Institute IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change KCA Key Category Analysis LDCM Landsat Data Continuity Mission LEDS Low Emission Development Strategies LiDAR Light Detection and Ranging LUC Land-use Change MADS Colombian Ministry for Sustainable Development MCT Brazilian Ministry of Science.FIRMS Fire Information and Resource Management System FREL Forest Reference Emission Level FRL Forest Reference Level FSI Forest Survey of India FUNCATE Foundation of Space Science. Technology and Innovation MMU Minimum-mapping unit MRV Measurement. Applications and Technology GEF Global Environmental Facility GFIMS Global Fire Information Management System GFOI MGD Global Forest Observation Initiative Methods and Guidance Documentation GFW Global Forest Watch GHG Greenhouse gas GHGMI Greenhouse Gas Management Institute GIS Geographic Information System GLAS Geoscience Laser Altimeter System GOFC-GOLD Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics GPG-LULUCF Good Practice Guidance for Land Use.

0 vii . completeness. SBSTA Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice SES Social and Environmental Soundness SINA Colombian National Environmental System SLR Side Looking RADAR SRTM Shuttle Radar Topography Mission TACCC IPCC principles of transparency. and consistency TOA Top-of-atmosphere UMD University of Maryland UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNEP United Nations Environment Programme UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change USAID United States Agency for International Development USGS United States Geological Survey VCS Verified Carbon Standard WGs Working Groups WMO World Meteorological Organization WRI World Resources Institute REDD+ MEASUREMENT. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL. sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. accuracy. comparability. VERSION 2.NCs National Communications NFMS National Forest Monitoring System NGGIP National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Program NGO Non-governmental organization NNs Neural Networks NRT Near-real Time PCA Principal components analysis PRODES Projeto De Estimativa De Desflorestamento da Amazoni (Brazilian Amazon deforestation monitoring program) QA/QC Quality Assurance and Quality Control QUICC Quarterly Indicator of Cover Change RADAR Radio Detection and Ranging REDD+ Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. plus the role of conservation.

and Jamie Eaton of TerraCarbon LLC. The authors also thank those who have made graphics available for use in this Manual. Maggie Roth. including Colin Silver. Andrew Lister. Mario Chacon and Johnson Cerda of Conservation International. SilvaCarbon Consultant. John Rogan of Boston University. Rishi Das. Megan McGroddy. Additional figures are from the websites of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. VERSION 2. the International Panel on Climate Change and the Landsat program. Deborah Lawrence of the University of Virginia. Chris Potter of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Ames Research Center. and Charles Scott of the US Forest Service. and members of the USAID Climate Change office.0 viii . Brice Mora of the Global Observation of Forest Cover and Land Dynamics. Carly Green and Jim Penman of the Global Forest Observations Initiative. REDD+ MEASUREMENT. and Leif Kindberg of FCMC. Michael Gillenwater of the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute. Asim Banskota of the University of Minnesota. Karyn Tabor. Axel Penndorf of BlackBridge. including Ned Horning of the American Museum of Natural History. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors thank the various colleagues in our organizations who have commented on the text. Ronald McRoberts. Frank Martin Seifert of the European Space Agency's Centre for Earth Observation ESRIN. Christine Dragisic of the US State Department.

has posed a number of challenges.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 152 . The complexity of the sector. practices and processes that control.0 THEMATIC REVIEWS 7.” Also included in Article 4 are commitments for all countries to “promote sustainable management. The realization by the international community of the urgency to address REDD+ has prompted decisions that emphasize the importance of Measurement. sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the role that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has played in providing methodological guidance to Land Use. agriculture. 7. paragraph 1 (d)). of technologies.1. reduce or prevent anthropogenic emissions of GHGs not controlled by the Montreal Protocol in all relevant sectors. According to the decisions adopted by governments working under the aegis of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC. Article 4. Figure 7. Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). forestry and waste management sectors. including transfer. including the energy. or Forest Reference Emission Levels or Forest Reference Levels (FREL/FRLs). 7. whereas the current reporting guidance under the UNFCCC is discussed in Chapter 6. Reporting and Verification (MRV) of GHG emissions and removals as well as their role in global mitigation efforts to address the impacts of anthropogenic climate change. which have postponed decisions on how to address the reduction of GHG emissions from forestry activities. As REDD+ actions should be results-based. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.1 Introduction This thematic review provides an overview of negotiations on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. paragraph 1 (c) stipulates that all countries must “promote and cooperate in the development. and promote and cooperate in the conservation and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs of all GHGs not included in the Montreal Protocol.1 outlines the REDD+ discussion progress from COP11 – COP19. application and diffusion. however. industry.1. developing countries willing to take action on REDD+ have to establish a National Forest Monitoring System to assess anthropogenic forest-related GHG emissions by sources and removals by sinks.1 HISTORY OF REDD+ UNDER THE UNFCCC Author: Angel Parra 7. forests and oceans as well as other terrestrial. plus the role of conservation. compared to a business-as-usual scenario. This review provides additional context. Informed decision-making and successful implementation of international agreements on climate change (such as the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol) rely on the availability of accurate and reliable information on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals. including biomass.2 Overview of REDD+ negotiations under the UNFCCC Forestry has been recognized as one of the key sectors to be addressed in the broader context of GHG mitigation under the UNFCCC. The principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” of the Convention (1992). especially in developing countries. developing countries will have to demonstrate that they are reducing emissions from deforestation. coastal and marine ecosystems” (Article 4. transport.

13) which includes REDD+ as one of the key elements of enhanced national/international action on mitigation of climate COP13: 2007. ii) contribute Cancun to mitigation actions in forest sector. countries should aim to: i) slow/halt/reverse forest cover & carbon loss. Adoption of Decision 12/CP.19) that address: financing. national FRLs or sub-national RLs. NFMS. including scientific. Doha based finance for REDD+. COP11: 2005.18 with agreement to initiate a work-programme on results- COP18: 2012. proposed a mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries. modalities for MRV. 17 that includes guidance on providing information on how COP17: 2011. The proposal received wide support and the COP began a two year process to explore options for REDD with the participation of both governments and observer organizations submitting proposals and recommendations on how to reduce GHG emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.13 Adoption of the Cancun Agreements (Decision 1/CP. demonstration activities and mobilization of resources COP15: 2009. Canada in 2005. and elaborates modalities relating to Durban FRELs\FRLs. (Decision 2/CP13) encourages actions on REDD+ including: capacity building. change. system for providing information on safeguards. and iii) develop a national strategy/action plan.15) including elements of Copenhagen NFMSs for implementing activities relating to Decision 2/CP. Warsaw safeguards.16) recognizing that developing COP16: 2010. drivers of deforestation & forest degradation. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. policy approaches and positive Montreal incentives Adoption of the Bali Action Plan (Decision 1/CP. safeguards are being addressed and respected. with support from eight other countries. when Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica. Adoption of the Warsaw Framework for REDD-plus.1: REDD+ discussions from COP11-COP19 COP11 This dynamic changed at the 11th Meeting of the COP (COP11) in Montreal. Agreement on methodological guidance (Decision 4/CP. modalities NFMSs. 9/CP. FRELs/FRLs. Adoption of Decision 1/CP. Agreement for the consideration of reducing emissions from deforestation.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 153 . technical and methodological issues. coordination of support. Figure 7. Bali technology transfer.19 to 15/CP. Seven decisions (Decisions COP19: 2013.

experience in implementation of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol. Initiating negotiations on future action. in relation to decision 2/CP. in a measurable.COP13 At COP13. and processes there under.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 154 . COP13 also adopted Decision 2/CP. which defined a broader scope for future global action. and the role of conservation. changes in forest cover and associated carbon stocks and GHG emissions and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks to enhance action on climate change mitigation. technology and finance. as the negotiations process is to be informed by “… the best available scientific information. It supports the work of the COP and the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) through the provision of timely information and advice on scientific and technological matters as they relate to the Convention and the Protocol. however. and • Policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. finance and MRV. as well as recognizing the need to promote the full and effective participation of indigenous 45 Paragraph 11 of Decision 1/CP.13) signaled the beginning of a new global process through long-term cooperative action on all aspects of climate change. does not mean that current mitigation efforts should be discounted or discontinued. The Bali Action Plan included considerations on the following actions: • Nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing country Parties in the context of sustainable development. governments agreed on the Bali Road Map. sustainable management of forests. supported and enabled by technology. the SBSTA reached agreement on a number of issues relating to REDD+.” Through this decision.13). the COP encouraged capacity-building activities. and the role of conservation. These provisions bring together national mitigation efforts. financing and capacity-building. sustainable development. • A recommendation on methodological guidance noting the importance of. technology.13 46 The SBSTA is a permanent subsidiary body under the UNFCCC. the relationship among the RELs and other relevant reference levels (RLs). technical assistance. 46 COP14 One year later.13 on “reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries: approaches to stimulate action.13. at COP14 in Poznan. REDD+. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.” 45 The intention is that lessons learned from current efforts will guide the intergovernmental process as it defines a new way forward. promoting readiness of developing countries. outputs from other relevant intergovernmental processes and insights from the business and research communities and civil society. namely mitigation. sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (sub- paragraph 1 (b) (iii) of Decision 1/CP.13). A key element of the international negotiations was the role of developing countries in national and international efforts to mitigate climate change. inter alia. the facilitation of technology transfer and the development of demonstration activities. The Bali Action Plan (Decision 1/CP. including: • The organization of an experts meeting on: methodological issues relating to Reference Emission Levels (RELs) for deforestation and degradation. Poland in 2008. adaptation. and further mobilization of resources. The decision also requested advancement of relevant methodological work by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). reportable and verifiable manner (sub-paragraph 1 (b) (ii) of Decision 1/CP.

and to use the most recent IPCC guidance to estimate emissions and establish NFMS. inter alia. the terms RL and REL refer to a business-as-usual baseline that can be developed by taking into account historic data. • Recognized that FRELs should take into account historic data.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 155 . Poznan and Copenhagen) were consolidated as part of the Cancun Agreements (Decision 1/CP. people and local communities. and • A recommendation on the use of the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories. The COP also requested that the SBSTA develop a work program to identify. The COP also encouraged developing country parties to contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector through actions in the five specific areas listed in Box 7. In particular. drivers of deforestation and degradation.16 (see Box 7. identify drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.16). RELs refer only to the amount of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.2) would be addressed throughout implementation. Denmark in 2009. and while sometimes used interchangeably. consistent with MRV of NAMAs for consideration at COP18. It is important to note that in climate negotiations. among other issues.15 which addressed issues such as scope. and methodologies for estimating emissions and removals from these activities. COP15 Significant progress was made in REDD+ negotiations leading up to COP15 in Copenhagen. developing countries should aim to slow. and encouragement to use the IPCC Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF (GPG-LULUCF). Developing countries were requested to develop a national strategy or action plan. RLs refer to the amount of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the amount of removals from sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. they usually differ in use. The work program was to develop modalities for MRV of emissions by sources and removals by sinks resulting from these activities. halt and reverse forest cover and carbon loss. The Ad- REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. These terms have not been defined by the UNFCCC or IPCC. national FRLs or sub- national RLs as an interim measure.1. the COP. Mexico in 2010 was a milestone for REDD+ because many of the key decisions adopted at previous sessions (Bali. • Encouraged capacity-building support from all able parties for capacity building in developing countries. taking into account national circumstances and relevant international agreements. Specifically. the negotiations on REDD+ culminated in the adoption of Decision 4/CP.15. Despite the difficulties in reaching agreement on an overall package as a result of COP15. • Encouraged development of guidance for Indigenous Peoples and local community engagement. as appropriate. the COP affirmed that. COP16 The outcome of COP16 in Cancun. among other things: • Requested developing countries to. and adjust for national circumstances. provided adequate and predictable support is forthcoming. and • Urged coordination of efforts. safeguards and a phased approach to REDD+. a robust and transparent NFMS and a system for providing information on how the safeguards listed in Appendix I to Decision 1/CP. guiding principles. through Decision 4/CP.

the activities referred to in paragraph 70 of Decision 1/CP. governments continued to work throughout 2011 in preparation for COP17 in Durban. Germany. modalities for FREL/FRLs and MRV. as deemed appropriate by each Party and in accordance with their respective capabilities and national circumstances: (a) Reducing emissions from deforestation. Following the successful outcome of Cancun.Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) was requested to explore financing options for the full implementation of results-based actions and to report on this at COP17. These discussions have continued at subsequent SBSTAs. Under the section on providing information on how safeguards are addressed and respected. including the safeguards in its Appendix I (see Box 7. (e) Enhancement of forest carbon stocks. • As part of the outcome of COP17 (Decision 2/CP. … 70. legislation and circumstances. South Africa in 2011. In Decision 12/CP. the COP.1: Paragraph 70 of Decision 1/CP.17. Earlier in the year. including principles that should be followed when designing MRV systems. among other things: • Regardless of the source or type of financing. at the SBSTA34 meeting in Bonn. • Results-based finance provided to developing countries that is new.1) should be consistent with the relevant provisions included in Decision 1/CP. Encourages developing country Parties to contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector by undertaking the following activities. COP17 The negotiations during COP17 focused on two groups of issues relating to REDD+: • Sources of financing for REDD+. (b) Reducing emissions from forest degradation. inter alia: REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. additional and predictable may come from a wide variety of sources. (d) Sustainable management of forests. including public and private.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 156 . (c) Conservation of forest carbon stocks.16 The Conference of the Parties. Box 7.16 (see Box 7.16. bilateral and multilateral. the role of markets and non-markets and the potential use of offsets. and • In light of the experience gained from current and future demonstration activities.17). appropriate market-based approaches could be developed by the COP to support results-based actions in developing countries. and • Guidance on systems for providing information on how safeguards are addressed and respected. the COP agreed. the COP noted that guidance on systems for providing safeguards information should be consistent with national sovereignty. work continued on technical guidance for MRV.2).

