International Workshop in Mexico explores the Role of Local Communities in REDD+ MRV

 

On Sept 12-14, 2011, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank and the Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México organized a workshop in Mexico City to explore how community monitoring can link with and contribute to national systems of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) under national programs for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+).
Community members measuring the diameter of a tree during field survey (photo: W. Walker)

Over 65 participants attended from 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America as well as from Europe, the US and Canada. Participants discussed methods through which communities can contribute to monitoring and for what particular tasks. The discussion at the three-day workshop was rich and far-reaching and a report from the meeting with the main conclusions and priority actions that need to be undertaken to promote community monitoring within national REDD+ programs is now available online.

 

This workshop responds directly the need for involvement of communities in monitoring REDD+ at the local level, which has been identified in the REDD+ negotiations under the UNFCCC. The purpose of the workshop was to produce a consensual view among the participants who came from a wide range of countries with different perspectives on community involvement in REDD+ and had different views on how communities may be involved in monitoring carbon stock changes and other variables relevant to REDD+.


Hand-held devices provide powerful tools to support intuitive data collection and visualization in the field (photo: W. Walker)
A wide range of issues was discussed including the reliability of data generated by communities, and the costs of local monitoring compared to monitoring done by experts. Also, participants identified the particular niches in which community monitoring on the ground can fit within the overall national data requirements for REDD+. A large number of methods (see links below) and technologies, such as hand-held mapping devices, are available to support community monitoring, and the pros and cons of many of these were discussed.

 

The idea, ultimately, is that this monitoring should effectively and efficiently support the overall national REDD+ MRV effort while delivering benefits which are also of value locally. It is clear that methods and tasks will vary according to circumstances in each individual country, particularly with respect to the role that community forest management is likely to play within any given national REDD+ program. For example, indigenous groups providing conservation services in relatively intact rainforest areas, or farmer communities providing forest enhancement services in already degraded dry forests. In addition to monitoring of carbon stock itself, the participants also considered possibilities for community monitoring of other important variables, such as biodiversity and social impacts, particularly in the context of a growing awareness of the importance of safeguards.

 

Workshop Synthesis and Discussion Paper

 

 

Useful Resources