DRC Advances its National REDD+ Forest Monitoring System
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) presented the newly launched start-up phase of their national forest monitoring system at the UN Climate Change talks in Bonn last month.
During the DRC's side event in Bonn, representatives from the country explained how its National Forest Monitoring System will allow DRC to follow all actions related to the implementation of its national REDD+ policies and measures. The monitoring system will work as a platform to obtain information on their REDD+ results and actions, related directly or indirectly to national REDD+ strategies and may also include actions unrelated to carbon assessment, such as forest law enforcement. With the technical assistance of FAO, Brazil's National Space Agency (INPE) and other stakeholders, the country aims to set up an autonomous operational forest monitoring system. An initial version will be launched in Durban, South Africa during COP 17.
Discussions at the side event explored the relationship between national forest monitoring systems, Measuring, Reporting, Verification (MRV) and information systems, and the relationship between national forest inventories on emission factors and satellite land monitoring systems on activity data. There were also questions related to the need to develop a sub-national monitoring system and also the role of civil society in developing these monitoring systems. The side event gathered representatives from other REDD+ countries and partners interested in learning more about DRC’s experience. Participants welcomed DRC's initiative and shared their experience on forest monitoring with other partners during the UN climate change talk.
Other REDD+ developments in Bonn
Overall REDD+ discussions during the UN Climate Change talks in Bonn included how reference levels should be used as a benchmark to assess the changes in forest cover and carbon stocks. A general need was raised for clarification on terms, including the difference between "reference emission levels" and "reference levels" and definitions of forests. There was a call from several countries to use the FAO-Forest Resources Assessment.
Parties gathered at Bonn also discussed what MRV for REDD+ should be, including among others:
- Consistent with any guidance on MRV for nationally appropriate mitigation actions
- Non-intrusive and respect national sovereignty, circumstances and capabilities
In the final decision on REDD+ in Bonn, countries only agreed to the fact that the characteristics for MRV should follow what is already agreed in appendix I of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's decision 1/CP.16.