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An assessment of monitoring requirements and costs of 'Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation'

Author(s): Böttcher Hannes | Eisbrenner Katja | Fritz Steffen | Kindermann Georg | Kraxner Florian | McCallum Ian | Obersteiner Michael

Journal: Carbon Balance and Management
ISSN 1750-0680

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background Negotiations on a future climate policy framework addressing Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) are ongoing. Regardless of how such a framework will be designed, many technical solutions of estimating forest cover and forest carbon stock change exist to support policy in monitoring and accounting. These technologies typically combine remotely sensed data with ground-based inventories. In this article we assess the costs of monitoring REDD based on available technologies and requirements associated with key elements of REDD policy. Results We find that the design of a REDD policy framework (and specifically its rules) can have a significant impact on monitoring costs. Costs may vary from 0.5 to 550 US$ per square kilometre depending on the required precision of carbon stock and area change detection. Moreover, they follow economies of scale, i.e. single country or project solutions will face relatively higher monitoring costs. Conclusion Although monitoring costs are relatively small compared to other cost items within a REDD system, they should be shared not only among countries but also among sectors, because an integrated monitoring system would have multiple benefits for non-REDD management. Overcoming initialization costs and unequal access to monitoring technologies is crucial for implementation of an integrated monitoring system, and demands for international cooperation.
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