1.3 Measurement, reporting and verification processes
MRV functions that require effective and documented institutional arrangements can be clustered into seven key stages (Figure 1). The corresponding processes apply to the preparation of FREL/FRL submissions as well as to the preparation of data and information for the REDD+ Annex to BURs.
In an effective NFMS these MRV processes are built on an in-depth design phase (Chapter 2) taking into consideration national and international reporting requirements (Chapter 6) and their periodic nature. These processes should be considered programmatic; learning from strengths and weaknesses identified as MRV experience accumulates in a continuous improvement process.
Successful implementation of these processes requires recruitment and retention of qualified staff, and sufficient established positions. Sustaining sufficient human resource capacity is long-term and should have a base in national institutes, organisations and academic establishments. One-off or periodic training initiatives can be helpful but their long-term benefit is likely to depend on having a sustained basis. There should be sufficient funding to help to minimize staff turnover and for training of staff (including students and young professionals) at national, subnational and sectoral levels.
Documented decisions on scope, long term management approaches (Box 3) and desired outcomes assist in effective MRV budget setting, system operation and continuous improvement.
Box 3: Measurement, reporting and verification management options
Centralized vs. decentralized: The country's lead agency may maintain most control and decision-making authority. A centralized approach will probably include relatively few other institutions. By contrast a decentralized approach may include many different teams and/or institutions. Countries with a large administration and various institutions with relevant expertise are more likely to use the decentralized approach. In this case, the lead agency will have an essential coordinating role to ensure that consistency between methodological decisions made by different teams and/or institutions involved.
In-sourced vs. out-sourced: Government agencies and employees may prepare most, or all, of the REDD+ estimates, thus in-sourcing the process. Alternatively, the government may out-source the work to consultants, research organisations, academic institutions, or NGOs. Out-sourcing can be useful depending on the availability of in-sourced expertise, but has risks because out-sourced expertise may not be well integrated with government processes, may not continue to be available, and may give conflicting advice. To be useful outsourced expertise should be coupled with development of capacity of NFMS agencies with the aim of maintaining consistency and sustainability over time, particularly in respect of managing out-sourced resources whilst in-source capabilities are being developed.
Single agency vs. multi-agency: The lead agency may be housed within a single government agency, or the country's lead body may be composed of a multi-agency working group, committee, or other structure. Multi-agency structure requires clear delineation of roles and responsibilities to ensure that there is a clear line of reporting and decision-making on REDD+ estimation. Although the multi-agency approach may have some relative advantages in regard to plurality in the decision-making process, in practice it is usually best if one agency has the overall coordinating role to avoid conflicts.
Integrated vs. separate: The country's REDD+ estimation may be integrated with other related efforts (e.g., reducing threats to biodiversity, water management and avoiding soil erosion) to ensure the best use of resources and utilize available expertise.
Hewson, J.,M.K. Steininger & S. Pesmajoglou. (Eds.) (2014). REDD+ Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Manual, Version 2.0. USAID supported Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities Program. Washington, DC, USA.