The UN-REDD Programme continued to support Liberia in progressing towards finalizing key components of the Warsaw Framework elements.
National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS): Development of the NFMS, as well as the institutional framework to support this system, are ongoing. The REDD+ Implementation Unit within the Forestry Development Authority currently manages all the AFOLU activities relating to forest-cover monitoring and change assessment. UN-REDD technical assistance supported the preparation of a draft NFMS methodology and guidelines, which have been subsequently validated and implemented. With support from the country’s FCPF grant, field teams have been implementing the NFI methodology in fieldwork activities, collecting data throughout the country. NFI activities are ongoing and will be finalized in March 2019.
Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL): Concomitant with the fieldwork activities, support for data processing has been provided by the UN-REDD team. Data managers involved in the fieldwork activities and field team leaders have been capacitated to clean, analyse and interpret inventory results within the context of a carbon inventory and developing an FREL.
Capacity-building activities focusing on the field inventory and the forest cover change analysis continue to respond to the country’s MRV needs. An initial country needs assessment, undertaken with UN-REDD technical assistance, informed this process and will be used to further refine recommendations for institutional arrangements to support MRV.
The feasibility of developing a conservation performance monitoring road map in palm oil concessions has been explored. However, discussions with the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative and &Green Fund, the uncertain situation on the palm oil concessions sector in Liberia and the launch of the Concession Review Panel, led to production of the road map being postponed.
UN-REDD worked with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) to deliver GIS training sessions focused on building capacity on the use of QGIS to carry out spatial analyses to support REDD+ planning (e.g. mapping deforestation, biodiversity richness and hydrological services). An additional working session included a field and a desk component. The field component focused on the use, limitations and validation of spatial data sets at different resolutions and scales. The training included presentations, forest data collection in the field and data analyses and validation using QGIS and statistical approaches. The desk component focused on the development of spatial workflows using QGIS to identify priority areas for specific REDD+ interventions, as well as on the production of effective map layouts for policymakers and filling any knowledge gaps regarding the use of QGIS.
A brief with recommendations on next steps for spatial analysis for Liberia’s REDD+ planning was developed and published in September 2018.