16) 2. (c) Respect for the knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples and members of local communities. (d) The full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders. as appropriate. • Agreed that developing countries undertaking these activities.16. in the actions referred to in paragraphs 70 and 72 of Decision 1/CP. among other things: provide transparent and consistent information that is accessible by all relevant stakeholders and updated on a regular basis. and build upon existing systems.2: Safeguards for REDD+ activities (paragraph 2 of Appendix I to Decision 1/CP. or communication channels agreed by the COP. consistent with relevant COP decisions on non-Annex I Parties’ national communications.16. *Taking into account the need for sustainable livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities and their interdependence on forests in most countries. should provide a summary of information on how safeguards are being addressed and respected throughout implementation. • Decided that the summary of information referred to should be provided periodically and included in national communications.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 157 . Box 7. the following safeguards should be promoted and supported: (a) That actions complement or are consistent with the objectives of national forest programmes and relevant international conventions and agreements. reflected in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. in particular indigenous peoples and local communities.16 are not used for the conversion of natural forests. but are instead used to incentivize the protection and conservation of natural forests and their ecosystem services. and noting that the United Nations General Assembly has adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. taking into account national legislation and sovereignty. (b) Transparent and effective national forest governance structures. be country-driven and implemented at the country level. and the need for further guidance to the COP. national circumstances and laws.* (f) Actions to address the risks of reversals. (e) That actions are consistent with the conservation of natural forests and biological diversity. as well as the International Mother Earth Day. and to enhance other social and environmental benefits. • Noted that the implementation of safeguards and information on how these safeguards are being addressed and respected should support national strategies or action plans and be included in all phases of implementation. When undertaking the activities referred to in paragraph 70 of Decision 1/CP. as appropriate. • Agreed that the systems for providing information on how the safeguards are addressed and respected should. (g) Actions to reduce displacement of emissions. and • Requested SBSTA 36 to consider the timing of the first presentation and the frequency of subsequent presentations of the summary of information to be considered by COP18. ensuring that the actions referred to in paragraph 70 of Decision 1/CP. by taking into account relevant international obligations. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.

REL/RLs represent benchmarks for assessing a country’s performance in implementing REDD+ activities. and • Agreed to a process enabling technical assessment of the proposed RLs when submitted or updated by parties in accordance with guidance to be developed by SBSTA 36. • Decided that these shall be established considering Decision 4/CP. Countries implementing REDD+ activities under the UNFCCC will need to develop their RELs and submit them to the UNFCCC. Poland in 2013 resulted in the adoption of seven decisions collectively known as the Warsaw Framework for REDD-plus. including details in accordance with the guidelines contained in the annex to Decision 2/CP.15.17 (see Box 7. held in Warsaw. and that sub- national RELs could be used as an interim measure.Under modalities for REL/RLs. and iv) update RELs periodically to account for new knowledge and trends. and drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. The first UNFCCC guidance on RELs was provided in Decision 4/CP. FRELs. including how national circumstances were considered. COP19 COP19. trends and any modification of scope and methodologies. • Agreed that developing countries should update REL/RLs periodically.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 158 .3). indicating that Parties should: i) establish RELs maintaining consistency with forest emissions and removals as contained in countries’ national GHG inventories. and could be adjusted for national circumstances. iii) consider a step-wise approach to the development of RELs to enable the incorporation of improved data and methodologies. and the difference between the two will be used to measure the effectiveness of each country’s policies and measures related to REDD+. as appropriate. The emissions estimates from these will then be compared with those estimated via MRV. institutional arrangements. inter alia: • Agreed that REL/RLs are benchmarks for assessing each country’s performance in implementing the referred activities. MRV. ii) submit information/rationale on the development of their RELs. safeguards.php REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. • Invited developing countries to submit information and rationale on the development of their REL/RLs including details of national circumstances. should take into account historical trends. Box includes the UNFCCC’s overview 47.16 then defined RELs/RLs as one of the elements Parties aiming to undertake REDD+ activities should develop. The most recent guidance on RELs emerged from COP17. These decisions covered a range of topics including financing. taking into account new knowledge. in accordance with national circumstances. The UNFCCC has also addressed countries’ needs to set RELs. the COP. The decisions are outlined below. • Acknowledged that sub-national REL/RLs may be elaborated as an interim measure. Decision 1/CP. paragraph 7 and consistent with anthropogenic forest-related GHG emissions by sources and removals by sinks in a country’s GHG inventories. which recognized that RELs should be established transparently. while transitioning to a national level.15. and if adjusted to national circumstances. NFMS. ensuring consistency in the approaches to data collection and use. and that interim RLs may cover less than the national territory of forest area. 47 http://unfccc. The cumulative guidance indicates that RELs should be developed with strong links to the design of the national MRV system.

0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 159 . are being addressed and respected • Decision 13/CP. including institutional arrangements • Decision 11/CP.19: Modalities for national forest monitoring systems • Decision 12/CP.16.16.19: Work programme on results-based finance to progress the full implementation of the activities referred to in decision 1/CP.19: Modalities for measuring. reporting and verifying • Decision 15/CP. paragraph 70 • Decision 10/CP. appendix I.19: The timing and the frequency of presentations of the summary of information on how all the safeguards referred to in decision 1/CP.• Decision 9/CP.19: Addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.19: Coordination of support for the implementation of activities in relation to mitigation actions in the forest sector by developing countries.19: Guidelines and procedures for the technical assessment of submissions from Parties on proposed forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels • Decision 14/CP.

19: Addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation The COP in this decision. organizations and the private sector to take action to reduce the drivers • Also encourages to continue work to address drivers. paragraph 70 Decision 10/CP. inter alia: • Affirms that the activities referred to in this decision are undertaken in the context of the provision of adequate and predictable support to developing country Parties • Decides national forest monitoring systems should be guided by the most recent IPCC guidance and guidelines. Warsaw Framework for REDD-plus decisions adopted at COP19 (November 2013) Box 7. appendix I. inter alia: • Reaffirms that results-based finance may come from a wide variety of sources. and build upon existing systems while being flexible and allowing for improvement Decision 12: CP. inter alia: • Decides that measuring.16. to channel adequate and predictable results-based finance in a fair and balanced manner.3: UNFCCC’s overview of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ Decision 9/CP/19: Work programme on results-based finance to progress the full implementation of the activities referred to in Decision 1/CP.16. to discuss the needs and functions identified to address issues relating to coordination of support. on a voluntary basis. inter alia: • Invites interested Parties to designate a national entity or focal point to serve as liaison with the secretariat and bodies under the Convention. to publish information on the results and corresponding results-based payments • Requests the Standing Committee on Finance to consider the issue of financing for forests in its work on coherence and coordination • Recognizes the importance of incentivizing non-carbon benefits for the long-term sustainability of the implementation of the activities referred to in decision 1/CP. The COP in this decision.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 160 . appendix I. suitable for MRV. Parties and relevant entities financing REDD-plus to meet. reporting and verification of nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties as agreed by the COP • Decides that data and information should be provided through a technical annex to the biennial update reports. The COP in this decision. a number of needs and functions were identified • Encourages national entities/focal points. consistent over time. The COP in this decision. underlining that the submission of the technical annex is voluntary and in the context of results-based payments • Further decides to include two additional LULUCF experts in the technical team of experts for the international consultation and analysis of results- based actions reported in a technical annex to the biennial update reports. via the REDD Web Platform • Decides that developing country Parties should start providing the summary of information after the start of the implementation of activities referred to in decision 1/CP. at the latest. on coordination of support. paragraph 70.19: The timing and the frequency of presentations of the summary of information on how all the safeguards referred to in decision 1/CP. inter alia: • Agrees that the summary of information on how all of the safeguards referred to in decision 1/CP.16.16. and forest carbon stock and forest-area changes is to be consistent with the methodological guidance provided in decision 4/CP. including alternative sources • Encourages financing entities.19: Coordination of support for the implementation of activities in relation to mitigation actions in the forest sector by developing countries. The COP in this decision. The COP in this decision. could also be provided. on a voluntary basis. and any guidance on the measurement.19: Modalities for measuring. are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of the activities referred to in decision 1/CP. reporting and verifying anthropogenic forest-related emissions by sources and removals by sinks. bilateral and multilateral. and may also be nominated to receive and obtain results-based payments • Recognizes that in order to address issues related to the coordination of support. forest carbon stocks. are being addressed and respected. via the REDD Web Platform Decision 13: CP. and to share information • Further encourages developing country Parties to take note of the information shared REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. including institutional arrangements. and agrees that these LULUCF experts will develop a technical report on their analysis of the technical annex and identified areas for technical improvement • Also agrees that results-based actions that may be eligible to appropriate market-based approaches that could be developed by the COP may be subject to any further specific modalities for verification Decision 15: CP. as contained in the annex to this decision Decision 14: CP.19: Guidelines and procedures for the technical assessment of submissions from Parties on proposed forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels. on a voluntary basis. The COP in this decision. inter alia: • Decides that each submission of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels shall be subject to a technical assessment • Invites Parties and relevant international organizations to support capacity-building for development and assessment of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels • Adopts the guidelines and procedures for the technical assessment. including the Green Climate Fund in a key role. as adopted or encouraged by the COP • Also decides that national forest monitoring systems should provide data and information that are transparent. at its forty-seventh session (November-December 2017) to review the outcomes of these meetings Decision 11/CP.16. with the first meeting to be held in conjunction with SBI 41 (December 2014) • Requests the Subsidiary Body for Implementation. paragraph 70 • Also decides that the frequency for subsequent presentations of the summary of information should be consistent with the provisions for submissions of national communications and. paragraph 70. inter alia: • Encourages Parties. reporting and verifying.15.19: Modalities for national forest monitoring systems. public and private.16. and to work with a view to increasing the number of countries that are in a position to obtain and receive payments for results-based actions • Decides to establish an information hub on the REDD Web Platform.

The NGGIP also established and maintains the IPCC Emission Factor Database (EFDB) discussed in Chapter 3. the IPCC reviews and assesses the most recent scientific. the IPCC is organized into three working groups (WGs) responsible for assessing: the Physical Science Basis (WG1). Further. In addition to the three WGs.3 Methodological work of the IPCC on GHG inventories The IPCC is a scientific body of the United Nations that was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Its mandate is to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change knowledge and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. To accomplish its work. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. provided guidance on safeguards. the Climate Change Impacts. and addressed drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. To do this.2: IPCC structure and functions (source: IPCC TFI) REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.1. 7. technical and socio-economic research produced worldwide. Other ad-hoc task groups and steering groups may be established to consider specific topics or questions. and to encourage its use by countries participating in the IPCC and by the Parties to the UNFCCC.2. and the Mitigation of Climate Change (WG3). the Framework more clearly addressed several NFMS activities. Two major pending issues that will be discussed at COP20 to be held in Lima. A schematic on the structure of the IPCC is shown in Figure 7. Its core activity is to develop and refine internationally agreed-upon methodologies and a software program for the calculation and reporting of national GHG emissions and removals. Peru (December 2014) include the need to fully incentivize the non-carbon benefits of REDD+ and emphasize the benefits of REDD+ in terms of both mitigation and adaptation.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 161 .The Warsaw Framework for REDD-plus represented another milestone for REDD as it identified options for financing and highlighted support coordination. the IPCC has established the Task Force on National GHG Inventories to oversee the IPCC National GHG Inventories Program (NGGIP). Adaptation and Vulnerability (WG2). Figure 7.

