Potential for Integrating Community-Based Monitoring into REDD+
Countries at the United Nations Framework on the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have decided to engage local communities and indigenous groups into the activities for the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of the program to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and increase carbon removals (REDD+). Previous research and projects have shown that communities can produce reliable data on forest area and carbon estimates through field measurements. The objective of this article is to describe the framework that is being created for REDD+ under the UNFCCC to identify the potential inclusion of local information produced through community-based monitoring (CBM) into monitoring systems for REDD+. National systems could use different sources of information from CBM: first, local information can be produced as part of public programs by increasing sample size of national or regional inventories; second, government can collect information to produce carbon estimates from on-going management practices implemented at local level driven by access to local direct benefits (e.g., forest management plans, watershed conservation); third, national data systems could include information from projects participating in carbon markets and other certification schemes; and finally information will be produced as part of the activities associated to the implementation of social and environmental safeguards. Locally generated data on carbon and areas under different forms of management can be dovetailed into national systems and be used to describe management practices, complement existing information or replace Tier 1/2 values with more detailed local data produced by CBM.