Measuring Carbon Emissions

The research in this module aims to improve procedures and practices for estimating and managing carbon stocks of tropical forest landscapes.  Measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) continues to be a technical constraint to both REDD+ demonstration projects and to national REDD+ programmes.  CIFOR and partners will enhance the availability of information to support better and more cost‐efficient measurement and monitoring systems and institutions for REDD+ projects and national and sub‐national REDD+ programmes.

The underlying theme of the research is differentiating MRV of degradation and deforestation by driver as a strategy to deal with the difference in scales at which different drivers in a landscape operate (e.g. subsistence agriculture and industrial agriculture have economic drivers that vary from local markets in the case of the former and international in the case of the latter). Toward achieving this objective, CIFOR and partners will implement the following activities:

  • Assess institutional capacity to understand why capacity remains low among technical services in case study countries, and determine how capacity‐building efforts can be made more effective.
  • Continue work on the so‐called “Stepwise approach” for setting reference emissions levels (RELs) (developed under Phase I of the project), particularly Steps 2 and 3 for setting RL/RELs at different scales and understand the links between national and sub‐national RELs.
  • Test methods and measuring accuracy vs. cost tradeoffs for community‐based monitoring in collaboration with demonstration activities in Module 2.
  • Develop driver‐specific recommendations for an integrated approach to MRV systems and work on monitoring concepts for various drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.

The team is integrating knowledge generated in the different focal areas into comprehensive guidance for dealing with multiple drivers of deforestation that operate at different temporal and spatial scales. The information generated in this Module is contributing to more effective and efficient implementation of REDD+ MRV. Ultimately, information generated from fully functioning MRV systems that account for different drivers will be the basis for equitable benefit‐sharing in national REDD+ initiatives.


Phase 3