REDD+ Ethiopia

M&MRV: The National Forest Monitoring System

M&MRV refers to the functions that the required National Forest Monitoring System must fulfill for forest monitoring and for estimation and international reporting of forest emission and removals.

FREL/FRLs are benchmarks for assessing each country’s performance in implementing REDD+ activities; FREL includes only emissions from deforestation and degradation and FRL includes both emission by sources and removals by sinks.

The National Forest Monitoring System will have two basic pillars according the considered functions; monitoring function to allow assess a broad range of forest information and MRV function for REDD+ refers to the estimation and international reporting of forest emission and removals.

grafico1Figure 1. Approaches/tools to fulfill the functions of the NFM Systems.

The MRV system will be, as required, a robust and transparent national forest monitoring system for the monitoring and reporting REDD+ activities, providing estimates that must be transparent, consistent and accurate (taking into account national capabilities and capacities). It will use a combination of remote sensing and ground-based forest carbon inventory – National Forest Inventory – approaches for estimating anthropogenic forest-related greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks, forest carbon stocks and forest area changes.

The MRV system will be designed to be able to accommodate multiple stakeholders. At the national level, a coordination mechanism will be put in place to provide a link between policy and practice at different scales. Additionally MRV-related activities and arrangements will be linked to existing relevant structures, including higher education and research institutions and ongoing monitoring activities at the local level. The implementation of MRV will be coordinated by the REDD+ Secretariat, with support from the REDD Technical Working Group and a number of potential national (MRV Task Force Members) and international partners (FAO, WB).

As the REDD+ scheme in Ethiopia is expected to deliver emission reductions an other co-benefits, the MRV system will be designed to help track a range of other indicators such as biodiversity and social benefits.

The national MRV system will consider the development of innovative participatory approaches aimed at engaging forest-dependent communities in monitoring and verification work build understanding and local ownership. In this regard, a PMRV pilot project is being designed jointly with the involvement and support of the MRV and Safeguards components of REDD+ Secretariat, CIFOR and FAO.

The main reason for developing FREL/FRL is to access international finance linked to positive results from implementing REDD+ actions, and their requirements (guidance for submissions and technical assessment), included also the M&MRV system’s specifications, depend on the specific program focus on finance for results-based REDD+ actions. Waiting for an UNFCCC initiative in this regard and in addition to bilateral Agreements there are four specific programmes: the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Carbon Fund (the only program that has explicit guidance in its Methodological Framework for the development of Reference Levels), Germany’s REDD Early Movers program (REM), Biocarbon Fund’s Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) and the Verified Carbon Standard’s Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (VCS-JNR).

Using the requirements from FCPF Carbon Fund the MRV component will monitor as targeted activities; deforestation, forest degradation (if emissions are greater than 10% of total) and pilot techniques will be tested to monitor carbon stock enhancement.

The establishment of FREL/FRL will involve a nested approach, using both sub-national and national baseline data. It will be established at least two alternative baseline scenarios; a historical annual average over a 10 year period and a historical trend based on changes over 10 years. The number of points to calculate the historical annual average and the historical trend model have not yet been decided (at least three). The end date for the historical analysis is the most recent date prior to 2013 for which forest cover data is available. At the moment the national LULC map is being completed using Landsat mosaics from 2013 and 2010.

A proposal for statistical sampling analysis will be preferred to a ‘wall to wall’ analysis to calculate the activity data (it should be determined at least twice in the five year crediting period, but actually It will be used a spatially explicit tracking of land-use conversions over time). The uncertainties related to activity data will be quantified.

To calculate the emission factors corresponding to changes in LULC all significant pools (representing more than 10% of total) will be measured. IPCC Tier 2 will be used to establish it (country specific data for key factors), but in the future the national inventory of key C stocks (IPCC Tier 3), considering repeated measurements of key stocks through time and modeling, will be used improving the accuracy. The uncertainties related to emission factors will be also quantified (based on this level of uncertainty – AD and EF – a prescribed amount of emission reductions will be placed in a buffer reserve).

In all cases there will be consistency with UNFCCC submissions of national GHG inventory and with the methodological IPCC guidance.

Terms of Reference for Developing Capacities for a national Measuring, Monitoring, Reporting and Verification System to support REDD+ participation of Ethiopia


Technical Assistance for the implementation of a National Forest Monitoring and Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system for REDD+ in Ethiopia


Terms of Reference of the MRV Task Force


Terms of Reference of the Project Implementation Team (PIT) and Joint Project Steering Committee (JPSC)


Minutes of the M&MRV TA Launching Wokshop and First MRV TF Meeting. September 23-24th, 2014. Adama


Minutes of the Second MRV TF Meeting. December 17th , 2014. Addis Ababa


Minutes of the First PIT Meeting. May 11th , 2015. Addis Ababa


Minutes of the Second PIT Meeting. June 12th , 2015. Addis Ababa


10 Months Report: Progress on National M&MRV


Ethiopian forest reference level submission to the UNFCCC

Ethiopia FRL submission

minutes on Implementation of a NFM and MRV System for REDD+ Readiness in Ethiopia

Minute on Status of MRV Project Implementation_29 April_2015


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