Evolving technologies and community‐based monitoring for effective REDD+ implementation

Monitoring tropical deforestation and forest degradation are central elements for REDD+ implementation. Monitoring schemes based on remote sensing and field measurements present implementation challenges when applied at national levels. Recently, the advancement in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) using handheld devices has enabled local communities to monitor their forest in an efficient and cost effective way. The research proposed here will address methodological and technical issues limiting the forest monitoring capacities of local communities in developing countries. The main objectives of this research are:

  1. to assess the potential role of local communities in monitoring forest carbon stocks and stock changes due to reforestation, deforestation and forest degradation;
  2. to explore and implement an application for handheld devices to measure forest carbon stocks and change activities;
  3. to integrate community based monitored data with other existing data such as optical remote sensing and expert field measurements to quantify the forest carbon stocks and change activities;
  4. to evaluate the accuracy and effectiveness of the community based monitoring in comparison with alternative approaches based on remote sensing data or expert field measurements. 

This study will be implemented in Vietnam and Ethiopia to support REDD+ implementation activities.