The Technical Report by Arild Angelsen, John Herbert Ainembabazi, Simone Carolina Bauch, Martin Herold, Louis Verchot, Gesine Hänsel, Vivian Schueler, Gemma Toop, Alyssa Gilbert and Katja Eisbrenner on Testing methodologies for REDD+: Deforestation drivers, costs and reference levels has been published.
The definition and setting of forest reference levels (RLs) is important in the design of REDD+1 under a future climate agreement. Two meanings and uses of RL may be distinguished: (i) the RL used to measure the effect or impact of REDD+ policies, where RL refers to the Business-as-Usual (BAU) scenario; and (ii) the financial incentive benchmark (FIB) used for estimating results-based incentives, e.g. direct payment for emissions reductions (Angelsen, 2008). In this study RL is reserved only for meaning (i) and Financial Incentive Benchmark (FIB) for meaning (ii). This work explores how historical deforestation rates, drivers and costs relate to both RLs and FIBs. Based on availability of relevant data and earlier research undertaken, four tropical countries that are part of CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study were selected for in-depth case studies because the data for this exercise were readily available, and because they represent countries with a wide range of national circumstances. The authors would welcome similar work on other countries. These countries are Cameroon, Vietnam, Indonesia and Brazil.