1. the IPCC has played a key role in the development of methodological guidelines and guidance that. the IPCC developed the Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National GHG Inventories (GPG 2000). time series consistency and quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC). sulphur hexafluoride. • The 2006 IPCC Guidelines on National GHG Inventories are an evolutionary development starting from the Revised 1996 Guidelines. methodologies were included for the estimation of halofluorocarbons. including estimation of uncertainties. • The Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories include revised methodologies and default data for six main sectors: Energy. nitrogen dioxide [N2O]). • In response to requests by the UNFCCC. perfluorinated hydrocarbons. LULUCF. and direct GHGs (CO2. methane [CH4]. Industrial Processes. These two documents do not replace. Solvents and Other Product Use. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. Specifically: • In November 1994. but supplement the information in the Revised 1996 Guidelines and provide good practice guidance on choice of estimation methodology. ozone and aerosol precursors. over the years. which addressed all sectors mentioned above except for land-use change and forestry. and Waste. respectively. and the GPG-LULUCF.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 162 . Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) Volume. have become the cornerstone for all work on GHG inventories.7. In addition. The most significant changes occur in Volume 4. This was the first internationally accepted methodology that became the basis for the development of national GHG inventories under the UNFCCC. improvements of the methods and advice on cross-cutting issues.4 History of IPCC methodological guidelines and guidance Since its inception in the early 1990s. and the GPG-LULUCF in 2000 and 2003. the GPG 2000. the IPCC approved the first version of the IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories. Agriculture. which consolidates the approach to LULUCF in the GPG-LULUCF and the Agriculture sector in GPG2000 into a single Agriculture.

and descriptions of changes from previously submitted information. noting that significant pools and/or activities should not be excluded. These changes are a result of better understanding of the sector and the availability of more scientific research. Sub-national implementation has mostly been at the site level. used at the time of construction of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels. consistent and accurate information. These sub-national REDD+ efforts look to separate groups to provide guidance on setting RLs and aspects of MRV. This requires the development of a “nested” approach to REDD+ strategies.4: Guidelines for submissions of information on reference levels(Annex to decision 12/CP. if applicable and assumptions used. site-level activities are being developed within jurisdictions that are also developing their own broader REDD+ strategies. should include in its submission information that is transparent. accounting of emission reductions and distribution of emissions-reduction credits. However. and include: (a) Information that was used by Parties in constructing a forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level. as appropriate. VCS. paragraph 70. as adopted or encouraged by the COP. advances have been made at the sub-national level in the context of voluntary carbon markets and bilateral agreements. an explanation of why and how the definition used in the construction of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels was chosen. (d) The definition of forest used in the construction of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels and. 2013. if appropriate. including historical data.17) Each developing country Party aiming to undertake the actions listed in decision 1/CP. methodologies and procedures used in the construction of a forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level.1. complete. which have been included in forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels and the reasons for omitting a pool and/or activity from the construction of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels. inter alia. Two groups providing guidance are the Voluntary Carbon Standards group (VCS) and the American Carbon Registry (ACR) (ACR.5 Other non-UN processes In addition to countries preparing for national implementation of REDD+. complete(1). In some cases.16. (c) Pools and gases. consistent with guidance agreed by the Conference of the Parties (COP) and accurate information for the purpose of allowing a technical assessment of the data. descriptions of relevant policies and plans. as appropriate. Both have provided technical methodologies recommended REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. and activities listed in decision 1/CP. The information provided should be guided by the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change guidance and guidelines. a description of data sets. methods. The LULUCF sector has evolved significantly between the Revised 1996 Guidelines and the 2006 IPCC Guidelines (see Figure 3.16. approaches. (1) Complete here means the provision of information that allows for the reconstruction of forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels. in case there is a difference with the definition of forest used in the national greenhouse gas inventory or in reporting to other international organizations. including. Box 7.1 in Chapter 3). 7. including methodological information. there has been some progress at the sub-national jurisdiction level. models.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 163 . 2013). in a comprehensive and transparent way. (b) Transparent. paragraph 70.

for example in carbon-stock assessments and fundamental concerns such as transparency and replicability. land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) with an emphasis on developing country perspectives. http://americancarbonregistry. Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.1. A jurisdiction may be a national or sub-national political entity (nation. Policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. GOFC-GOLD Report version COP17-1. FCCC/CP/2007/6/Add. An Environment & Energy Group Publication. (GOFC-GOLD Project Office. monitoring requirements) in which the project takes place. 2003. district. while also helping to attract private capital for REDD+.Volume 4 Blaser.C. rather than having to develop these at the project level. Forestry and other Land Use Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. FCCC/CP/2009/11/ 2013. A nested REDD+ project is one that is accounted and monitored in reference to the jurisdictional accounting framework (baseline. C. GOFC-GOLD. Key issues on land use. allowing them to use the baseline and other requirements developed by the jurisdiction. American Carbon Registry standards and verification. VCS. and the role of conservation. http://v-c-s. gains and losses of carbon stocks in forests remaining forests. UNDP. 2008. Land-Use Change and Forestry Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. Alberta. state.pdf IPCC. They tend to defer to the IPCC. leakage assessment. 2003. 2013. IPCC. deforestation rates and GHG reductions through REDD+ project activities. sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries http://unfccc. A sourcebook of methods and procedures for monitoring and reporting anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removals caused by deforestation.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 164 .org/methodologies/find. a jurisdiction is any politically defined region delineated for the purposes of tracking carbon stocks. Natural Resources Canada. 2006. p11 FCCC/CP. This can have the benefit of reducing transaction costs for projects.1 .Report of the Conference of the Parties on its thirteenth session. 7. Robledo. and forestation. 2011.UNFCCC Decision 4/CP. Canada).1. though other ways of defining jurisdictional boundaries are also possible.). Good Practice Guidance for Land Use.for sub-national REDD+ RLs and MRV. Voluntary Carbon Standards methodologies. held in Bali from 3 to 15 December 2007. Japan. Japan. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. etc. For example.15: Methodological guidance for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation. IPCC. Addendum Part Two: Action taken by the Conference of the Parties at its thirteenth session. Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories . and J. Both efforts seek to align with existing UNFCCC guidance on REDD+ and are intended to follow and support additional UNFCCC REDD+ guidance as it emerges.16: Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention . sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries http://unfccc. province. Japan. within the guidance of both the VCS and the ACR.6 References ACR. These efforts have also helped provide guidance on how to approach issues particular to jurisdictional and nested REDD+.

We examine relevant literature and case studies of community-based monitoring of biodiversity. Community-based monitoring can be incorporated into these monitoring systems. illegal extraction rates and timber and non-timber products (Effah et al.7. as well as many other domestic policy initiatives.1 Definition of community-based monitoring According to Fernandez-Gimenez et al. carbon stocks. 2010). the range of MRV systems and forest monitoring systems that are being developed for REDD+ will likely require monitoring of forest changes. drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and policy and institutional frameworks. 2010). will require monitoring of non-carbon elements such as social safeguards (UNFCCC. benefit sharing.” In this review. either through their participation in collaborative monitoring efforts. while acknowledging other areas in which community members can contribute valuable information. This review focuses principally on how communities can participate in the collection of biophysical data. or country. province. 2011). Additionally.2. and will depend on a variety of factors including: forest tenure and resource use by the community. and the role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities is explicitly referred to in the UNFCCC Cancun Agreement (UNFCCC.2 Community-based monitoring in the context of REDD+ As discussed in earlier chapters. or by external entities to evaluate larger landscape or regional-scale projects.2. 7. Additionally it is broadly recognized that REDD+. forest carbon stocks. in order to identify common challenges and lessons for REDD+. the mechanisms by which communities will be involved in forest monitoring have not received much attention in the UNFCCC context.. However. These may include land tenure conflicts. and forest biomass. water quality. (2008). “Community-based monitoring implies the direct involvement of community members in monitoring. and differentiates community members from external consultants who live in another city. Community-based monitoring has been used to examine a number of forest elements including biodiversity. 7.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 165 . and mechanisms to ensure participation. or by training and contracting community members to carry out monitoring projects. a community member is defined as a resident in or near an area of interest. this study recognizes that community-based monitoring can be initiated by community members to evaluate community initiatives such as forest management.2 COMMUNITY-BASED MONITORING Authors: Kemen Austin and Fred Stolle The objective of this thematic review is to highlight the potential benefits and required processes for incorporating community-based monitoring into a national REDD+ monitoring initiative.1. The potential roles that community-based monitoring can contribute to a national REDD+ monitoring system are outlined in Table 7. cultural and religious points of interest. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. 2011). respect for human rights. and ‘safeguards’ for biodiversity conservation and livelihood support (Danielsen and Theilade.

REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. increase frequency of monitoring.3 Rationale for community-based monitoring for REDD+ While remote sensing is considered the most promising method for national scale assessments of forest change (Patenaude et al. area and deforestation and type of change events (in near real- reforestation Carry out national forest inventory time) Collect data from forestry companies Collect regular measurements on Calibrate or validate satellite imagery. GOFC-GOLD.. DeFries et al. provide benefits such as training and salaries. limitations exist that will require the use of many ground-based methods to accurately report on emissions from forest change and emission reductions from a REDD+ program... with field crews Calibrate or validate maps. and provide information on carbon stocks timber forest product (NTFP) use local forest timber/non-timber uses Carry out national forest inventory and activities Estimation of emission Deploy field crews to collect data Collect field data regularly over time factors Rely on research projects Identification of Make inferences regarding patterns of Track types and patterns of local drivers of change change and likely cause activities that cause change Map tenure. the ground in near real-time and derived maps. 2013). and approaches that involve local people can reduce costs. management and land- use plans Data analysis and Collect and standardize data from Provide independent validation data reporting national and sub-national sources for national reporting Provide data to the public Use data for local purposes Table 7.2.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 166 .Based Monitoring Forest Mapping and Map forests based on biophysical Map forests based on community Stratification indicators and some broad management tenure or site specific management regimes Monitoring Conduct remote sensing Observe the location.1: Potential role for community-based monitoring in national monitoring systems (adapted from Pratihast and Herold. Component of Monitoring Options at the Potential Contribution of Monitoring System National Level Community. and facilitate the collection of information on difficult-to-observe metrics. measurements of forest carbon enhancement of forest Conduct surveys on fuelwood and non. stocks. 2011) 7. 2010) to develop emission factors and collect information on social and cultural indicators. and provide independent verification information Monitoring Analyze historical data if available Collect regular ground-based degradation. time. Remote sensing-based methods will need to be supplemented with a range of local-level monitoring for calibration and validation (Schelhas et al. 2005. Reliability The use of international teams of specialized personnel in the collection of ground-based data represents an expensive process. 2007.

. but generally less sophisticated data collection expertise (Skutsch and McCall. Therefore. 2011). because these costs are constant and independent of the size or timeframe of the project. 2010. 2011).. 2011). these studies also estimate that data collected by community members can have higher variability and lower precision than data collected by external counterparts experienced in forest inventories (Skutsch and McCall. 2011). One study suggests that a minimum size of 100 hectares is required to break even. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. many of the costs associated with community monitoring occur in the initial stages of the project or initiative (Effah et al. setting up permanent sample plots. 2010). costs of community-based monitoring are much lower compared to the costs associated with travel and salaries for external consultants (Rist et al. the monitoring costs depend on many factors. Frequency Forest monitoring for REDD+ will require periodic collection of information.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 167 . Importantly.. once the community members have been trained in the required methods (Van Laake. at intervals appropriate for the forest type and management regime... 2010).. 2005. 2011)... 2011). such as a national forest service entity or visiting technical consultants (Rist et al. However. However. 2011).. communities are well positioned to observe the impacts of human use on forest and forest carbon and gauge the influence of management or policy implementation. 2006). These metrics include socio-economic information (e. Results from 30 projects in 7 countries demonstrate that there is no significant difference in the accuracy between these two groups. These costs include purchasing of equipment. including the frequency and scale of monitoring and the opportunity costs for monitors. More frequent monitoring of forest conditions and changes can improve the statistical and scientific reliability of the resulting data. As a result. Danielsen et al. Topp-Jørgensen et al. 2011). identifying ways to reduce costs is vital (Skutsch et al. 2011). relative to the transaction costs of setting up a community monitoring system (Danielsen et al. Sensitivity to local context Community members can have detailed knowledge of their local surroundings including an awareness of small scale variations in management (Dalle et al. community members are often knowledgeable regarding drivers of local forest changes (Van Laake. This may be the result of the participating community members having expert knowledge of their own environment and resources. 2011). Other studies estimate that in the long run.. 2011). and training. particularly in forests undergoing rapid change (Danielsen et al. 2011). Community members are well positioned to collect information on a broader range of metrics beyond carbon that may be needed for potential REDD+ or national forest management policy implementation (Pratihast and Herold. Community members located in and around areas of interest are well positioned to monitor over longer periods of time and with higher frequency than several other options. Additionally. Understanding of social and cultural impacts The success of REDD+ will depend on both accurate and transparent forest monitoring of carbon emissions and removals and on non-carbon elements such as the safeguards outlined in the Cancun Agreements (UNFCCC. A study by Larrazábal et al.. Cost Effectiveness Forest monitoring is one of the largest costs associated with REDD+ in developing countries and.g. therefore.Recent studies have used community members and external consultants to quantify forest carbon stocks to compare the accuracy of community-based monitoring against a ‘best practice’ alternative (Van Laake. community monitoring is most cost effective for larger areas and projects that aim to monitor over at least several years (Effah et al. (2011) estimated the costs of community-based monitoring to be one-third to half the cost of monitoring conducted by external consultants (including training costs).

