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Linking Community Monitoring with National MRV for REDD+

UN-REDD Programme partner countries recently participated in a cross-regional workshop to explore how community-level monitoring can help strengthen National REDD+ Programmes.

More than 65 participants from 15 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America shared their experiences and work on MRV during a workshop entitled, “Linking community monitoring with national Monitoring Reporting and Verification for REDD” held in Mexico last month, from 12-14 September 2011. The workshop sought to come up with a common view on how (ie/ through what methods and for what particular tasks) communities may be involved in monitoring carbon stock changes and other variables related to REDD+. A shortlist of priority actions that need to be undertaken to promote community monitoring within national REDD+ programmes was the main outcome of the workshop.

A reforestation project in Chiapas, Mexico
Credits: UN Photo/David Davis

COP16 documentation on REDD+ promotes and supports community participation through safeguard d, Appendix 11. With this in mind, workshop participants considered the reliability of community generated data and the costs of local monitoring compared to expert-based monitoring. Efforts were made to identify the particular niches which ground level, community monitoring can fit within the overall national REDD+ data requirements. One of the leading thoughts was that such monitoring should effectively and efficiently support the overall national REDD+ MRV effort while delivering benefits which are also of local value.

It is clear that methods and tasks will vary according to national circumstances, particularly with respect to the role that community forest management (CFM) can play within any given national REDD+ programme (ie/ indigenous groups providing conservation services in relatively intact rainforest areas, farmer communities providing forest enhancement services in already degraded dry forests, etc). A large number of methods and technologies are available, and the pros and cons of many of these were discussed.

In addition to monitoring of carbon, possibilities for community monitoring of other important variables, such as biodiversity and social impacts, particularly in the context of the growing awareness of the importance of safeguards, were also considered. In addition, the promotion of community monitoring, to overcome the doubts that some people have regarding its reliability and usefulness was also discussed. The workshop was sponsored by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and organized by the Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (CIGA-UNAM). Read the full workshop report here.

1Safeguard d, Appendix 1 states that, “The full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, in particular indigenous peoples and local communities, in the REDD+ actions referred to in paragraphs 70 and 72 of the Cancun Agreements” (Dec 1/CP.16).

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6-11 November, 2011: Beijing, China

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13-17 November, 2011: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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4 December, 2011: Durban, South Africa
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