1.2 Institutions involved in measurement, reporting and verification
Given the interdisciplinary nature of REDD+, several government agencies, and non-government organisations and institutions and community stakeholders may be involved in the design, development and operation of MRV functions. Clearly-designated roles and responsibilities for managing and monitoring REDD+ emissions and removals will help avoid confusion and assist in efficient delivery of information nationally and internationally. Ideally, the agency responsible for REDD+ estimates should be the same as the agency providing forest-related estimates of emissions and removals for the GHGI, or there should be close coordination between the agencies involved, with the arrangements and responsibilities clearly documented (e.g. via Memoranda of Understanding).
UNFCCC decisions suggest that a national focal point(1) could have overall responsibility for coordinating the REDD+ MRV function and liaising with the UNFCCC. The national focal point should be identified as soon as possible to avoid ambiguity among stakeholders concerning the role and responsibility of this lead position.
In addition to the national focal point, an institutional body will be required to manage the work of institutions and organizations; and have overall responsibility for the coordination of administrative and technical arrangements, and the overall quality of reported estimates. Unless there are good reasons otherwise, the national focal point should belong to this institutional body, and the national focal point for REDD+ should work closely with the agency tasked with implementation.
Mandates are important to clarify roles, responsibilities, accountabilities and direct particular institutions to provide data or perform specific tasks. These arrangements should help minimize difficulties in resource allocation, both human and financial. These mandates should specify how REDD+ institutions and stakeholders will work with those responsible for national GHGIs.
Opportunities and obstacles on data accessibility and institutional arrangements are country-specific and so require tailored responses at appropriate levels. Although a single institution might be responsible for the NFMS, many actors need to be involved in the different components of the system, such as data collection and management, monitoring and measuring GHG emissions as well as reporting and verifying emissions reductions. Consequently, responsibilities for the different elements of the NFMS may lie with various institutions, or divisions and departments within them. Coordination requires clarification of each organization’s responsibilities within national institutional arrangements, with clear written mandates. Such coordination should facilitate both national and international reporting processes including for instance the preparation of BURs or National Communications to the UNFCCC. A decision tree identifying the role of institutional coordination in establishing consistency between GHGIs and REDD+ estimated in the context of FRELs and/or FRLs is presented in Chapter 2, Section 2.3.3.
In the context of both GHGIs and REDD+ MRV requirements, data-sharing agreements have been used by some countries and institutions, often as an interim solution before comprehensive NFMS institutional arrangements are established. The flexibility of data sharing agreements (in terms of the number of parties and scope) helps accommodate specific requirements which can evolve over time, offering a tailored solution to the issue of data accessibility.
Decision 10/CP.19 , states that countries could “designate, in accordance with national circumstances and the principles of sovereignty, a national entity or focal point to serve as a liaison with the secretariat and the relevant bodies under the Convention, as appropriate, on the coordination of support for the full implementation of activities and elements referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraphs 70, 71 and 73 , including different policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation, and to inform the secretariat accordingly”.