1.1   Institutional arrangements and REDD+ decisions Previous topic Parent topic Child topic Next topic

Effective implementation of REDD+ activities requires sound institutional arrangements to support requirements set out in COP decisions(1) concerning (i) a national strategy or action plan; (ii) a national forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level (FREL/FRL); (iii) a robust and transparent NFMS(2) to meet MRV requirements for REDD+; and (iv) a system for providing information on safeguards(3).
The first step is the development of a long-term vision and a strategic plan, with clear institutional mandates and specification of roles and effective coordination mechanisms. Thorough processes should be established for collecting, processing, reporting and verifying data, based on methodologies and tools which recognise the need for adequate and sustainable human resource arrangements (Box 1).
In creating institutional arrangements to carry out the long-term vision and strategic plan, countries should build upon existing arrangements, such as those developed for greenhouse gas inventories (GHGI) that underpin National Communications. Building on and strengthening existing institutional arrangements in establishing a NMFS for REDD+ will reduce duplication of effort and costs, facilitate use of official data sources, avoid institutional conflicts and help maximise co-benefits and consistency in reporting.
An NFMS has two simultaneous functions; a monitoring function and an MRV function(4):
  1. Monitoring function - refers to a domestic tool that allows countries to assess a broad range of forest information including information specific to REDD+. Many forest-related monitoring tools already exist; it is important to build on existing tools, as appropriate, and to harmonize existing and new tools for forest monitoring for REDD+.
  2. MRV function - refers to the estimation and international reporting of national-scale forest emission and removals for REDD+ drawing from information collected through the NFMS.
The UNFCCC has decided that a NFMS should(5):
  • build upon existing systems, as appropriate;
  • enable the assessment of different types of forest (as relevant to the country’s elected definition of forest) in the country, including natural forest, as defined by a country;
  • be flexible and allow for improvement;
  • reflect, as appropriate, the phased approach for the implementation of REDD+ activities.
Well-established arrangements that can deliver the MRV functions of an NFMS and be consistent with the above requirements can strengthen the design and evaluation of policies and actions, consistent with sound forest policy and governance (Box 2). This will increase transparency in GHG reporting, facilitate financing, and lead to the quantification and reporting of mitigation actions in terms of emissions reductions and potentially other non-GHG impacts.

Box 1: Institutional arrangements

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)1 describes institutional arrangements as being policies, systems, and processes that organizations (including governments) use to legislate, plan and manage their activities efficiently and coordinate with others in order to fulfil respective mandates.
Institutional arrangements encompass the responsible organisations, their human resources, funding, equipment and supplies, leadership, effectiveness, and the communication links within and among organisations. Institutional arrangements support countries in translating complex technical findings into methodologically information that can be used for policy relevant purposes.
The UNFCCC has published a Toolkit Opens in new window2 for non-Annex I countries on establishing and maintaining institutional arrangements for preparing national communications and biennial update reports. Though not specific to REDD+, the overall advice is relevant and important. These include that national institutional arrangements should help individual Parties ensure that nationally appropriate procedures for collecting, processing, reporting and archiving required data and information are established, and that relevant stakeholders from the public and private sectors are involved in meeting the reporting requirements of the Convention, as well as addressing the broader issue of climate change at the national level.
In particular, institutional arrangements can assist Parties to:
a) Meet reporting requirements under the Convention;
b) Develop and build national capacities and ensure sustainability and consistency of reporting processes
c) Inform national and international policymakers, at different levels
d) Assist in institutionalizing activities relating to reporting on climate change
Building effective sustainable institutional arrangements encompasses three key elements:
1. Institutions: Defining which institutions are involved in domestic MRV activities and what their respective roles and responsibilities are and how they should interact, how to intervene in case of challenges and who bears overall responsibility.
2. Processes: Defining the overall process of collecting, processing, reporting and verifying data. This includes determining which role individual institutions play within this process.
3. Methodologies and tools: Identifying which methodologies and tools are required to collect, process and store data.

Box 2: Forest policy and governance

Institutional arrangements can strengthen the national policymaking process by enhancing coordination of all relevant stakeholders and by facilitating consultations and establishing relationships among technical and policy officials.
Prior to developing the MRV function for REDD+ activities, a country should identify national and regional development priorities and objectives that would serve as the basis for addressing REDD+ and climate change. This could involve strengthening forest governance (including law enforcement);developing measures to counter deforestation and forest degradation; and enhancing sustainable forest management through consideration of the multiple functions of forests (for example by considering both climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits). This process can lead to increased understanding of existing national challenges and available options for addressing GHG emissions and removals from REDD+ within the broader context of sustainable management of forests.

Chapter 2, Section 2.1provides an extended summary of relevant COP decisions
Or subnational monitoring arrangements as an interim measure see decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 71 Opens in new window.
As specified in decision 11/CP.19 Opens in new window