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Community Monitoring for REDD+: International Promises and Field Realities

Finn Danielsen, Nordisk Fond for Miljø og Udvikling, Copenhagen
Teis Adrian, Nordisk Fond for Miljø og Udvikling, Copenhagen
Søren Brofeldt, Forest and Landscape of Denmark, University of Copenhagen
Meine van Noordwijk, World Agroforestry Centre
Michael K. Poulsen, NORDECO
Subekti Rahayu, World Agroforestry Centre
Ervan Rutishauser, Center for International Forestry Research
Ida Theilade, Forest and Landscape of Denmark, University of Copenhagen
Atiek Widayati, World Agroforestry Centre
Ngo The An, Hanoi University of Agriculture
Tran Nguyen Bang, Department of Environmental Management, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Hanoi University of Agriculture
Arif Budiman, WWF-Indonesia
Martin Enghoff, NORDECO
Arne E. Jensen, NORDECO
Yuyun Kurniawan, WWF-Indonesia
Qiaohong Li, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Zhao Mingxu, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Suoksompong Prixa, National University of Laos
Vongvisouk Thoumtone, National University of Laos
Zulfira Warta, WWF-Indonesia
Neil Burgess, Centre for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen; WWF-US Conservation Science Program; UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Center, Cambridge


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Will community monitoring assist in delivering just and equitable REDD+? We assessed whether local communities can effectively estimate carbon stocks in some of the world’s most carbon rich forests, using simple field protocols, and we reviewed whether community monitoring exists in current REDD+ pilots. We obtained similar results for forest carbon when measured by communities and professional foresters in 289 vegetation plots in Southeast Asia. Most REDD+ monitoring schemes, however, contain no community involvement. To close the gulf between United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change texts on involving communities and field implementation realities, we propose greater embedding of community monitoring within national REDD+ pilot schemes, which we argue will lead to a more just REDD+.

Key words

biodiversity; Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance standard; forest carbon; governance; livelihood; monitoring; Payment for Ecosystem Service programs; REDD+; Southeast Asia

Copyright © 2013 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087