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Measuring, Reporting and Verifying REDD+ results

Published: Thursday, 03 November 2016 17:25 | Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2018 18:21

A system for Measuring, Reporting and Verifying (MRV) REDD+ results is essential to the results-based approach of REDD+. The system agreed under the UNFCCC aims to ensure that the mitigation results presented have indeed been achieved, providing confidence to any entity willing to pay for REDD+ results. Decision 9/CP.19 defined that REDD+ actions should be fully Measured, Reported and Verified, in accordance with decision 13/CP.19, on the assessment of FRL/ FREL, and decision 14/CP.19, on the modalities for the MRV of REDD+ results. These two decisions form the core of the MRV.


After the assessment of the reference levels, REDD+ results should be:


1. Measured against the assessed reference level, in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year;

2. Reported through a technical annex to the Biannual Update Report (BUR);

3. Verified through the International Consultation and Analysis (ICA) process agreed upon in descison 2/CP.17.


The ICA process includes two steps: the first is a technical analysis of BURs by a team of technical experts, which includes consultation with the submitting country, and the second is a facilitative sharing of views. The technical analysis component is conducted by a team of two LULUCF experts from the UNFCCC roster, one from a developing country and one from a developed country Party, their task is analyzing the information and producing a summary report. The facilitative sharing of views consists of a workshop open to all Parties conducted by the Subsidiary Body of Implementation for discussion on the submission and its summary report. The ICA is conducted on a biannual basis.

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In navy blue: actions to be taken by REDD+ countries, in light blue: actions to be taken by the Secretariat.


Find more details on the technical submissions and on the assessment processes below.

Forest Reference Emission Levels (FREL)


The Warsaw Framework for REDD+ has defined what information fully measured, reported and verified means, by establishing the procedures for submitting the FREL and for verifying the results presented.


Several previous COP decisions agreed nevertheless have also defined important aspects related to reference levels. Decision 4/CP.15 determines that developing countries should establish their FREL transparently, taking into account historic data, and adjusting for national circumstances. Paragraph 71 of decision 1/CP.16 requests developing countries aiming to undertake REDD+ activities, in the context of the provision of adequate and predictable support and in accordance with national circumstances and respective capabilities, to develop a national reference level or, if appropriate, as an interim measure, subnational reference levels.


During the COP-17 discussions on reference levels progressed significantly. Decision 12/CP.17 agreed that a step-wise approach might be useful, enabling the improvement of the submissions overtime by incorporating better data, refining methodologies and, where appropriate, including additional pools. Another definition was that reference levels should maintain consistency with the anthropogenic GHG emissions by sources and removals by sinks as presented by the country´s National GHG Inventory.


The Annex to decision 12/CP.17 provides detailed guidelines for reference level submissions. Developing country Parties should, to the extent possible, include transparent, complete and accurate information in their submissions (in order to allow for reconstruction and to enable its technical assessment), consistent with the approach agreed by the COP. Developing country Parties should also provide information on the methodologies and procedures used in the construction of the FREL. The information should be consistent with the most recent IPCC guidelines.


Each FRL/FREL submission will be subject to a technical assessment. This is a facilitative process, which aims to increase transparency and build capacity of developing countries. The Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) experts appointed by the UNFCCC Secretariat should assess: the consistency between the FREL and the data from the GHG inventory and explanations on how the historical data have been used; the extent to which information provided was transparent, complete, consistent, and accurate; whether a description of relevant policies and plans have been provided; activities, pools and gases included; the definition of forest used; and, where appropriate, details about assumptions about future changes to policies.


This process, from submission to the technical assessment report, should take an average of nine months. If elements that demand further improvement are identified by the UNFCCC experts in a FRL/FREL, in coordination with the submitting country, improvements can be made throughout the assessment phase or in future submissions, taking into account the capabilities of each country.


REDD+ Technical Annex


Decision 14/CP.19 established the process through which developing countries can present their REDD+ results to the UNFCCC and have such results verified (the V in MRV). The results should be presented via the REDD+ Technical Annex to the BUR, and should include:


•  Summary information from the final report containing each corresponding assessed FREL (decision 13/CP.19);

•  Results in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year;

•  Demonstration that the methodologies used to produce the results are consistent with those used to establish the assessed FREL;

•  A description of national forest monitoring systems and the institutional roles and responsibilities for the MRV of the results (decision 11/CP.19);

•  Necessary information which allows for the reconstruction of results;

•  A description of how the IPCC guidelines were applied and evidence that the monitoring system is consistent with decision 4/CP.15.


The verification of REDD+ results will be carried out by LULUCF experts appointed by the Secretariat in a transparent manner, as part of the ICA process of the BUR, pursuant to decision 14/CP.19. The experts’ final report must contain: the Technical Annex, the Technical Annex Assessment, the elements to be improved identified as part of the facilitative process, comments and responses from the Parties. As a whole, the process of verifying REDD+ results through the assessment of the Technical Annex and its verification should last an average of seven months.


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