Community Measuring, Reporting and Verification (C-MRV)
The Global Canopy Programme is working with partners in Guyana on the first phase of a community-based forest monitoring scheme.
The project trains local people to measure the health of their forests and the wellbeing of their communities using open source software developed for mobile phones. The data collected by the communities helps them to:
• make an informed decision on whether to opt-in to REDD+ schemes, which offer payments for forest ecosystem services
• sustainably manage their resources
• enhance national monitoring efforts with detailed local information
The Community Measuring , Reporting and Verification (C-MRV) project has been developed in partnership with organisations including the NRDDB (North Rupununi District Development Board) and the Iwokrama International Centre in Guyana, and is funded by the Norwegian Government’s development agency (www.norad.no).
Tropical forests act as giant utilities, providing vital ecosystem services that underpin climate, water, food and energy security as well as human health and livelihoods from local to global scales.. We all benefit from these services, but it is the local communities and forest-dependent peoples of developing countries that bear the cost of their maintenance. High demand for agricultural land and timber creates great pressure to clear forest, while there is little financial incentive to conserve them.
REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) aims to change this situation, by paying forest-owning nations who protect these important resources as a means to mitigate climate change. In order to qualify for payments, participating nations will have to measure, report and verify (MRV) the effectiveness of their actions in terms of carbon retained.
C-MRV in Guyana
REDD+ calls for robust and cost-effective MRV systems, using a combination of remote sensing using satellites, and data collected by people on the ground. In preparation for REDD+, the Government of Guyana is undertaking national-level MRV work in the country’s forests. In order for REDD+ to safeguard the rights of indigenous people and forest-dependent communities, local people must have a central role in the MRV process.
The C-MRV project is working with communities in the North Rupununi region of Guyana to create such a community monitoring scheme, which will also provide a model for replication in other parts of Guyana, Amazonia and tropical forest regions more widely.
Update on Phase I: Community Empowerment for Forest Measuring, Reporting and Verification
As of April 2013, the C-MRV project has trained a team of 32 local people as monitoring technicians, using smartphones to collect data on forest and savannah ecosystem services, including stored carbon. In conjunction with satellite measurements, this can give a better picture of the health of local forests. Monitoring also captures data on wellbeing and locally-important resources such as medicinal plants, sacred sites, and hunting grounds. Sensitive information is kept secure through restrictions and agreements on how data and results are shared.
The first phase of C-MRV will be completed in May 2013.
Phase II: REDD Compass: Community-powered Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Safeguards
The second phase, REDD Compass, will build on the processes learned in the first phase with the goal of replicating community monitoring in other regions.
Here, the project will focus on four key strategies:
• Establishment of independent C-MRV capacity in North Rupununi, in conjunction with local partners
• Facilitation of community-based monitoring uptake in national policies in Guyana
• Replication of C-MRV approach in the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve in Acre, in conjunction with local partners IMC (Acre Institute for Climate Change and Regulation of Environmental Services) and CTA (Centre of Amazon Workers)
• Sharing knowledge and collaborative development of C-MRV best practices, regionally and internationally, through the Community Forest Monitoring (CFM) Working Group