ABSTRACT: Developing countries that are willing to participate in the recently adopted (16th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP) in Cancun) mitigation mechanism of Reducing emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation - and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) - will have to establish a national forest monitoring system in order to assess anthropogenic forest-related greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks. Such a system should support the Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) requirement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as the REDD+ mechanism is results-based. A national forest inventory (NFI) is one potential key component of such an MRV system. Following the Decision adopted during the 15th Session of the COP in Copenhagen, the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidance and Guidelines should be used as a basis for estimating anthropogenic forest-related greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks and changes in forest carbon stocks and area.
First, we present the key indispensable elements of the IPCC Guidance and Guidelines that have been developed to fulfil the UNFCCC reporting requirements. This is done in order to set the framework to develop the MRV requirement in which a NFI for REDD+ implementation could be developed. Second, within this framework, we develop and propose a novel scheme for the stratification of forest land for REDD+. Finally, we present some non-exhaustive optional elements within this framework that a country could consider to successfully operationalise and implement its REDD+ NFI.
Evidently, both the methodological guidance and political decisions on REDD+ under the UNFCCC will continue to evolve. Even so, and considering that there exists decades of experience in setting up traditional NFIs, developing a NFI that a country may use to directly support REDD+ activities under the UNFCCC represents the development of a new challenge in this field. It is therefore important that both the scientific community and national implementing agencies acquaint themselves with both the context and content of this challenge so that REDD+ mitigation actions may be implemented successfully and with environmental integrity. This paper provides important contributions to the subject through our proposal of the stratification of forest land for REDD+.
Carbon Balance and Management 01/2010; 5:9.