Monitoring and measurement, reporting and verification
In order to avoid, reduce and capture forest carbon emissions, any country planning to carry out REDD+ activities effectively must have monitoring systems that provide accurate data on emissions. Monitoring, and measurement, reporting and verification (M&MRV) for REDD+ is a way of addressing a country’s commitments to collecting and sharing this information.
Countries planning to carry out REDD+ are also requested to develop national forest monitoring systems (NFMS), as agreed in Cancun in 2010 at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC-COP16).
It was recognized that NFMS can both monitor REDD+ activities as well as play an MRV role in their implementation. Indeed, NFMSs play an essential role in how information for national REDD+ programmes is managed.
M&MRV is one of the largest areas of work of the UN-REDD Programme. Technical and institutional capacity building are keys to developing strong nationally owned forest monitoring systems.
The UN-REDD Programme, through its collaborating UN agency FAO, provides technical support to countries, particularly in the development of credible and cost-effective NFMSs. Countries are also assisted to develop their forest reference emissions levels/forest reference levels (FREL/FRL). According to the UNFCCC, these benchmarks must be established in order to assess a country’s performance in carrying out REDD+ activities.
Forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels
One of the elements countries need to develop to participate in REDD+ is a FREL/FRL. The UNFCCC has defined FREL/FRLs as benchmarks for assessing each country’s performance in implementing REDD+ activities and mitigating climate change through actions related to their forests.
To date, the UNFCCC-COP has agreed on four decisions related to FREL/FRLs for REDD+, providing guidance for developing countries on 1) modalities for FREL/FRLs, including guidelines for submission of information; and 2) on the technical assessment of FREL/FRL submissions.
More information on technical guidelines related to National Forest Monitoring Systems for REDD+ and Forest Reference Emission Levels/Forest Reference Levels, visit the UN-REDD Programme Online Collaborative Workspace.