Development of Methodologies for Measuring Deforestation and Degradation

At its third workshop (UNFCCC, 2008a) the SBSTA reached general agreement that robust and cost-effective methodologies, designed and implemented at the national level, are required to estimate and monitor the following:

• changes in forest cover, associated carbon stocks and emissions;

• incremental changes due to sustainable management of forest;

• reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

To achieve this, a coupling of remote-sensing and ground-based assessment is a suitable approach. Measuring emissions from forest degradation is more difficult than from deforestation and there is a need for methodological development in this area.

While the IPCC guidelines and good practice guidance provide methodologies that can form a basis for estimating and monitoring emissions reduction and forest degradation, there is an essential need to increase the technical capacities of developed countries to do so. Policy development and institutions also need strengthening.

It is unlikely that there is sufficient time to gather a great deal more field inventory data before the Kyoto first commitment period expires in 2012. Therefore it is imperative that the most is made of existing data available (Gibbs et al., 2007; Olander et al., 2008); see Chapter 5.

Chapter 5 concluded that grant programs will be crucial to assist developing countries in using a combination of data and technology in developing comprehensive 'wall to wall' information on carbon in forest strata and rates of deforestation. Unless such credible scenarios can be developed for tropical deforesting countries, REDD will not become a reality.

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