National forest monitoring system

A national forest monitoring system is one of the elements to be developed by developing country Parties implementing REDD+ activities (according to paragraph 71 of decision 1/CP.16). The COP recognized the importance and necessity of adequate and predictable financial and technology support for developing the national forest monitoring system.

The key to any functional measurement and reporting of forest carbon is reliable data of forest area and forest area changes. Already in 2009, the COP adopted guidance on the establishment of robust and transparent national forest monitoring systems. Depending on national circumstances, these systems may also be a result of combining sub-national systems as part of national forest monitoring systems. As an interim measure, subnational monitoring and reporting can be implemented in accordance with a stepwise approach.

National forest monitoring systems should be flexible, allow for improvement and build upon existing systems, as appropriate. They should reflect the phased approach of REDD+ implementation and enable the assessment of different types of forest in the country according to national definitions, including natural forest. They may also provide relevant information to the safeguards information systems.

The data and information provided by national forest monitoring systems should be transparent, consistent over time, and suitable for measuring, reporting and verifying, taking into account national capabilities and capacities. In order to achieve this, the systems should also use a combination of remote sensing and ground-based forest carbon inventory approaches for estimating anthropogenic forest-related greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks, forest carbon stocks and forest area changes.

Having the national or, as an interim measure, subnational forest monitoring system in place is one of the requirements in order to be eligible for results-based payments in accordance with decision 9/CP.19, and information on the forest monitoring system should also be provided in the Lima REDD+ Information Hub.

Most relevant COP decisions: 4/CP.15, 1/CP.16, 11/CP.19