One of the main elements that make REDD+ projects or programs unique from traditional forest protection strategies is carbon accounting – or the measurement and monitoring of carbon benefits over time as a result of forest carbon activities. While many efforts to reduce deforestation and enhance forest carbon stocks may result in a net benefit to the atmosphere in the form of reduced greenhouse gases, a REDD+ strategy must explicitly quantify that benefit using recognized methodologies in order to receive compensation or acknowledgement of that benefit. For this reason, carbon accounting forms the base of our REDD+ building blocks. Carbon accounting includes using remote sensing data from satellites to measure and monitor land cover change and performing field inventories to measure the carbon density of forests in order to measure the net gain or loss of carbon in the forest system. The remote sensing data allows you to calculate annual deforestation rates in terms of the amount of forest area converted to other uses. Field inventories allow you to calculate the how much carbon is in the existing forest as well as any land use which replaces forest, such as agriculture. Combining these two sources of data allows you to calculate the annual carbon emissions rate. This calculation is the basis for determining your baseline or reference level.
Measurement and Monitoring
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