Briefing Document / Nov. 20, 2008

Independent Forest Monitoring and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation

A robust monitoring, reporting and verification system will be key to the success of the scheme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), currently being negotiated under the UN Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC). An essential part of it will be monitoring forest governance on the ground. Independent Forest Monitoring (IFM) programmes have already been implemented in four countries. By monitoring and reporting system failures throughout the entire forest estate, IFM has succeeded in improving forest sector governance. It has a proven track record of reducing illegal activity in the forest sector, combating corruption, and improving transparency and accountability within both industry and government. This paper outlines the concept and minimum standards for IFM, demonstrates how it can be readily transferred to all aspects of forest management and argues that such monitoring – and related improvements in forest sector governance – are essential pre-requisites if REDD is to have any chance of success.