and employment opportunities (Danielson et al. 2010. even if sampling is done part-time... laws and species Data Quality Good Good. . and biodiversity (e. residents typically know the area well in terms Knowledge needed of access. can be maintained project. substantial and Intensity to spend long periods in the field.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 168 . mechanisms for participation in decision making).g. participation of community members can lead to the long-term sustainability of interventions and of monitoring initiatives. local guides and translators usually Good. travel and High initial set-up and training costs followed by accommodation costs relatively lower salary. In addition. adds to benefits the capacity of local residents. or at least continue monitoring over the lifespan of the the same coordination. time culture. and offers opportunities to improve management Management Expected to be good Potential areas of concern in many communities Initial training Low. local authorities. Thus. or return to travel and set-up time is saved and monitoring can be carry out measurements frequently over time carried out frequently Additional Low.2: Advantages and disadvantages of community-based and expert-based monitoring (from Knowles et al.3.4 Lessons from case studies This section presents a synthesis of cases in which communities have been involved in forest monitoring.2 discusses the comparative advantage of local communities in forest monitoring projects. The cases are also summarized in Table 7. governance (e. increased ownership of mitigation actions. 2011) 7. food production). train and equip preparation teams Collection of Generally poor. dependent on appropriate training and data verification Consistency Potentially low if the same consultants cannot Potentially high if the same team members. or for other metrics that might be relevant to a REDD+ program. built-in knowledge of local economy and other data local socio-economy and culture. 2011). assumes that professional teams need little High. includes professional fees. biomass energy use. adapted from Larrazábal et al. benefit sharing processes. improved social and environmental safeguards. cultural relevance of monitoring approaches. logistics. Table 7. monitoring by locals creates ownership. access to resources. it is very costly for external experts High. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. travel and accommodation costs over time Local Usually poor. easy to collect information and monitor consuming to collect the data changes Table 7. usually limited to technical input High. strengthened capacity of local institutions.2. species observations. or the same methods are not adhered to Frequency Usually low.g. very challenging to understand Good. Monitoring External Consultants Local Community Members Component Costs High. either for REDD+. . habitat changes).. the common challenges and lessons for scaling up to the national level are discussed. takes more time to identify. Provision of benefits to communities Involving local community members in forest monitoring can lead to additional benefits such as transparency.

cameras).Locally driven versus externally driven monitoring Several of the studies examined the application of community-based monitoring where a community had set up (or was in the process of setting up) a system for managing common forest resources (Topp-Jørgensen et al. maps. Incentives Community-based monitoring is unlikely to be sustainable unless the benefits of participating in a monitoring program outweigh the costs (Skutsch et al. using complex computer equipment. which will require monitoring forest area gain. The case studies examined here provided between $1 and $7 per day to participants. Mukama et al. 2010). monitoring is used as a mechanism to track the performance of the management initiatives.. In this case. Standards and Protocols Monitoring for REDD+ will necessitate consistent and comparable data collection across sub-national jurisdictions. loss. 2012. in the case where community members are not already actively engaged in forest management. through intensive training and ‘learning by doing’ in which external consultants demonstrate principles and tasks to community members. 2011). The authors present a case from Namibia where communities were provided adaptable but standardized data collection guidance. The scope of local monitoring initiatives is tailored to local priorities and is usually not as in-depth as will be required for REDD+ monitoring (McCall. 2002). 2003) and “externally driven monitoring with local data collection” (Danielsen et al. Act Local (K:TGAL) research and capacity building program. This training may include forest inventory methods. 2002). be extended to include collaborative monitoring of carbon stocks and fluxes that contribute to externally-driven REDD+ requirements (Lawrence and Elphick. However. Rist et al. 2011). The Kyoto: Think Global.. this is also referred to as autonomous local monitoring (Danielsen et al. 2009). 2005. 2008). 2003). community-based monitoring could. 2005. and stock change over large landscapes (Skutsch and Solis. (2005) present an example highlighting the successful harmonization of scaling up data collection. External support in the form of salaries and skill building for employment will be necessary to incentivize forest monitoring (Evans and Guariguata. Hartanto et al. such as statistical sampling. 2005) and bird censuses in Kenya (Bennun et al. only two of the studies addressed whether these costs were sufficient to overcome the opportunity costs of lost wages. 2008).. Global Positioning System [GPS] units. sufficient upfront resources and training may be necessary to effectively establish a community-based monitoring system. However. Stuart-Hill et al.. the data could be aggregated and compared nationally. 2005). 2011). However. Examples include the event-book system in Namibia (Stuart-Hill et al. 2008. and use of equipment (e. Mukama REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. A review of literature by Effah et al.. for example. Such a system would first build participant’s capacity for forest monitoring. even one week of field-based training can be sufficient to collect data for forest inventories (Skutsch et al.. Capacity building The literature on community-based monitoring demonstrates that community members can reliably collect data on forests once basic training is provided.. clear standards and protocols must be developed that local communities can easily learn and implement. and both found that the amount provided were not sufficient (Andrianandrasana et al. This type of monitoring has also been termed “micro-macro monitoring” (Ojha and Bhattarai. This type of monitoring will be important for REDD+. As participating communities used the same methods.. To achieve robust and consistent data collection... data recording... found that training can take place over a short period of time. and setting up permanent sample plots (Skutsch and Trines.g. (2011) suggests that a phased approach to community monitoring may be most effective. with the right incentives and training. Consultants can then continue supervision and support of more challenging tasks.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 169 . There are also cases where community-based monitoring is initiated for national inventories or national research purposes (Skutsch and Trines. 2011).

and how the information collected will be used is clearly defined (CIGA- REDD. 2003). and the provision of capacity building on. different approaches regarding the use of advanced technologies can be used. hunters. 2011). a database system is needed that enables local data to be uploaded and shared (Pratihast and Herold. reduced data loss. Data is frequently sent “upward” to be analyzed and used for management. designing information sharing systems that integrate with REDD+ (social and environmental) safeguards processes. 2011). Technical systems and equipment All of the case studies examined employed some form of advanced technology such as GPS or computer software for collecting and storing data. developing clear processes for engaging communities. younger participants learned to use the systems more readily. 2005). 2012). in the Scolel Tѐ project in al. and easy data sharing (Parmer Fry.. Providing feedback knowledge will contribute to planning. 2012). provided countries assess the rights. simplification of validation. additional training is provided (Scolel Tѐ. The Sofala Community Carbon Project in Mozambique. If inconsistencies or inaccuracies are identified. Additionally. Effah et al. data management systems should be designed to ensure that data collected by local community members is securely managed. Several considerations in designing community-based components of REDD+ monitoring include: consulting with communities on the purpose of monitoring for REDD+. Further. such as access to electricity and internet or comfort level of community members with sophisticated software platforms. a quality control system should be put in place to assess the accuracy of data collected by local community members. the SocioBosque program in Ecuador addresses the issue of exposure to GPS-enabled cell phones by grouping forest guards. This indicates that existing payment structures may not be sufficient to support community-based monitoring in the long-term. For example. and environmental context of communities and forests. Benefits of using these systems include increased accuracy.5 Conclusion Community-based monitoring has several potential roles in the future of REDD+. capture of media such as photos or audio. By including a cross section of the community. Forest guards are comfortable with the technology. 2011). Depending on the circumstances of the study area. skill development of participants. Quality assessment and control In order to incorporate forest monitoring into a national GHG inventory and reporting system. 7. 10 percent of community-based monitoring is verified by project technical staff. for example. McCall (2011) argues that these technologies put local knowledge ‘on par’ with knowledge from outside experts. and a mix of youth and elders chosen by the community into monitoring teams. 2008). (2011) found that many projects demonstrate successful aggregation of data across sub-national jurisdictions into a central database. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. allow communities to assess tradeoffs between alternative forest uses and enable the evaluation of management impacts on forest resources. will feed data on forest carbon stocks into Mozambique’s national GHG inventory (Envirotrade. community-based monitoring activities.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 170 . data must be retained by community members so they can use it in their own decision-making processes (Stuart-Hill et al. roles and relationships between communities and the broader social. 2010). and elders and hunters have more experience with species identification and in-depth historical knowledge (Cerda. For example.2. but the results of this analysis and its broader implications are not communicated clearly to communities (Ojha and Bhattarai. the respective knowledge and strengths of each participant are shared amongst the group. cultural. systematic data collection. Data management and aggregation systems For data from local monitoring systems to be useful at larger geographic scales. and periodic quality assessment of..

Caballero and T.. Blomley. T.D. N. Yeh. Enghoff. Rueda. Yonten. Schlamadinger and C. recent research has demonstrated that data collected via community-based monitoring can be as reliable and policy-relevant as data collected by external technical consultants. Burgess. Local participation in natural resource monitoring: A characterization of approaches. S. Finally. Andrianandrasana. S. M. Poulsen. M. Pohnan and A.P.. Achard. Biodiversity and Conservation.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 171 . Y. Lovett.E. Massao. 2011. E. 2007. M. M. R.M. Holt. Tewari. 2010.. M. Karky. 7. R. while community-based monitoring can contribute to a REDD+ MRV system at the national level. F. P. S. Danielsen. A. Ngaga. F. J. Y. Jensen. B. Mexico City. In addition. A simple system for monitoring biodiversity in protected areas of a developing country. Hübertz. Poulsen. D. Skielboe.K. Stuart-Hill. F. Lewis. H. de Souza. R.. Potential fit of community-level monitoring of biodiversity and socio- economic outcomes with national REDD+ programmes. S. 2000. 2008. and I. Evans. R. Sam. Conservation International. Singh. Child. J. Durbin. J. data aggregation systems and capacity building. L. At the heart of REDD+: A role for local people in monitoring forests? Conservation Letters 4: 158-167. H. monitoring carried out by community members enables and supports their participation in developing and implementing national REDD+ strategies. Phartiyal. 2005... F. M. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.6 References Andrianandrasana. D. Skutsch. Ngaga. Lewis and J. M. M. Zahabu. H. Jones. Enghoff.. N. Bogor. the system must be supported by appropriate incentives. Matiku. M. de Blois. Integrating analyses of local landuse regulations. S.S. Community Based Monitoring of Forest and Carbon Stocks: Lessons for the REDD+ Negotiations at COP 17. D. J. Envirotrade. A. Ratsimbazafy. Sørensen. 2012. Jensen. Young and E.H.M. standards. J. B. Effah. P.F. Biodiversity and Conservation 14(11): 2757-2774. M. New Haven. T. Concepts and Lessons Learned. Nozawa and A. T. 2005. cultural perceptions and land‐use/land cover data for assessing the success of community‐based conservation. J. Participatory ecological monitoring of the Alaotra wetlands in Madagascar. Monitoring important bird areas in Africa: towards a sustainable and scaleable system. K. 2008.M. R. P. 2011. an explicit mandate of the Cancun Agreements (Paragraph 72). Johns. Mulwa. Conservation Biology 23(1): 31-42. E. P. UNAM. Cerda. CT.E. S. 2012. J. DeFries. C. Earth observations for estimating greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in developing countries. R. Fjeldså. Massao. Balete. Burgess.2. Rep. 2006.R. Buckley.As discussed above. Murdiyarso. Indonesia.D. Alviola. Funder. B. Environmental Science & Policy 10(4): 385‐394. Poulsen. 2011. M. Solis. Input Paper No 3 of FCPF Workshop Linking Community Monitoring to National MRV for REDD+.K.M. Mwangi and P. Theilade 2011. Jensen.E. of FCPF Workshop Linking Community Monitoring to National MRV for REDD+. P.. Randriamahefasoa. and M. May. CIGA-REDD. Forest Ecology and Management 222(1‐3): 370‐383. Guariguata. Yale School of Forestry. 14: 2757-2774. Participatory Monitoring in Tropical Forest Management: A Review of Tools.C. Bennun. Balmford.Herold. G. Donald. J. Mexico City. A. Brashares. Jensen. P. Danielsen. Personal communication. R. Sofala Community Carbon Project Design Document. J.P.S.K. CIFOR. Biodiversity and Conservation 9: 1671– 1705. J. Mendoza. Danielsen. S. Danielsen F. P. Brown. Proc. Topp- Jørgensen and D. Dalle. Balete.

Lawrence. Environmental Change Institute. 156. gains and losses of carbon stocks in forests remaining forests. Milne and T. Ecology and Society 13(2): 4. Preparing Community Forestry for REDD+: Engaging Local Communities in the Mapping and MRV Requirements of REDD+.B. A. Theron. A Review of Experience of Community Monitoring for REDD+. Adaptive management and social learning in collaborative and community-based monitoring: a study of five community-based forestry organizations in the western USA. H. Habitat International 27: 549-573. International Journal of Forestry Research. Article ID 126454. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. K.. Patenaude. Roskilde.P. Input Paper No 2 of FCPF Workshop Linking Community Monitoring to National MRV for REDD+. Community Forest Monitoring for the Carbon Market: Opportunities under REDD. and B. T. Elphick. Larrazábal. Participatory forest monitoring: An assessment of the accuracy of simple cost-effective methods. Cuéllar. eds. Denmark: Technical University of Denmark. R. Mexico City. E. M. Skutsch. 2008. Luanglath. Frio. Bhattarai. A.. Pratihast. Synthesis of remote sensing approaches for forest carbon estimation: Reporting to the Kyoto Protocol. Lorenzo. Learning to manage a complex resource: a case of NTFP assessment in Nepal. M. London. Seeking good governance in participatory-GIS: a review of processes and governance dimensions in applying GIS to participatory spatial planning. M. Ballard and V. and K. I. UK. Community Forest Monitoring in REDD+: The ‘M’ in MRV? Environmental Science & Policy 14(2): 181-187. GOFC-GOLD Report version COP19-2 (GOFC-GOLD Land Cover Project Office.. and M. Policy implications of participatory biodiversity assessment – summary report. 2005. Mexico City.. 2011. Zahabu. Mustalahti and E. and forestation.Fernandez-Gimenez. Hartanto. M Zaballa Romero. Pathways for Implementing REDD+.X. Oetting and R. and M.. p14. projects go: lessons from participaotry monitoring in southern Laos. International Forestry Review 5: 118-127. A. ed. Ravnkilde Møller. Noss. M. ETFRN. Mukama. 2011. H. 2003.L.L. M. 2003. A. M. Hunter self-monitoring by the Isoseño-Guaraní in the Bolivian Chaco. 2010. International Forestry Review 4(3): 184-195.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 172 . Poulsen. Ojha. Collective action and learning in developing a local monitoring system. H. B. Environmental Science & Policy 8(2): 161-178.K. 2013. Measuring and Monitoring for Community Carbon Forestry. UK. Holck. Biodiversity and Conservation 14: 2591-2610. M. Oxford. 2005.. The Netherlands). Input Paper No 1 of FCPF Workshop Linking Community Monitoring to National MRV for REDD+.. and M. experiences from Carbon Markets and Communities. L. A sourcebook of methods and procedures for monitoring and reporting anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removals associated with deforestation. Knowles. E. McCall. 2002. In Zhu. Palmer Fry. L.K. Biodiversity and Conservation 17(8): 2023-2036. Dawson. McCall.K. Biodiversity and Conservation 14: 2679-2693. H. M. Community Based Monitoring and potential links with National REDD+ MRV. 2011. T. Policy seminar convened by the Environmental Change Institute. 2008. GOFC-GOLD. 2012. Earthscan. De Lopez. Herold. G.. 2002. 2005. Participatory Forest Carbon Assessment and REDD+: Learning from Tanzania. McCall.P. I. Local Participation in Mapping. A. Wageningen University. p. Sturtevant. Chapter 3 in Skutsch. Projects come. Skutsch and L. 2011. M.C. eds.

