Last week Brice Mora and Sarah Carter participated at the fourth and final regional “Training the Trainers” Workshop to share their knowledge on REDD+ Monitoring, and Measurement, Reporting and Verification. The workshop was hosted in Abidjan, Ivory Coast by the Global Forest Observation Initiative (GFOI) & GOFC-GOLD from 6-10 February 2017.
Key institutions in French speaking African countries were identified, and from these, 52 participants (including organizers and presenters) were selected who could act as multipliers of the information, by applying them in their country or regional capacity building programmes – a ‘training the trainer’ approach. This select group from 10 countries in the region (Ivory Coast, Cameroon, DRC, RDC, Burkina, Madagascar, Togo, Central African Republic, Burundi & Gabon) gathered to learn about national forest monitoring, REDD+ and MRV techniques, including the use of the World Bank - GOFC-GOLD training modules, the GFOI’s Methods and Guidance Documentation (MGD), technical assistance approaches and tools supported and developed by FAO Forestry, including SEPAL and the OpenForis tools.
The purpose of the workshop was to enable the participants to combine this new technology and expertise with their existing local knowledge of the unique national situation in their home countries, to deliver subsequent trainings to broader groups of local stakeholders that are aligned with national needs and priorities.
A number of resources for REDD+ MRV are freely available online, including the World Bank – GOFC-GOLD training presentations which can be used to train others in topics from REDD+ design, to measuring specific components of forest change, to reporting requirements under existing REDD+ frameworks. The use of these training presentations was demonstrated during the meeting, by both invited experts, and the participants themselves. A number of ‘hands-on’ sessions walked the participants through various practical tools, including REDDCompass from the GFOI, FAO Open Foris software tools, and the REDD+ Decision Support Toolbox by the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (WB FCPF). Technical tools were also demonstrated, with in depth coaching covering the Boston Education in Earth Observation Data Analysis (BEEODA) and the SEPAL platform of FAO. These technical tools use state of the art methods to identify forest change from remote-sensing data. A flexible program allowed participants time to discuss topics of interest, and to interact with one another – thus expanding and strengthening the network of practitioners in the region. The workshop closed with a discussion on the next steps, with the W B FCPF present at the event describing future programs which could be of interest (including the upcoming webinars which are planned by the World Bank and GOFC-GOLD on the training materials topics, and on related tools such as those introduced at the workshop), and participants arranging follow up activities with the organizing institutions present at the event.
FAO REDD+ experts (Carlos Riano, Rémi D’Annunzio and Inge Jonckheere) were part of the training team that guided the workshop, along with the Global Observation for Forest Cover and Land Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD) program, the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (WB FCPF), the United States SilvaCarbon program and Boston University. Together they shared existing tools and methodologies with the participants in order to allow them to choose the best technical solution for their national mapping and monitoring needs.