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Forests 2014, 5(8), 1834-1854; doi:10.3390/f5081834

Community Monitoring of Carbon Stocks for REDD+: Does Accuracy and Cost Change over Time?

Nordic Agency for Development and Ecology (NORDECO), Skindergade 23, DK-1159 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Institute of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 25, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 219 Huntington Road, Cambridge, CB3 0DL, UK
Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100, Denmark
Nordisk Fond for Miljø og Udvikling, Skindergade 23-III, DK-1159 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Department of Environmental Management, Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA), Trau Quy town, Gia Lam district, Hanoi, Vietnam
WWF-Indonesia (World Wildlife Foundation Indonesia), Gedung Graha Simatupang Tower 2 Unit C, Jalan LetJen TB Simatupang, Jakarta 12540, Indonesia
WWF-Indonesia (World Wildlife Foundation Indonesia), Kutai Barat Program, Jl. Pattimura RT. IX, Busur, Barong Tongkok - Kutai Barat, East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, Yunnan, China
World Agroforestry Centre, ICRAF Southeast Asia Regional Office, Jl. CIFOR, Situ Gede, Sindang Barang, Bogor 16680, Indonesia
CarboForExpert (, 1248 Hermance, Switzerland
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) East and Central Asia Region, c/o Kunming Institute of Botany, Kunming 650201, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 May 2014 / Revised: 14 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 30 July 2014
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Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) is a potentially powerful international policy mechanism that many tropical countries are working towards implementing. Thus far, limited practical consideration has been paid to local rights to forests and forest resources in REDD+ readiness programs, beyond noting the importance of these issues. Previous studies have shown that community members can reliably and cost-effectively monitor forest biomass. At the same time, this can improve local ownership and forge important links between monitoring activities and local decision-making. Existing studies have, however, been static assessments of biomass at one point in time. REDD+ programs will require repeated surveys of biomass over extended time frames. Here, we examine trends in accuracy and costs of local forest monitoring over time. We analyse repeated measurements by community members and professional foresters of 289 plots over two years in four countries in Southeast Asia. This shows, for the first time, that with repeated measurements community members’ biomass measurements become increasingly accurate and costs decline. These findings provide additional support to available evidence that community members can play a strong role in monitoring forest biomass in the local implementation of REDD+. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; community based management; forest carbon; governance; participatory monitoring; REDD+ readiness; safeguards; tropical forest climate change; community based management; forest carbon; governance; participatory monitoring; REDD+ readiness; safeguards; tropical forest

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MDPI and ACS Style

Brofeldt, S.; Theilade, I.; Burgess, N.D.; Danielsen, F.; Poulsen, M.K.; Adrian, T.; Bang, T.N.; Budiman, A.; Jensen, J.; Jensen, A.E.; Kurniawan, Y.; Lægaard, S.B.L.; Mingxu, Z.; van Noordwijk, M.; Rahayu, S.; Rutishauser, E.; Schmidt-Vogt, D.; Warta, Z.; Widayati, A. Community Monitoring of Carbon Stocks for REDD+: Does Accuracy and Cost Change over Time? Forests 2014, 5, 1834-1854.

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