UK. McCall. B.Rist. G.4 in GOFC-GOLD: Reducing GHG emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries: a sourcebook of methods and procedures for monitoring.. Alberta.E. ed. Skutsch. Chapter 4 in Skutsch..F. Scolel-Te. F. UK. Draft decision–/CP. Nature & Faune 25(1): 35-39. J. E. London. Earthscan. Case Studies on Measuring and Assessing Forest Degradation: Community Measurement of Carbon Stock Change for REDD. 2011. M. Opportunities and capacity for community-based forest carbon sequestration and monitoring in Ghana. Information Requirements for National REDD+ Programmes. Why Community Forest Monitoring? Chapter 1 in Skutsch. London. M. Chapter 5 in Skutsch. Italy. and M. 2009. Munali. Earthscan. Earthscan REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. Zahabu and G. Skutsch. Ecology and Society 15(1): 3. M. U. Rome. London. K. McCall. Shaanker. P. Danielsen. 2009. K.J. Community Forest Monitoring for the Carbon Market: Opportunities under REDD. The use of traditional ecological knowledge in forest management: An example from india. ed. 2010. Massao. M. Blay. Topp-Jørgensen. 2010. Chapter 6 in Skutsch. Uk. Community Forest Monitoring for the Carbon Market: Opportunities under REDD. ed. M. London. M. Diggle. J. ed. 2011. How Much Carbon Does Community Forest Management Save? Chapter 2 in Skutsch. Tagg and D. Canada.K.F. M. ed. Milner-Gulland and J. B. R. Earthscan. E... and E.. Biodiversity and Conservation 14: 2611–2631. AMBIO. J. London. Community-based monitoring of natural resource use and forest quality in montane forests and miombo woodlands of Tanzania. Chapter 3. 2011. Skutsch. M. The Event Book System: a community- based natural resource monitoring system from Namibia. UNFCCC. Johnson.S. Report version COP14-2. L. Karky. Scolel Te Operational Manual: Natural Resources Management and Carbon Sequestration. R. M. Zahabu. M. M. UK. 2011. Solis. Schelhas. Skutsch... C.. Lund and J. Trines. Stanturf and D.. Asumadu. 2005. Stuart-Hill. The Costs and Reliability of Forest Carbon Monitoring by Communities. Data collection and national/local level. Community Forest Monitoring for the Carbon Market: Opportunities under REDD. Karky and F. Outcome of the work of the ad hoc working group on long‐term cooperative action under the Convention. E.K. Community Forest Monitoring for the Carbon Market: Opportunities under REDD. Samar. Biodiversity and Conservation 14: 2653-2677.. Available at: http://unfccc. Community Forest Monitoring for the Carbon Market: Opportunities under REDD. Peters-Guarin. FAO. Earthscan. J. P. Ghazoul. 2005. Skutsch. Poulsen. UK. measuring and reporting. Ward. 2011.. S. and S.16. 2010. E. Forest Resources Assessment Working Paper 156. B.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 173 . McCall. M.pdf Van Laake. The Policy Context of Community Monitoring for REDD+. Tease. Skutsch and M.. Van Laake. M.

the District include were portion of this went monitoring and information government recognition of reported to setting up the data analysis. method and knowledge counterparts. from each flora paper.not Committees indicator provided by incentives Committees decisions specified which managed species.. two members the and prestige costs of local of WCS Disturbance monitoring Tanzania) Checklist would enable transect more frequent and sustainable data collection Topp-Jørgensen Iringa Resource use.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 174 . stumps) committee. ropes supervision additionally are estimated to be collected data (determined village methods. Table 7. similar to by burns. pen and full day training received authors aggregation been done. disturbance.04 .3: Case studies of community monitoring Case Study Location What Who What What What training What Who How was What was the cost Summary information conducted the standards were equipment was provided incentives conducted data of project? was gathered? monitoring? used? was used? to participants? were provided data aggregated at to monitors? compiling the national and analysis? or regional level? Holck 2008 Uluguru Tree Four elected Three methods Measuring Half-day and Participants Study No Once training has Participants North Forest diameter at participants of monitoring tapes. and some approximately for monitoring training and Tanzania basal area. levels. costs with full day Reserve. forest disturbance supervision disturbance members of the 20-tress gauge. village (two disturbance. breast height. Natural data and local million for the Resource Tanzania abundance of Committees protocols system Other Resource management entire project. and all around quick fees. 2005 District. on resource and the Danish the value for monthly to monitoring system and as a result use. Bitterlich follow-up $6. records Assistance water quality higher were able to of user Program and increased administrative rapidly turn permits and prestige.12/ha/yr.25 per day. environment Bitterlich gauge conferred $0. Village Natural Locally Not specified Guidance in Monitors paid Village Monitoring Estimated $3 Village Natural et al. Resource developed developing ~ $1/day. records records are management of meetings kept decisions based and trainings publically on this available at information the village REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. 'expert' cuts. the participation between $0.

Trust. GPS. A Involvement of Manual for park staff each field throughout the method and development indicator was and testing of prepared. guards and focus group GPS. guide. staff. Monitoring Participants The Monitoring All costs Local et al.for (from regional and management years. lemur further detail because the meetings and fires were forest services. binoculars. field over a period paid to park are involved for the staff areas. bird upfront and less than presented to orally to the ($0. This is was presented $5.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 175 . watch. 2005 wetlands. plans. Teams catch compass. photo camera. of three years. of 10 villagers observations. methods were content of conferred the course of and used across the training special status the project. film. designated host NGOs.) adaptive march areas. methodologies is key to buy in and long term capacity Andrianandrasana Alaotra Data on Organized by Data collected Canoe. Multiple Notebook. Standard field guide on the type of employment on the radio reduced over fishery service. listed superintendent. data Regular visits the data. Conservation interviews.may public data sheets information rates technicians observation scales. development protected being scaled those Kitanglad. effectively). change methods were tape measure experts were makes time of communities in perceived developed made for management writing.Danielsen et al. M. lemurs. site subsequent have been through kept by local collected. The protected monitoring are Sierra Madre.21/ha/yr. species and local forest transect walk. binoculars. No attractive community authorities. altimeter. Stakeholders not specified the data. example marsh water and identification. Three Change in Between 24 . amount in compiling monitoring responsible for Northern sightings of the park field diary.. field guide. paint. participants earned ~ information data approximately authorities Madagascar waterbirds. by outside directly areas at the engage local types. and testing of area gathers to other responsible for Philippines resource use. and protected (in order to of vegetation members Standards and sheets. string. are trained $2/day. documentation. involved in the head of the areas was different from Bataan. and analyzes priority enforcement change in size community discussions. demonstrated fish catches.000/yr. Capacity built Salaries were All park staff The system Not specified Important that 2000 protected number and 36 staff per methods pen. maps. then employed income from the general public and response to and hunting and 7 and species weighing again in fishing. harvest through assistance and decisions volume in national supervision based on this biodiversity collaborative result impacting process and activities field testing. development 16 sites provided as a technical NGOs) expert REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. compass. Durrell Wildlife via transects.. methodologies. frequency of park including developed.

g. leading protect area funding to cooperation staff stopped and improved co- management REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. a use the main field approximately of resource use of status and monitoring monitoring allowances of $0. This holistic determine and protected area staff and raising. checks develops difficult to areas via autonomous habitat quality. hunted though Villagers were wildlife standards were not paid species and not strictly non-timber enforced and Strong forest three main relationships products.Bennun et al. varied by site Poulsen and Xe Pian Walk through Depending on Wildlife Not specified Conservation Conservation Monitoring Not specified A week of A combination Luanglath. costs be the best villager selected during together with monitoring and support Management approximately way to get a interviews to village meeting. methods $5 per day. 49 sites in Effectiveness Bird Life 'Site IBAs provide Not specified Not specified Not specified. 2005 Biodiversity focusing on the method Conservation area staff were area staff paid forms and monitoring. provided to it. support data. and adds national IBA standardize. international staff) specific secretariat to monitoring compile in a encouraged. reports filed including 4-5 methods may Area. monitoring of partners of number of site support other status something that populations of Bird Life conservation groups from research to reports using Bird Life has relevant International staff) and space Bird Life develop an data from recognized and species and made up of for scoring International overall score each IBA. conservation awareness provided for Unit's office $100. individuals' in that deterioration forwards the deforestation.017/ha/yr and abundance trends in method. report to the conservation detailed site. of indicators country number of Additionally. indicator. Central IBA Bird Life Not specified This method is 2005 Kenya of IBA Support Group' forms with some financial unit compiles International subjective and conservation staff. is working to threats to government improvement of Additionally improve.local indicator (e. methods were between joint used Monitoring villagers and monitoring by stopped once park staff builds villagers and external trust. these species staff and 'other or improvement Bird Life (including knowledgeable deterioration or International habitat area. world where method database. villagers established. Laos species. biodiversity external at the Park villages.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 176 . of various Conservation list of priority teams of 2-6 Society trained in annual salary. and can logistics and equivalent to representation perceptions area staff villagers..

) age collaboration information. tape provided. details not participated analyze data extrapolate for salaries.Noss et al. participating with Park Community locations 7-10 Community to the total administration. hunting program hired 12 months. 2005 Kaa-Iya del Species Wildlife Hunters carry Data sheets. initially monitors use data to $50. specified on volunteer monthly and from the and transportation catch size. after 6 summarize number of costs weight and project in record record months the data every 6. hunters ($0. Conservation data sheets pens. Training is Hunters Community Study authors Approximately Gran Chaco abundance.. Bolivia effort rates.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 177 . organized and hunting spring scales.000 per year National catch per unit Society with them on measures.015/ha/yr. members also individuals on meetings number of Active hunters carry out line a part time held to hunters in and community transect basis in each present the the park members surveys of nine community results and conducted principal game discuss monitoring species possible interventions REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. supplies Park. supported the excursions to GPS used to basis.

forest into communities measures. $15/day for authors transect and biomass in gumboots.Mukama et al.56 . permanent GPS. be involved relascopes. challenges forest could have inventory been due to methods. in each to map forest equipment and focus was not seen volume and event GPS to mark Land Forest forest community area. Three villages Participator Eight villagers Participatory Forest Participatory Approximately Calculations Not specified $0. objectives. allometric sample size types. used to costs of generalized calculating vegetation willingness to calipers. transect walks discussions to diameter taps. introduce participants. Challenges 2012 within the forest were selected Rural Appraisal inventory rural appraisal $4/day ( this of tree $0. discussion cover using locally strata Tanzania to stratify gauge tape methods were opportunity derived or boundaries. Training was future work) permanent trees over transportation provided on sample plot time using GPS.. and proposed ~ by study determining to measure also gauge interest. research members completed and sample plots hypsometers. use the short of equipment training time allocated Successful implementation will depend on collaboration between local communities and facilitating organizations for GIS and carbon data analysis REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.84/ha/monitoring included using Angai Villages mapping. locations establishing permanent Some of these sample plots. group including group as sufficient to biomass vegetation Reserve.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 178 . concepts and community equations requirements.

San Rafael Information Monitoring Indicators Not specified. varied skill set quality.Hartanto et al. aggregation collection sources. of data developing shared primary goal indicator data Multipurpose criteria. methods in newsletters. with local via school high and quarterly so for data income people's reports. and coastal of environment reports via More management and natural organization training resources record books. representatives. capabilities bulletin and forest and department financial boards. during three for example collection criteria and through is to feedback highlights needs Cooperative.. Local and number of gauge people's trees via data success of organizations reports management conducted monitoring REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. needed to officials. including workshops and number of indicators. monthly line with and not strengthened village council income via existing community prioritized organizations.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 179 . required Concepcion environmental developed each criteria. surveys. so monthly data to local for highly Philippines education discussions pupils in school awareness is meetings. communities. Participants Not specified Monitoring Not Not specified Wide range of 2002 Tanabag and on social and framework developed for varied by type involved in results specified. organization.

