REDD+ offers an opportunity to capitalise on communities’ experience of forest monitoring, while presenting new technical challenges on how data can be generated for a national REDD+ programme. Participatory Forest Monitoring (PFM) is broader than just the monitoring of carbon, recognising the role of communities in monitoring activity data and the introduction of policies and measures, as well as co-benefits. SNV aims to add value to participatory monitoring of forests through application of emerging best practice, and contributing to methodological innovation.
PFM is particularly important for application in areas of forest degradation and where there are opportunities for forest carbon stock enhancement which are more difficult to detect through remote sensing.
Recognition of local actor role in forest monitoring is an important element of REDD+ contribution to the livelihoods of rural poor communities and the long term success of REDD+.
With initial support from the UK government’s Darwin Initiative SNV is piloting PFM in two districts, with 18 ethnic minority villages. Activities include field testing and producing standard operating procedures, as well as developing an operational framework. This work is being carried out in close collaboration with local partners with the aim of demonstrating the value of engaging primary stakeholders in forest monitoring for the national forest inventory.