The feasibility of local participation in Measuring, Reporting and Verification (PMRV) for REDD+

Manuel Boissiere, Martin Herold, Stibniati Atmadja and Douglas Shei

The studies in this PLOS ONE collection investigated the feasibility of community participation in Measuring, Reporting and Verifying (Participatory MRV–PMRV) initiatives in the context of national programs to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). While such participation is desirable, its feasibility has been uncertain. This collection builds the empirical foundations for putting PMRV into practice. The authors of this article identified five crucial considerations: (1) clarify the stakeholders, (2) understand their motivation to participate, (3) integrate knowledge and information from multiple disciplines and sources, (4) convey knowledge and information across multiple levels of governance, and (5) clarify and enable the links to REDD+ safeguards. We conclude that local communities and other local actors can play a major role in achieving REDD+ MRV, however, this requires attention to their needs and motivations. Future activities should include assessment of past PMRV experiences, costs and benefits, operationalization of reporting and verification, formalization of PMRV and full scale testing on the ground.

Lost in translation? How project actors shape REDD+ policy and outcomes in Cambodia

  1. Maya Pasgaard
Forest protection policies to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) are currently being implemented by international donors, governments and conservation agencies across the developing world aiming for reduction of greenhouse gases while ensuring fair distribution of benefits. This paper draws on a case study in northern Cambodia to analyse how conservation practitioners and the local forest management committees engaged in implementing REDD+ actively translate and influence the policy and its implementation in accordance with their respective interests through particular communication strategies. When assessing project progress and outcomes, the conservation practitioners involved in implementing projects show an interest in emphasising positive project assessments by downplaying potential project complications, and by primarily communicating with pro-REDD+ members of the local communities. Powerful actors in the local forest management committees adopt the conservation rhetoric of these practitioners; at the same time, they can interpret and control local access to resources to their own advantage. By doing so, they can ensure continued support, while not necessarily representing all community members or sharing benefits equally. The processes and consequences of this policy translation in a REDD+ arena are discussed and compared with existing dominant trends in environment and development policies.

Participating in REDD+ Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (PMRV): Opportunities for Local People?

Manuel Boissière, Guillaume Beaudoin, Carola Hofstee  and Serge Rafanoharana 

Assessing forest changes is the baseline requirement for successful forest management. Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) are three essential components for achieving such assessments. Community participation in resource monitoring and management is increasingly seen as a scientifically efficient, cost-effective, and equitable way to employ such practices, particularly in the context of REDD+. We developed a multidisciplinary approach to study the feasibility of Participatory MRV (PMRV) across three sites along a forest degradation gradient in Indonesia. We looked at both the local and national level needs of MRV. Our approach combines: (1) social research focusing on the enabling conditions for local participation in MRV; (2) governance analyses of existing MRV systems in forestry and health; and (3) remote sensing work comparing overlaps and gaps between satellite imagery and local assessments of forest changes. We considered in our approach the possible multiple benefits of PMRV (carbon mitigation, biodiversity conservation, livelihood security). Our study helped to identify the multiple stakeholders (communities, NGOs and governments) and what the levels of governance should be to make PMRV design and implementation feasible and sustainable. 

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