0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 180 . events workshops). standards for transferred evaluation and the graphs poaching. national analysis was example community Each year monitoring returned to rainfall. report this strategic community reporting and to natural decision priorities analysis of long resource making such term trends supervisors. of fire. monitoring 21 to a form to database and tables wildlife standard evaluate belonging to were not mortalities. kits containing rangers and Tourism members etc. or may not be elected compliance comprehensive. indicators to a storage box by local copied to a results of data Namibia including for monitor (via communities. totals are and communities. developed. as quota Where are made who in turn setting. themes have long-term the Ministry intuitively fish or been trends.Stuart-Hill 2005 30 Protocols for Field staff The All forms are Training is Not specified All data Each year the Not specified Traditionally community monitoring 21 (conservancies communities paper-based. tools for data collect data. monitoring is available to report to allocation of driven by local local conservancy technical priorities it communities manager or support. provided on compilation data from there were conservancies themes have members) involved and copied data collection and analysis each long time lags in six national been decided what for archival in and reporting is conducted community is before the parks. of understood by predator developed and Community Environment community abundance. chairman monitoring where society deems other indicators worth monitoring appropriate incentives must be provided REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. and used for depending on collection..

Knowledge that illegal forest activity can be tracked in almost real-time helps deter future illegal activity when those involved realize that their assumed difficult-to-monitor practices can. where local communities either receive NRT information. though there are significant benefits that can come from the application of NRT as part of MRV. intervening and reducing the impacts of detected threats. Many countries could benefit from the possibilities presented by NRT monitoring within their national forest management and monitoring strategies. encroachment.3 NEAR-REAL TIME MONITORING AND ALERT SYSTEMS Author: John Musinsky 7.7. combined with community-based monitoring. Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems. NRT forest monitoring and the distribution of alerts. it represents an additional monitoring component that enables more efficient enforcement and governance. in fact. bringing new opportunities for employing multiple streams of NRT forest monitoring data for decision support and use in Measurement. It provides an effective project implementation and adaptive management tool for responding to immediate forest threats. degradation. wildfire. 7. and describes some of the more advanced satellite-based NRT applications and case studies. and potentially other phenomena “in-action”. Public access to NRT information on the existence and rate of expansion of a deforestation or forest degradation activity increases transparency about the effectiveness of institutions responsible for controlling such activity. or contribute to NRT monitoring via analysis or confirmation. By enabling a rapid response to deforestation. thus ensuring as much forest carbon is protected as possible. and many countries are considering including NRT monitoring in the development of their National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS). fire and logging throughout the year help institutions design management plans REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. Satellite and mobile technologies are also continually evolving. thus strengthening public pressure for improved governance and reform. be monitored and thwarted. NRT forest monitoring can strengthen enforcement and governance at local levels. indirect benefits due to its rapid-response nature. NRT forest monitoring complements the periodic (annual or decadal) remote sensing-based analysis of forest extent and change conducted as part of MRV.3. facilitate effective forest management while ensuring local customs and rights are respected. NRT alerts facilitate distribution of information in a streamlined user-customized form that can help overcome communication bottlenecks.1 Introduction Near real-time (NRT) forest monitoring involves the tracking of forest threats or disturbances to minimize the lag time between monitoring observations and the dissemination of critical information necessary for responding. instead. Frequent NRT alerts that track and facilitate active reporting on patterns of new deforestation. There is also much potential for linking NRT monitoring with community-based monitoring and community-based management. and more rapid adjustment of REDD+ strategies to changing circumstances. NRT monitoring is not a requirement for national greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting or inclusion in a national MRV system. Such monitoring increases transparency and may deter future activities that contribute to forest loss or degradation. providing a platform for NRT surveillance of forest resources. In addition to the many REDD+-related benefits. This section summarizes the characteristics of NRT monitoring. A range of publically available satellite image resources exist that can be adapted to NRT analysis and reporting.3. NRT forest monitoring can provide multiple. NRT monitoring need not be part of the data analysis that produces quantitative estimates of forest cover and GHG emissions.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 181 .2 Background Remote sensing-based NRT forest monitoring and alert systems are among the most underutilized tools for helping manage and protect forest resources.

and future geostationary satellites (e.. FY‐4) with 1km visible and near-infrared bands may be more suitable for uninterrupted NRT monitoring of moderate-scale forest activity. with higher spatial resolutions. ii) data with adequate spatial resolution to enable the direct detection of a forest disturbance activity in progress (e.a major advantage in perennially cloud-covered areas -. fire).. 7. However.3. NRT forest monitoring helps address issues of sustainable commodity value chains by providing timely information.3 Existing near real-time forest monitoring satellite technologies There are a range of existing and planned satellite technologies that are uniquely suited to providing NRT information due to their spatial and temporal characteristics. highlighting risks associated with supply chains of commercial crops such as palm oil. And. these include a RADAR instrument’s ability to see through clouds -. Terra and Aqua. the technical challenges inherent in processing and interpreting RADAR data. iii) the image archives are spatially and temporally more complete. This is particularly true for instruments such as Landsat. However. and the high cost of both RADAR and LiDAR mean these are currently not practical as NRT data sources.and inter-annual variability in spatial and temporal patterns of fire and associated deforestation and illegal logging activity. Each condition is discussed in detail below. Finally. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. but lower temporal resolutions. GOES‐R. An alternate source of NRT remote sensing data are geostationary satellites (satellites that hover continually over the same point on the ground as the earth revolves. providing uninterrupted observations of the ground). planet-wide imagery. etc. or the indirect detection of disturbance post-activity in terms of altered physical forest structure or biomass lost. the lack of frequent acquisition or comprehensive spatial coverage of LiDAR data.g. which can be useful when monitoring subtle changes due to forest degradation. Geostationary satellite data are nevertheless useful for NRT detection of fires due to the thermal sensitivities of the detectors. ii) the individual image footprints from optical instruments are generally larger and have a shorter re-visit time. and iv) when monitoring represents part of a field-based response or enforcement. CBERS.. Optical remote sensing data are generally the most suitable data for NRT monitoring because: i) moderately trained remote sensing analysts can readily detect and interpret changes to forest extent and structure when using optical data. sufficient geographical precision to enable ground- based personnel to navigate to the location where the disturbance occurred. iii) minimal lag time between the disturbance and resultant detection to enable effective action.and the forest structure information provided by both RADAR and LiDAR instruments. CBERS. yielding coarse pixel resolution that limits their utility for monitoring small-scale forest disturbance like slash-and-burn deforestation or degradation. one disadvantage of polar-orbiting satellites for NRT monitoring is the resultant temporal gaps in the data record.3. Most satellite imagery used for forest monitoring in the tropics is acquired by sensors onboard polar-orbiting satellites such as Landsat. 7. while polar-orbiting satellites (orbiting at an altitude of less than 1000km) provide a cost- effective approach to gathering comprehensive.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 182 . As part of this process. field-based information to determine its accuracy. of which the latter two carry the MODIS instrument as a payload. to maintain their geosynchronous orbits.that accommodate the intra. NRT monitoring data may be validated using independent.g. resulting in regular and more frequent image availability. most geostationary satellites are located at an altitude of around 35.4 Technical considerations for NRT monitoring systems Effective NRT monitoring depends on the following conditions: i) access to frequent or continuous contaminant-free/cloud-free data for both automated and Manual interpretation.000km. Both RADAR and LiDAR data have unique attributes that may make them useful for NRT monitoring in certain circumstances. and 4) optical data are generally cheaper.

65m). Latency refers to the delay between satellite observation and product delivery to users.. For example. The relationship between pixel size and an observed phenomenon is somewhat different for the detection of active fires. lower-resolution data.“false-positive” detections may result from what appears to be new activity that is. on the order of two to three hours for MODIS data (O’Neal. interpreted. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. the lag time may be substantially longer if cloud cover exists and additional satellite image acquisitions are required before cloud-free data are available. i.Cloud-free data Cloud contamination represents one of the biggest challenges in using optical satellite imagery for NRT forest monitoring. These activities included road openings and treefall gaps. For example. alternative data acquisition and processing strategies may be used.4m) or GeoEye-1 (0.5m). SPOT-6 (1. recently acquired higher resolution data are co- analyzed with older. Landsat 8 images are available for download within 12 hours of acquisition. a lag exists during the image analysis phase and in distribution of data to end-users. in Amazonas. Quickbird (0. In addition to the satellite data latency. Brazil. while Landsat 7 processing averages 1-3 days between image acquisition and distribution.e.75 hectares and larger.5-1. field studies in different environments and under different viewing conditions have shown that the 1km resolution thermal bands on MODIS are able to accurately detect open ground fires covering an area of only 100m2 when their temperature is sufficiently high and where observing conditions are good (Giglio et al. Thermal channels on many earth-observing satellite platforms are designed to accurately detect the large quantities of thermal radiation (heat) emitted from ground-fires. in fact. SPOT-5 (5-10m). older disturbance. the satellite data used to detect forest activities must be acquired. for example. including the deployment of environmental law enforcement officials or the coordination of community-based monitoring personnel.. Finally. co- analysis may be performed using multiple data sources (such as Landsat with ASTER.25-0. Latency To effectively contribute to field-based responses to undesirable or illegal forest activity. very small-scale activities require high-resolution satellite data such as RapidEye (6. The sum of all these sources of delay is the functional latency of the NRT monitoring system. 2003).5-6m). ASTER scenes are only available to the user 7-10 days after acquisition. Read (2003) and Read et al. 30m. multiple pixels of optical data are required to effectively delineate features on the ground. to identify activities associated with Reduced Impact Logging (RIL). Landsat images can be used to classify patches of deforestation 0. For example. Spatial resolution The spatial resolution of the satellite data must match the scale of the landuse or resource extraction activity contributing to deforestation or forest degradation. care must be used when co-analyzing multiple data sources with different spatial resolutions as certain small-scale activities may be detected in the higher resolution but not the lower resolution data. Though this time lag may in theory be small – for example a maximum of four hours when using MODIS data to monitor fires or up to 21 days when using Landsat to monitor deforestation – in practice. (2003) used visual interpretation of 1m panchromatic and 4m multispectral IKONOS data. 2005). However. This lag time may be very short when employing automated analytical processing systems. a time lag often exists between the actual forest activity and the moment the satellite observes the disturbance. such as 15m resolution pan-sharpened Landsat imagery can also be useful in detecting moderate-scale forest activities like slash-and-burn agriculture on the order of 0. Generally. native resolution. IKONOS (1-4m). or considerably longer when the analysis is performed Manually (either through computer-assisted classifications or Manual digitizing). CBERS or SPOT) over the same geographical areas and time frames. To compensate for excessive cloud contamination or temporal gaps in the data records of high- resolution satellite data.7- 2.50 hectares. Medium-scale imagery. The Nataional Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA)’s Near Real Time Processing Effort (NRTPE) for Earth Observation System (EOS) products utilizes data with very short latencies. If. and reported with minimal time delay. as well as merged products based on these data.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 183 . These thermal bands have pixels that cover much larger areas than the fires they are able to detect.

REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. the longer the gaps. it can negatively impact the provider instutution and. The actual location of the fire detected by MODIS may be located up to 500m from the centerpoint of the pixel. Fire risk forecasts are important in facilitating advanced preparation aimed at averting. both to guarantee the safety of individuals submitting information (e. the greater the latency and the less effective the system will be for rapid response. The monitoring of deforestation. encroachment. NRT monitoring plays a critical role in alerting park administrators.In addition to spatial resolution. the lower the temporal resolution. fire incidence and fire risk provides critical summary and trend data to help inform policy. the University of Maryland (UMD) and host-country institutions enabled the development of a suite of NRT fire and deforestation monitoring and forecasting applications that channeled satellite observations directly to international users responsible for decision- making activities and actions related to wildfires. a system can still be useful for guiding adaptive management activities even when latency is high. In certain cases. while strengthening decision support activities aimed at prevention. accuracy is a critical factor in building and sustaining user confidence in NRT products. In contrast. there is now ample opportunity for users to collect field observations (e. local NGOs and local communities of wildfire activity.g.5 Examples of existing NRT forest monitoring systems NRT monitoring with earth observation satellite data can help overcome many challenges associated with reducing illegal or undesirable forest activities and their impacts. This is partly due to the nature of near real-time information where the primary concern is speed of data delivery.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 184 . 7. These applications included: the Fire Alert System (FAS). complicating navigation to the reported fire activity. and the geographic locations of forest activity detected with these data are sufficiently precise that field personnel using a consumer-grade GPS can track and locate the activity based on the reported locations extracted from the imagery. there is a trade-off between spatial resolution and temporal resolution: the higher the spatial resolution. the longer the gaps between repeat data acquisitions. preparedness. patrols. governments have refused to use data from NRT forest monitoring systems that have not been officially vetted or designated as a certified data provider. CI Fire Alert / Fire Risk / Deforestation and Encroachment Alert Systems A partnership between Conservation International (CI).3.g. Several NRT monitoring systems are described below. Operating from 2003-2013. the geographic locations of active fire detections produced by MODIS are determined by the center point of the 1km2 thermal channel pixel. The accuracy of many NRT forest monitoring products often lacks systematic validation. reducing and managing deforestation related to out-of- control wildfire. planning and land management decisions. latency is one of the factors that will determine the effectiveness of the system. And as mentioned. Developing privacy safeguards and field data verification controls are a critical part of this process. Given the prevalence worldwide of GPS-enabled mobile smart phone technology and data sharing through blogs and social networks. the lower the temporal resolution. reporting on illegal forest activity) and to ensure that field data are accurate. Some existing NRT monitoring systems are being configured to capture this information via smart phone applications and blogs. and enhances the ability of national and sub- national governments to respond to threats in a strategic manner. undermine people’s willingness to use NRT data as a source of information for decision making. field-based forest managers. more broadly. GPS- tagged photos) and provide feedback for validation of NRT forest monitoring data. Precision and validation High-resolution satellite imagery such as Landsat are usually pre-processed by satellite data providers to a maximum root mean square (RMS) error of less than 50m. and response to deforestation. the Fire Risk System and the Deforestation and Encroachment Alert System. if data accuracy is questionable.. Nevertheless.. However. Latency is particularly important when tracking forest degradation as the spectral signal can rapidly disappear due to vegetation regrowth. encroachment and fire related to REDD+.

