Forest Reference Level Submissions under REDD+ | WWF

Forest Reference Level Submissions under REDD+

Posted on
07 December 2015
Forest conservation has an important role to play in mitigating climate change. As part of the international climate change process, the UN has developed a mechanism commonly referred to as REDD+, which aims to provide incentives for developing countries to: 
  • Reduce emissions from deforestation
  • Reduce emissions from forest degradation
  • Conserve forest carbon stocks
  • Sustainably manage forests
  • Enhance forest carbon stocks.
For REDD+ to work in practice, a country needs to define a forest reference level (FRL). This is the baseline against which future reductions in emissions, or increases in carbon sinks, can be measured. 

Countries will need to verify actual emissions reductions against their FRL in order to receive performance-based payments for REDD+. FRLs can also help a country to quantify its contribution to international mitigation efforts, and to evaluate the success of its forest, land use and climate policies. 

EDF, TNC, UCS, and WWF’s report Forest Reference Level Submissions under REDD+: An Analysis of Submission Trends, Leading Practices, and Areas for Improvement examines the first six FRLs to be submitted to the UN – by Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Malaysia and Mexico. It provides an overview of the different approaches these countries have taken to developing their FRLs. It examines some of the shared trends, in order to identify good practices, areas for improvement and lessons learnt. And it examines how effectively they can contribute to delivering real emissions reductions.
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