Operationalizing the Definition of Forest Degradation for REDD+, with Application to Mexico

Morales-Barquero, L. and Skutsch, M. and Jardel-Pelaez, E.J. and Ghilardi, A. and Kleinn, S. and Healey, J.R. (2014) Operationalizing the Definition of Forest Degradation for REDD+, with Application to Mexico. Forests, 5 ((7)). pp. 1653-1681. DOI: 10.3390/f5071653

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The difficulty of defining and quantifying forest degradation is a major constraint in the implementation of the international mitigation mechanism Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). Our aim is to develop an operational framework for defining and quantifying forest degradation at a local level for early REDD+ projects and for national REDD+ programmes, through a ground level approach. We critically review and discuss national and international definitions of forest and of forest degradation, and then analyze the main difficulties in making these operational, evaluating the key elements and threshold values that are used, and contextualizing them using Mexico as a case study. We conclude that, given the lack of historical biomass data and the limited capability for monitoring degradation using remote sensing, forest degradation is best measured against a local benchmark that represents areas of low or no degradation that have comparable biophysical characteristics. Use of benchmarks of this type could offer a quick-start option for local assessment and construction of reference levels for forest degradation. These could be refined as more data become available and could eventually be integrated into national monitoring systems.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Natural Sciences > School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 16:28
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 02:56
ISSN: 1999-4907
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/231
Identification Number: DOI: 10.3390/f5071653
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