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Forests 2017, 8(8), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8080271

Understanding Measurement Reporting and Verification Systems for REDD+ as an Investment for Generating Carbon Benefits

1
DiBT Department of Bioscience and Territory, University of Molise, Contrada Fonte Lappone snc, I-86090 Pesche, Isernia, Italy
2
Institute for World Forestry, University of Hamburg, Leuschnerstr. 91, 21031 Hamburg, Germany
3
The EFI Project Centre SURF—Supporting the Global Implementation of REDD+ and FLEGT, Institute for World Forestry, University of Hamburg, Leuschnerstr. 91, 21031 Hamburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 June 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 28 July 2017 / Published: 29 July 2017
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Abstract

Reducing emissions from forests—generating carbon credits—in return for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) payments represents a primary objective of forestry and development projects worldwide. Setting reference levels (RLs), establishing a target for emission reductions from avoided deforestation and degradation, and implementing an efficient monitoring system underlie effective REDD+ projects, as they are key factors that affect the generation of carbon credits. We analyzed the interdependencies among these factors and their respective weights in generating carbon credits. Our findings show that the amounts of avoided emissions under a REDD+ scheme mainly vary according to the monitoring technique adopted; nevertheless, RLs have a nearly equal influence. The target for reduction of emissions showed a relatively minor impact on the generation of carbon credits, particularly when coupled with low RLs. Uncertainties in forest monitoring can severely undermine the derived allocation of benefits, such as the REDD+ results-based payments to developing countries. Combining statistically-sound sampling designs with Lidar data provides a means to reduce uncertainties and likewise increases the amount of accountable carbon credits that can be claimed. This combined approach requires large financial resources; we found that results-based payments can potentially pay-off the necessary investment in technologies that would enable accurate and precise estimates of activity data and emission factors. Conceiving of measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) systems as investments is an opportunity for tropical countries in particular to implement well-defined, long-term forest monitoring strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; MRV; Lidar; remote sensing; carbon accounting systems; reference emission level; uncertainty; sensitivity analysis reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; MRV; Lidar; remote sensing; carbon accounting systems; reference emission level; uncertainty; sensitivity analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Di Lallo, G.; Mundhenk, P.; Marchetti, M.; Köhl, M. Understanding Measurement Reporting and Verification Systems for REDD+ as an Investment for Generating Carbon Benefits. Forests 2017, 8, 271.

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