Emerging approaches to Forest Reference Emission Levels and/or Forest Reference Levels for REDD+
One of the elements countries need to develop to participate in REDD+ is a Forest Reference Emission Level and/or Forest Reference Level (FREL/FRL). The UNFCCC has defined FREL/FRLs as benchmarks for assessing each country’s performance in implementing REDD+ activities. The purpose of this document is to inform countries seeking to develop FREL/FRLs for REDD+ with an overview of different approaches to FREL/FRLs and an analysis showing some emerging trends. The approaches presented are in most cases in a preliminary design phase and were developed and proposed by countries in the context of demonstration activities. FREL/FRL examples described in this document pertain to the following countries: Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guyana, Mexico, Nepal, the Republic of Congo and Viet Nam. This document relies on publicly available information (in many cases from Emission Reductions Program Idea Notes, or ER-PINs, from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s website) and in some instances, complemented with information provided by country representatives. When available, the Annex will also include UNFCCC submissions. In some cases, as for Brazil, it may illustrate how FREL/FRL approaches can evolve in a country. Preliminary findings from summarizing different FREL/FRL approaches indicate that most countries opt for a stepwise approach, as suggested in Decision 12/ CP.17, initially including a limited number of REDD+ activities and carbon pools, although many countries express their intention to expand the scope of their FREL/FRL as more complete and better quality data becomes available. Furthermore, it appears that most countries have chosen to initially elaborate a subnational FREL/FRL, as an interim measure and as allowed by Decision 12/CP.17.