Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute.
REDD Research and Development Center.

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Development of measurement method for emission reductions

Companies and other entities need to reduce the costs required for monitoring emission reductions when implementing REDD-plus activities under the JCM. However, accurate estimation of emission reductions is necessary to secure the credibility. Furthermore, monitoring in cooperation with local communities and local governments is indispensable to implement REDD-plus activities smoothly.

Here we present how to select the optimum combination from methods of measuring emission reductions suitable for the project level under the JCM, according to national requirements and local conditions such as forest ecosystem and social environment. At the same time, we demonstrate the procedure to apply the selected method for the estimation of reference level and the transfer technology to locals and their government for establishing the cooperation. For this purpose, we investigate the influence of forest classification necessary for monitoring at the regional level and the number of ground truth data for the classification and verification on estimation of forest area change which is necessary for estimating emission reduction. By investigating the survey method for improving efficiency of ground survey, we have also worked on developing a method for measuring optimal emission reduction in forests under various environmental conditions.

In order to address these challenges, we selected Peru, Myanmar and Cambodia as target countries, taking account of their interests in REDD-plus, reduction potential, possibility under JCM, difference in forest ecosystem and social environment, and ripple effects on neighboring countries. Technological development and implementation of case studies have been carried out in each country under individual subthemes. Outline of each subtheme and activities in 2017 are summarized as follows:

1. Establishment of monitoring methods for the emission reduction in forests under various environmental conditions - Peru

When measuring emission reductions through REDD-plus activities under the JCM, which means monitoring changes in forest carbon stocks, we consider that the method combined remote sensing and ground-based survey is effective as UNFCCC recommends for the monitoring at national level. For the forest observation by remote sensing, it is necessary to apply various image processing and analysis methods, depending on natural environments such as ecoregion, seasonality and topography and on social environments such as land usage and its system.

In this subtheme, we have been developing methods for measuring emission reductions in cooperation with Ministerio de Agricultura y Riego, Servicio Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre (MINAGRI-SERFOR), targeting ecoregions from the Andes in Cusco to the highland Amazon where vegetation types and tree stands are different along the altitude and influenced by the topography.

This year we conducted a plot survey at 3 natural forests and 29 eucalyptus forests for examining measurement methods considering altitude, topography and effects of human disturbance. Moreover, we conducted a ground truth survey for satellite data analysis at 101 points, and examined a biomass class setting method using satellite images for estimating biomass amount and its change.

2. Procedure of designing monitoring systems for REDD-plus project - Myanmar

When implementing REDD-plus activities at the project level, to reflect the outcome onto the activities at the national level is necessary for carrying out various REDD-plus activities effectively and efficiently in a certain country while keeping their consistency.

Myanmar is rich in forest resources, but high in the deforestation rate at the same time. The country started taking part in UN-REDD in 2011 and the system for implementing REDD-plus has not fully been developed yet. In this subtheme, we clarify what is necessary for monitoring forest carbon stocks both at the project level and at the national level, working together with our counterparts and stakeholders in Myanmar through designing forest carbon monitoring systems for the implementation of REDD-plus project.

We showed the procedure of designing monitoring systems at the project level in a target area from the viewpoint of consistency with the national level in 2017. We also analyzed changes in forest carbon stocks obtained from the project level monitoring data (emission factors and activity coefficients).

3. Establishment of verification system for measurement results - Cambodia

Usage of remote sensing is encouraged for monitoring forest cover conditions and carbon stocks when implementing REDD-plus, which ensures transparency, comparability, consistency, completeness and accuracy. Thus, it is necessary to verify the monitoring results and to evaluate their accuracy in comparison with data observed on ground. However, it is not easy to carry out this procedure in developing countries, as the ground data is insufficient. In this subtheme, we aim to develop a verification system for measuring practical results for REDD-plus in developing countries.

In 2017, we have extracted problems and proposed their solutions when working on the monitoring system. It was found that creation of reading cards is useful for verifying the forest cover diagram and introduction of drones minimizes travelling time to observation sites.

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