Much of this will relate to forest cover and condition, but it will also include the effectiveness of activities and potentially the distribution of monetary and non-monetary benefits to stakeholders. Increasingly information is also being collected to assess the forest-risk of the production and related trade of timber and agricultural commodities.
Likewise, successful implementation of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) relies on transparent, credible and robust means to ensure that timber products are produced and traded legally. The institutional and technical capacity developed for REDD+ to monitor deforestation and forest degradation could be useful for FLEGT if it provides information on forest management, forest cover, forest conversion, timber production and illegal activities.
REDD+ may also help build a greater national capacity and a culture of effective monitoring and verification in the forest sector.
FLEGT legality assurance systems also include a range of requirements for monitoring, reporting and verification, ranging from on-the-ground monitoring of forest management to ensure laws are met, to independent third-party monitoring of the whole system. These may be useful for REDD+:
- Directly, in providing information that REDD+ measuring, monitoring, reporting and verification can use
- Indirectly, in providing models that REDD+ can also use
Independent forest monitoring by non-governmental organisations, is a key component in the successful implementation of VPAs, as it contributes to transparency and accountability of the regulatory regime. Taking this independent monitoring outside the forest sector to focus on drivers of deforestation, such as agriculture and mining, could contribute to further REDD+ implementation and hold non-forest sector actors accountable for their impact on the forest cover.