and forest conversion. decribed below. With more than 1. fire suppression. an automated version of FAS for Madagascar began sending real-time data generated by MODIS RapidFire to field personnel and government agencies responsible for natural areas management. 48 http://firecast.300 subscribers from 45 countries. In 2014. protected areas management.3). 2013). text files. It also added public access to suspected illegal activity alerts generated for parks in Indonesia. single monitoring. with access to online reports and maps. The Fire Risk System was an automated daily risk model that estimated moisture fluctuations in litter fuels on the forest floor with daily inputs from MODIS and other weather satellites. forecasting and alert system. and policy development related to conservation and sustainable development. users of these monitoring systems developed critical applications for NRT data and alerts in forest law enforcement. Bolivia. GIS shapefiles and GoogleEarth KML files of fires occurring within user-defined areas of interest.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 185 . South Africa and Tanzania. FAS has since expanded to include REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. Paraguay. Musinsky et al. In 2007. community education. FAS began in 2002.conservation. Firecast 48. these systems were integrated into a new. Madagascar. and included email attachments with custom images. delivering email alerts using MODIS active fire observations from UMD’s Web Fire Mapper overlaid on all protected areas in Brazil. Namibia. The Deforestation and Encroachment Alert System was a NRT alert system founded on rapid analysis of Landsat and ASTER imagery. among others (NASA 2010. REDD+ forest carbon projects.FAS was an automated and customizable alert delivery system based on MODIS active fire data generated by NASA that provided subscribers with a range of products tailored to their needs (Figure 7. Peru and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 186 . Daily maps of forest flammability at 5km resolution are generated based on the previous day's fuel moisture content and the current day's air climate conditions and are distributed through FireCast (Figure 7.3.4). The Fire Risk System uses NRT satellite estimates as inputs to the US Forest Service Fire Danger Rating System equations for estimating the moisture content of fuels. based on decades of field experiments by the US Forest Service that quantitatively describe the relationship between fuel moisture and flammability risk. The model is based on the relationship between moisture content and flammability of fuels on the forest floor (i. daily rainfall sum. A subscription and user management page for a fire-alert system (top) and a sample email alert and jpg attachment notifying fire activity in a user-specified area of interest (bottom). The model outputs are currently used by REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.e. The Fire Risk System is an online application using satellite bioclimatology to model forest flammability (Steininger et al. The model runs nightly and pulls MODIS and TRMM data to generate maps of fire risk. and fuel moisture fluctuates with rainfall events. 2013).Figure 7.. The model assumes that fuel is ignitable at moisture contents of 20 percent or less. litter and woody debris). The satellite observations used in this model represent rainfall duration from TRMM 3B42RT and near- surface temperature and relative humidity from MODIS MOD07L2 Atmospheric Profiles. days since last rainfall and the commonly used Keetch-Byram Drought Index. temperature and humidity..

with support from a NASA Wildland Fires grant. the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames and Goddard.Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza in Bolivia.forest (N). medium grey is forest above 500m ASL (F). including: i) delivery of new NRT earth observation products. has also been included in the system (Chen et al. that warns of potential severe fire activity months in advance of a fire season.The Deforestation and Encroachment Alert System used the same approach as that of FAS: NRT delivery of suspected illegal forest activity observations to a range of in-country stakeholders who utilize the information for rapid response. based on the previous suite of NRT monitoring systems. Areas from yellow to red indicate moisture values of 20 percent or less. they permitted delineation of deforested areas where fire activity had been detected by MODIS.8 million hectares of protected areas and REDD+ sites in Indonesia and Madagascar. The deforestation and encroachment alerts (Figure 7. Data are for July 16. Irvine and NASA. Reports from counterparts in the field confirmed that the combination of both fire alert and encroachment alert systems catalyzed and guided numerous enforcement campaigns. called FIRECAST. Example of forest flammability model outputs used in an alert system. and iv) online space for data sharing and collaboration among users. The fire risk model has been geographically expanded and enhanced in NASA’s NEX. a supercomputing environment designed for model development and evaluation. while the high-resolution data of Landsat and ASTER are characterized by much greater latency than MODIS imagery.conservation. ii) enhanced system functionality including user customization. More substantial system enhancements will be implemented in the coming REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. indicating increasing flammability. A fire season forecast component developed by researchers at the University of California. (2013). The Firecast prototype integrates CI’s existing Fire Alert System and Fire Risk System into a more stable and flexible system built in the cloud. A new integrated forest and fire monitoring and forecasting system for improved forest management in the tropics. leading to apprehension and deterrence of illegal forest activity within national parks. iii) expansion to new geographies and sectors. Spatial patterns of daily moisture content for coarse fuels. is now under collaborative development by CI. Figure 7. Landsat and ASTER satellite archives were continually surveyed. 49 From Steininger et al.. a useful indicator of fire risk.4. http://firecast. Light grey is non. 2014.1) complemented the fire alerts.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 187 . and the Bolivian forestry department for district and community level communications. and dark grey areas are water (W) 49. and as new data became available the images were downloaded and analyzed for evidence of encroachment occurring within 2. 2011).

or selecting a specific country or protected area via drop down boxes. 2011. MODIS active fire data are available through FIRMS in a range of easy-to-access data 50 (http://earthdata. Developed by UMD in conjunction with NASA Goddard. and view MODIS burned area images for the entire globe. A buffer around the protected area can also be specified. an interactive web-based mapping system created in 2001.nasa. The email alerts messaging component of FIRMS delivers MODIS active fire information for specified protected areas or user-defined areas of interest.. FIRMS processes the NASA MODIS Level 3 Monthly Tiled 500m Burned Area Product 51 and makes it available in images displayed at resolutions of 8 km. and access to daily MODIS image subsets (Figure 7.. The open source Web Fire Mapper application allows users to view and query active fire data for any specified date range.5) (Justice et al. or weekly summaries.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 188 REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. one month at a time. Figure 7. and the CSV file can be ingested into a GIS for further analyses.umd.Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) The Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) is the most important and influential NRT fire monitoring system created to date. or 2 km. The email alert system supports the option to include a map image and a Comma Separated Values (CSV) text file of fire coordinates. The map image enables users to readily visualize the exact location of the fire. FIRMS is now located at NASA EOSDIS (Earth Observing System Data and Information System) 50. and allows subscribers to choose daily NRT alerts. 4 km. 2009). Davies et al. FIRMS has four components: Web Fire Mapper. a data downloading tool that enables users to download MODIS active fire data based on date ranges. Subscribers can specify any area for notification by selecting a rectangle on an interactive map. FIRMS Components (top) and Web Fire Mapper (bottom). or used to build up a local database of fires. email alerts for protected 51 MOD45A1: http://modis-fire.

obt. DETER also produces monthly/bi-monthly Amazon deforestation alerts that facilitate effective control of forest clearing (Figure 7. PROARCO is complemented by the Sistema de Detecção do Desmatamento em Tempo Real na Amazônia (DETER) 54. has the advantage of small file size and allows the option of querying attribute information. and the general public. in other UN organizations. Spanish and English. NASA World Wind files and Web Map Service (WMS) files. whereas NRT alerts are sent directly from the MODIS Rapid Response (MRR) facility to avoid potential delays caused by relaying the data from the MRR to the GFIMS servers. some deforested areas will remain undetected due to persistent cloud cover and relatively low spatial resolution (a limitation of all NRT deforestation monitoring systems based on MODIS). and email delivery preferences.fao.6).inpe.obt. Global Fire Information Management System (GFIMS): The Global Fire Information Management System (GFIMS) integrates remote sensing and GIS technologies to deliver MODIS hotspot/fire locations and burned area information to natural resource managers and other stakeholders around the world. GFIMS complements existing NRT information systems that deliver data and services to ongoing monitoring and emergency response projects in FAO headquarters and field offices. DETER and PRODES The Brazilian Space Research Agency (INPE) has developed multiple deforestation and fire monitoring tools. PROARCO. Distributing active fire information in vector format. alert frequency. The email alert includes a summary of the number of fires detected and an attached tabular list of fires with their attributes in CSV format. GFIMS is hosted at the Department of Natural Resources (NRD) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and is based on FIRMS 52. ESRI Shapefiles. KML files. PROARCO is INPE’s fire monitoring system 53. 52 http://www. DETER provides an important source of data for control and enforcement due to the data’s high temporal resolution. Both the DETER and PROARCO web mapping tools operate in 54 http://www. The Fire Email Alerts is the GFIMS open-source email alert service that notifies registered users of MODIS-derived active fires in a specified area of interest.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 189 . The user subscription information captures their area of interest. and deforestation events with an area larger than 25 hectares can be detected.formats. such as an ESRI Shapefile. including CSV text files. DETER is also complemented by annual monitoring of forest removal using INPE’s Projeto de Monitoramento do Desmatamento na Amazônia Legal por Satélite (PRODES) 55. Daily and weekly fire alerts are sent from the GFIMS system. DETER data are based on 55 www. and delivers an email alert directly to subscribers by reading a database of user-entered subscription information (user profiles). The PRODES system is based on high resolution Landsat and CBERS imagery capable of detecting small-scale deforestation. DETER provides an online mapping interface for displaying historical and NRT data on deforestation and REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 53 http://www.inpe. AVHRR and GOES. DETER alerts are sent to Brazil’s Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA) and state government agencies responsible for enforcing forest legislation. PROARCO is a web-based mapping tool publishing daily active fire detections from MODIS. The low spatial resolution used by DETER is compensated for by daily observations that are mosaicked into monthly wall-to-wall assessments of the entire legal Amazon. However.dpi.

br REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 190 . and produces a Normalized Difference Fraction Index (NDFI) image showing the relative abundance of green vegetation. SAD produces monthly and annual Forest Management Transparency bulletins and maps on deforestation and degradation in the legal Amazon that can be downloaded from the IMAZON web page and from ImazonGeo (Figure 7. corroborative measurement of Amazon deforestation statistics produced by INPE’s PRODES program. ImazonGeo supports delivery of SAD text-based alerts via cellphone and email. SAD has been operating in the State of Mato Grosso since August 2006 and in the Amazon since April 2008.7). In addition to online Included in the web portal are deforestation data from SAD. DETER and PRODES. These data are available for download as shapefiles from the ImazonGEO website. 56 http://www.Figure 7. soils. a national non- governmental organization (NGO) based in Belém. The abundance of data streams on active fires is valuable in that it provides a more extensive temporal coverage and the opportunity for cross-validation among different data streams. statistics and reports. computes a resolution merge between the 500m multispectral and 250m visble bands.6 Yellow dots represent the location of deforestation in an alert issued by DETER. ImazonGeo operates in Portuguese and English. IMAZON Deforestation Alert System (SAD) and ImazonGeo The Deforestation Alert System (Sistema de Alertas de Desmatamento . and is often used as a source of independent. shade and non-photosynthetic vegetation components that are used by IMAZON to detect deforestation and degradation over time. Aqua GOES and NOAA satellites for the Brazilian Amazon. as well as 29 unique data streams of active fire data that increase the probability of acquiring cloudfree observations from the Terra. the IMAZON SAD team creates a temporal mosaic of daily MODIS MOD09GQ and MOD09GA products. For the deforestation/degradation products.SAD) is a satellite-based monitoring system operated by the Amazon Institute of People and the Environment (IMAZON). ImazonGeo 56is an interactive web portal distributing spatial information on the status and threats to forests and protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon. filters clouds.imazongeo. Brazil.

June. The NASA Ames/CSU team updates and distributes its global QUICC products to GloF-DAS as soon as the most recent quarterly MODIS worldwide vegetation index image is available.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 191 . September. and several other third-party data distribution systems (Figure 7. The global QUICC change product is based on a quarterly time-series comparison of MODIS daily vegetation index images at the same time each year (March.mongabay. GloF-DAS is based on the NASA QUICC product and provides data on forest disturbance globally to map all large-scale forest cover change (including fire impacts) on a quarterly basis. The QUICC products are distributed through multiple sources including: the GloF-DAS web portal 57hosted by QUICC MODIS deforestation products and the Global Forest Disturbance Alert System (GloF-DAS) Investigators at NASA Ames Research Center and California State University (CSU) have developed a custom 5km resolution MODIS satellite product called the "Quarterly Indicator of Cover Change" (QUICC) for all forested areas of the globe.7 ImazonGeo.8).Figure 7. and December) for all forest and woodland areas that have lost at least 40% of their green vegetation cover during the previous year. 57 http://rainforests. WRI’s Global Forest Watch web REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.

