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    Development of Integrated Monitoring Systems for REDD+ in the SADC region


    Background of the Project

    Globally, approximately 20% of greenhouse gas emissions result from deforestation and forest degradation. Within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), negotiations started with the Bali Action Plan on how a mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) can be implemented to provide incentives to reduce emissions.  In December 2013, central elements of the international REDD framework have been agreed, providing methodological guidance, coordination of support activities as well as criteria for result based financing. The Green Climate Fund shall play an important role in implementing REDD.

    According to FAO, the annual deforestation rate in the SADC region amounts up to 0,46% per year (2005-2012 period), resulting in high biomass losses and carbon emissions. There are however a number of requirements that countries need to address and meet before they can effectively participate in a REDD+ mechanism. Against this background, SADC identified the challenges and opportunities related to REDD for the region. Consequently, SADC has developed a REDD+ Support Programme to address capacity building needs in the region, and to cooperate on REDD issues that are strategic and of common regional interest.

    Among the key preparatory activities to participate in REDD is the development of systems to measure, report and verify (MRV) changes in forest cover and related carbon emissions, so called MRV Systems. Although not addressed by the Project, these systems can include monitoring of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM),  Conservation  of  Forest  Carbon  Stocks,  Carbon  Stock  Enhancement and Safeguards (social and biodiversity impacts). The current Project supports the application of a regional approach towards REDD+ MRV (specifically changes in forest cover and related carbon emissions) and the implementation of a component of the SADC REDD+ Support Programme.

    The project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), and is supported by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). 

    Overall Goal

    In general, the project enhances the mitigation capacity of the region and contributes to providing the basis for emission reductions.

    Furthermore, the project supports the implementation of the Protocol on Forestry and the achievement of sustainable forest management in the region


    The main objective is that SADC as a region has a standard MRV system that is compliant with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as well as enhanced capacities to measure changes to forest areas, and loss of carbon stocks from deforestation and forest degradation. This MRV system has been tested in at least 3 Member States.

    Key Thematic Areas/Programme Priorities

    The project consists of the following 2 components:

    Component 1: Develop, implement and evaluate the regional MRV system for deforestation and forest degradation in selected test sites in pilot countries, with the following outputs:

    • Approval of IPCC compliant MRV design,
    • Enhanced capacities of SADC Member States to implement the system, and
    • MRV system registers at subnational level emissions in 3 of 10 forest ecosystems relevant to SADC

    Component 2: Adopt a regional MRV system for monitoring change of forest cover and carbon stocks from deforestation and forest degradation, with the following outputs:

    • Established institutional arrangements to develop regional MRV system,
    • Regional MRV system is approved by the Technical Committee on Forestry (TCF), and
    • Regional Knowledge Information Platform for RED+ MRV is functional.


    ü  Pilot countries and pilot sites have been identified in a participatory manner:

    • Botswana/ Baikea Woodlands
    • Malawi/Zambia: Miombo Woodlands
    • Mozambique: Mopane Woodlands

    ü  MRV system has been designed and implemented in Botswana

    ü  Pilot implementation in Botswana has been successfully pre-audited by an independent third party

    ü  The transboundary test site between Malawi and Zambia is in the process of being finalized

    ü  A number of studies have been conducted, providing detailed information about

    • Actors analysis in SADC region
    • Capacities and capacity needs assessment for REDD+ MRV for all SADC Member States
    • Overview about methodologies applied so far within SADC for REDD+ MRV
    • Capacity Building Strategy and Action Plan for REDD+ MRV

    ü  Training courses on Remote Sensing and Forest Inventories for REDD+ have been offered so far to 75% (target value: 100%) of all SADC Member States, with a focus on the pilot countries

    ü  A cooperation structure has been established to agree on a regional MRV system, consisting of a regional forum with broad participation of all SADC Member States and working groups for specific topics, for example exchange among pilot countries, regional cooperation and knowledge management

    List of collaborating partners (include links to websites if applicable)

    The project is collaborating with a number of national, regional and global partners in order to achieve the expected objective.

    Links to Relevant Websites

    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change www.unfccc.int

    UN REDD Initiative www.un-redd.org

    FAO www.fao.org

    Global Observation for Forest Cover and land dynamics GOFC GOLD www.gofcgold.wur.nl

    Relevant Documentation

    Project Brief 

    Workshop Reports (3 Regional WS, 3 Pilot Country WS)

    Contact Information

    The Director

    Food Agriculture and Natural Resources

    New CBD, Plot No. 54385


    Private Bag 0095



    (Mr. Nyambe Harsen Nyambe, E-mail: nnyambe@sadc.int)