Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. “REDD+” goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
In the framework of getting countries ready for REDD+, the UN-REDD Programme assists developing countries to prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies. For the monitoring, reporting and verification, FAO supports the countries to develop national satellite forest monitoring systems that allow for credible measurement, reporting andverification (MRV) of REDD+ activities. These are among the most critical elements for the successful implementation of any REDD+ mechanism. The UN-REDD Programme through a joint effort of FAO and Brazil's National Space Agency, INPE, is supporting countries to develop cost-effective, robust and compatible national monitoring and MRV systems, providing tools, methodologies, training and knowledge sharing that help countries to strengthen their technical and institutional capacity for effective MRV systems.
To develop strong nationally-owned forest monitoring systems, technical and institutional capacity building is key. The UN-REDD Programme, through FAO, has taken on intensive training together with INPE, and has provided technical help and assistance for in-country training and implementation for national satellite forest monitoring.
The goal of the start-up phases for UN-REDD pilot countries in this capacity building effort is the training of technical forest people and IT persons from interested REDD+ countries, and to set- up the national satellite forest monitoring systems. The Brazilian forest monitoring system, TerraAmazon, which is used as a basis for this initiative, allows countries to adapt it to country needs and the training on the TerraAmazon system is a tool to enhance existing capacity on carbon monitoring systems.
The start-up phase of the National Forest Monitoring System will allow these countries 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, INPE and other stakeholders, the countries will set up an autonomous operational forest monitoring system.
An initial version and the methodologies of the system for DRC and PNG has been launched in Durban, South Africa during COP 17 and more countries (Paraguay, Viet Nam and Zambia) will follow in 2012. The access to high-quality satellite data for these countries is crucial for the set-up.
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