Figure 7. and raw Landsat 8 images (before and after burns) (Figure 7. 58 REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. based in Indonesia.cifor. logging moratorium boundaries.8 GloF-DAS CIFOR Interactive Fire Risk Tool The Center for International Forest Research (CIFOR). timber and oil palm plantation concessions. has created a web-based fire risk mapping application 58. and as a tool suitable for the monitoring of commodity supply chains.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 192 . This application allows users to overlay NRT satellite data on active fire locations from FIRMS and fire scars mapped by CIFOR from the most recent Landsat 8 imagery on peatlands.9). These data are useful for facilitating enforcement of environmental regulations established by the Indonesian national and provincial authorities.

GFW 2.4).0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 193 .9 CIFOR Interactive Fire Risk Tool.0 was initiated in 2011 as a comprehensive online social networking. WRI’s Global Forest Watch 2.Figure 7. mapping and data distribution portal providing access to a range of NRT. historical forest change and fire products from a variety of internal and external sources (Table 7.0 The World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Global Forest Watch (GFW) was established in 1997 to develop comprehensive information about forest resources and forest management in temperate and tropical countries through publication of the GFW Forest Atlases and State of the Forest reports series. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.

and relevant international conventions. The country page. Forest monitoring data available through the Global Forest Watch data portal and online mapping interface The GFW 2. for example. relevant forestry legislation. The map interface displays each of the forest monitoring datasets over user-specified time periods for individual countries. These include: employment and income generated from the forestry sector.4. ii) online mapping. carbon stocks and emissions.0 website – still in beta as of this writing – operates in seven languages and is divided into multiple pages.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 194 . and v) a blog. publishing statistics for these time periods and enabling download of the selected data in a variety of GIS formats. iii) data download. provides basic statistics for a user-specified country on a number of forest-related metrics. Each page covers a different theme or topic including: i) country-specific data and statistics. Data Source Frequency Resolution Geographic Extent Tree Cover Loss and Gain University Annually 30m Global of and 12-year Maryland FORMA Probable Tree Cover World Monthly 500m Humid Tropics Loss Resources Institute SAD Deforestation and IMAZON Monthly 250m Brazilian Amazon Degradation QUICC vegetation cover loss NASA Quarterly 5km Global (>40% per time period) Active Fires NASA Daily 1km Global Table 7. iv) stories. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.

Terra-i Terra-i 60 provides online access to bi-monthly estimates of vegetation change over the entire Latin American continent. over selected districts/regions.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 195 . Terra-i produces 250m resolution “greenness anomalies” from a ten-year time series of 16-day MODIS NDVI composites. The data download page allows users to directly download data from – or subscribe to email alerts. and by selected commodities (including pulpwood and palm oil). this page also links to a Google Groups discussion forum where users can interact with GFW staff to obtain assistance and technical information. discussed above. some GFW data contributors do provide automatically delivered email or cellphone based alerts from their project websites. dam construction. in English and Spanish. These variables can be analyzed for selected time REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 60 http://www. This site59 focuses on the Southeast Asian region and enables the user to incorporate and analyze different data layers that facilitate the tracking of forest fires. Data from the system (2004-2014) are available for online viewing via a map 59 http://fires. Using an approach similar to that of FORMA.g..globalforestwatch. or to discuss issues related to forest conservation and management in their countries.10. burning and. However. NASA FIRMS.Figure7.terra-i. indicating where vegetation cover may have recently changed due to factors such as clear-cutting. The stories page provides links to external forest. rather they are viewable and downloadable data from the GFW interactive map. Global Forest Watch online mapping interface displaying one of five different types of forest monitoring data (FORMA probable deforestation events). GFW recently included another component in the portal.).10). and the blog component is used by GFW staff to publish online articles on issues such as forest monitoring and technology. etc. GFW alerts are not actually active notifications sent out to users. haze and air quality. ImazonGEO. as noted in the sections on of ImazonGeo and FIRMS. if available – the source data projects’ website (e. GFW currently represents the most data-rich website for accessing a diverse range of historical and NRT monitoring data on the state of forest resources at a global scale (Figure 7.and conservation-related news reports.

13 percent for research. Annual and bi-monthly statistics can also be displayed on 2004-2014 vegetation change for each of these areas of interest. In Madagascar. helping inform strategy. protected areas. CI conducted a subscriber survey to collect feedback from users of CI’s NRT monitoring and forecasting systems on the utility of fire and forest monitoring systems in developing-country contexts. Indonesia and Madagascar. In 2013.6 Utility of NRT monitoring systems In November 2011. The 118 respondants represented national NGOs (28 percent). the survey was expanded to include in-depth interviews with users. fire control and prevention workshops. with 73 percent of respondents reporting that the fire alerts were very useful for their work or research. a series of meetings conducted as part of a mid-term project evaluation for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) revealed that fire monitoring data were being used for a broad range of applications. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 196 . 17 percent to assist with policy development related to conservation and sustainable development. helping to build awareness. Over 21 percent of the respondents were using the data to support forest surveillance and monitoring efforts. trigger official enforcement responses to deforestation and degradation. prioritizing resource management based on fire intensity and ecological vulnerability. Peru and Bolivia about how forest and fire monitoring data facilitate conservation and management objectives. Indonesia.3. The survey results confirmed numerous anecdotal reports from users in Madagascar. international NGOs (22 percent). Respondents also indicated that NRT and seasonal fire risk forecasting information presented valuable contributions to their decision-making activities. 12 percent for education and training.11. 19 percent for protected areas management. and the private sector (10 percent).11) and for download in a range of GIS formats by country-specific areas of interest (ecoregions. Peru. indigenous areas and political units). improving protected areas and plantation forest management. academic institutions and the press (20 percent). and studying the influence of climate change on fire frequency. as well as institutional assessments of NRT monitoring systems in Bolivia. Figure 7. government agencies (20 percent). Terra-i online map interface showing NDVI greenness anomalies from 2004-2013 7.interface (Figure 7. These applications included active fire suppression. and enable fire control and prevention. and 3 percent for social and public health-related activities. The survey results provided information on how different institutions incorporate NRT data into their decision-making processes. The fire data were perceived as having high intrinsic value. for example.

such as FIRMS and Firecast. resulting in significant lag times between publishing the data online and Manually accessing the data – when they are able to go online.. content-rich data portals with robust functionality. An alert system that automatically generates and sends an email or text notification – along with map or shapefile/KML attachments – to users without requiring them to logon to a website means the data are accessed with minum effort and delivered to the end-user with minimum latency. Manual data access systems versus automated push-based data delivery systems Manual data access systems include data search-and-download portals and interactive mapping webpages that allow query-and-display of NRT monitoring data over a map background. Web-based.) may significantly enhance the value of NRT data in the context of decision making and response.7 Key Issues In addition to the technical considerations associated with NRT forest monitoring data (e.g. conservation areas. such as illegal logging or encroachment. such as interactive mapping. email alerts) on forest threats in a timely manner. the need for cloud-free imagery with minimum latency or adequate spatial resolution). The end-user explores the NRT data interactively across broad geographic areas. Manual data access systems require end-users to logon to a website and search for the information in a web browser. automated push-based data delivery systems versus Manual data access systems and local buy-in and ownership. Distribution of NRT alerts to such users is best performed via text messages. provide both. No-cost.g. User-customization Providing precise geolocation information on forest threats can prove extremely beneficial to users engaged in actively responding to illegal forest activity. etc. Furthermore. particularly outside major urban centers. As countries incorporate NRT monitoring into NFMS.. Bandwidth demands Broadband internet access in many countries continues to be limited. while the other provides access to NRT data with minimum latency and end-user effort. Some NRT monitoring systems.g. they will need to assess the utility of NRT monitoring systems for their needs in terms of bandwidth demands. administrative management units. An important advance in the evolution of NRT monitoring was the development of automated “push”-based data delivery systems.3. user- customization options. several other key issues need to be investigated to ensure that a monitoring system adequately addresses both the needs and potential barriers that end-users face in accessing NRT data.7. as described in the “User-Customization” section above. may operate too slowly to be readily useful for institutions operating with low-bandwidth internet connections.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 197 . vegetation types. It is therefore critical that NRT data distribution systems be optimized so that users are able to access notifications (e. subscription-based automated delivery systems further enable users to define customized alerts that target specific areas-of-interest. Many users of NRT monitoring data also spend extended periods of time in remote field locations without access to computers and where communications are limited to cell phones. REDD+ project areas.. NRT monitoring and data delivery systems that tailor both the analyses and subsequent notifications of illegal forest activity to an end-users’ geographic area of interest (e. Filtering out non-essential information and targeting only those areas that are relevant to a given end-user willreduce data volumes transferred (important for users who access data over low-bandwidth connections or via cell phones). REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. decrease the frequency in which users receive alerts and increase in the likelihood that alerts will be given proper attention once they are received. Manual data access systems and automated push-based data delivery systems should be seen as complementary: one provides interactive access to multiple data streams across broad geographic areas. email alerts. or – for those users operating smart phones – low-bandwidth web-based notifications and simple mapping applications. but these systems require the user to repeatedly access the website to obtain the latest information.

for example. 7. regarding accuracy of data). and may ignore or suppress use of such data that they do receive. fire risk. and some existing systems are evolving to integrate more data streams and offer an expanding array of services.g. they provide a robust first look and increase the potential for countries and programs to improve adaptive forest management and enforcement capabilities. While such systems may not contribute directly to the required reporting. As more satellite data options become available. Governments often prefer to control the generation and access to information. it involves trust and ownership of data. positive working relationships with the appropriate government counterparts and address their potential concerns (e..3.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 198 . particularly if public dissemination carries legal or financial ramifications. Government agencies may prohibit official use of NRT monitoring data generated and supplied by non-official sources. Furthermore. Instead. and large-scale deforestation are being created each year. including social networking and mobile data exchange. NRT systems represent a useful component to any MRV system. and associated acquisitions become less costly. or by rebranding the website and/or alert system and associated emails to host the respective government agency’s logo. local buy-in and ownership One of the most significant barriers to wide-spread adoption and use of NRT monitoring data by host- country government agencies involved in REDD+ MRV is not technical in nature. To overcome this potential barrier and obtain official buy-in for NRT data by government agencies. Further.8 Conclusion An ever-growing number of NRT forest monitoring systems focusing on active fire. designers and managers of NRT monitoring systems may find it useful to explore government “ownership” of the systems. greater opportunities for NRT systems that can be incorporated into alert systems exist. by embedding the functionality of an interactive mapping web page streaming NRT data within a government agency website. it is important to establish early. and they are are adverse to data and systems from foreign entitites beyond a country’s jurisdiction. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7.Trust.

2003. O’Neal. Forecasting fire season severity in South America using sea surface temperature anomalies. A. A. Springer. doi:10. J. J.1007/978-1-4419-6749-7_29 Musinsky. Justice. Spatial Analyses of Logging Impacts in Amazonia Using Remotely Sensed Data. Ledezma. Assessing the Use of the FIRECAST Near Real-Time Monitoring System as a Tool for Decision Support. C. Winter 2005. In: Land Remote Sensing and Global Environmental Change. Pinto. Rasolohery. C. S. 2011. M. C. NASA. L.. Chaves. K. et al. 2005. Tabor. Venticinque. Randerson. B. Mendoza. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 47 (1):72-79.0 – THEMATIC REVIEWS 199 . doi: 10. 2003.K. 2011. Soliz. L. Marlier. J. J. eds. Wong. D. P. M. J. O. J. New York. Remote Sensing of Environment 87:273-282.1016/S0034-4257(03)00184-6. Justice.. Clark. and C. Y. MODIS-Derived Global Fire Products. C.M. J. Collatz. Kasibhatla.2008. T. Giglio.. K. Justice and M. Science 334: 787-791. Cano.7.2002076 Giglio. Small. L. J. Environmental Management 52: 136-150.. C. C. NASA Earth Science Applied Sciences Program 2010 Annual Report. Justice. doi:10. 2013. and Marcelo P. J. 2010. David B.. S. M.K.. Ramachandran. Tabor. R. Journal of Applied Ecology 40: 592-600. The Near Real Time Processing Effort. Morton. 16. Fire Information for Resource Management System: Archiving and Distributing MODIS Active Fire Data. E. 2009. O. A satellite model of forest flammability. Descloitres. Final Report to NASA Earth Science Applied Sciences Program. An enhanced contextual fire detection algorithm for MODIS. Eduardo M.3. Crosslink Newsletter. Abrams. E. Application of merged 1- m and 4-m resolution satellite data to research and management in tropical forests.. Giglio. E. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 7. O. p. M. Davies..1109/TGRS. S. Ilavajhala. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 69(3): 275-282. Read. J. Moreira 2003. G. Jin. DeFries. 2013. Y.9 References Chen. Read. Ermayanti. E. D. 11: 661-679. Y. J. and Kaufman. Steininger.M. O.

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