Status of measurement, reporting, and verification for REDD+ in the Hindu Kush Himalaya
The initiative known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Conservation and Enhancement of Forest Carbon and Sustainable Forest Management (REDD+) focuses on avoiding deforestation and forest degradation, conserving and sustainably managing forests, and enhancing forest carbon stocks. Over the last few years, REDD+ activities in developing countries have resulted in actions that need to be fully measured, reported, and verified. The role of measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) grew remarkably after the Cancun Agreements (2010) and is now an integral part of REDD+ implementation. Establishing robust and transparent national forest monitoring systems (NFMS) and developing national forest reference levels (FRL) are two vital phases of REDD+ implementation to ensure a reliable, transparent, and credible MRV system. This study examines the status of MRV in REDD+ Himalayan countries (Bhutan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, and Pakistan). In common with other REDD+ readiness activities, MRV is gaining momentum in all countries, but progress and stage of development vary. Countries such as Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, and Pakistan are planning to establish NFMS, whereas India already has well-established mechanisms to monitor forests. On the other hand, Nepal submitted its FRL in 2017, while other countries are still preparing theirs.