Building capacity for national carbon measurements for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

Friday, 19 December 2014
Scott J Goetz1, Nadine Laporte2, Ned Horning3, Johanne Pelletier1, Patrick Jantz1 and Peter Ndunda4, (1)Woods Hole Research Ctr, Falmouth, MA, United States, (2)WHRC, Falmouth, MA, United States, (3)American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, United States, (4)Clinton Foundation, Nairobi, Kenya
Many tropical countries are now working on developing their strategies for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, including activities that result in conservation or enhancement of forest carbon stocks and sustainable management of forests to effectively decrease atmospheric carbon emissions (i.e. REDD+). A new international REDD+ agreement is at the heart of recent negotiations of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). REDD+ mechanisms could provide an opportunity to not only diminish an important source of emissions, but also to promote large-scale conservation of tropical forests and establish incentives and opportunities to alleviate poverty. Most tropical countries still lack basic information for developing and implementing their forest carbon stock assessments, including the extent of forest area and the rate at which forests are being cleared and/or degraded, and the carbon amounts associated with these losses. These same countries also need support to conduct integrated assessments of the most promising approaches for reducing emissions, and in identifying those policy options that hold the greatest potential while minimizing potential negative impacts of REDD+ policies. The WHRC SERVIR project in East Africa is helping to provide these data sets to countries via best practice tools and methods to support cost effective forest carbon monitoring solutions and more informed decision making processes under REDD+. We will present the results of our capacity building activites in the region and planned future efforts being coordinated with the NASA-SERVIR Hub in Kenya to support to REDD+ decision support.