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1 Event memoirs and synthesis of results San Salvador, December 13 to 15, 2010

2 Event memoirs and synthesis of results CONTENTS Page I. Introduction 3 II. Event methodology 5 III. Summary of presentations 8 IV. Synthesis of discussions and contributions 11 V. Summary of agreements and recommendations 20 VI. Annex Index: 23 a. Presentations files (including links for download) 24 b. Discussions and contributions memoirs 43 c. Participants list 61 Summary: The results from the first meeting of experts is presented in an organized forest monitoring done by the Program for the Reduction of emissions due to Deforestation and Degradation of Forests for Central America and the Dominican Republic (REDD CCAD GIZ) 1. This meeting was planned in coordination with the sub regional forest office of FAO 2 for Central America. It also had the participation from representatives from CATIE 3, INPE 4, USFS 5 and CATHALAC SERVIR 6. The meeting focused on the definition of minimum requirements for the monitoring of forest resources within the framework of the Monitoring systems. A Report and Verification (MRV) of REDD+ with the vision that these must become managerial tools to improve the forest management and support the implementation of measures oriented towards stopping the destruction of forests. It was presented within the present context of the MRV/ REDD+ systems and 5 specific subjects were analyzed. 1/Forest inventories, 2/permanent measuring parcels and alometric models, 3/models for the simulation of the forest behavior 4/remote sensors and 5/levels of reference for REDD+. The participants delivered presentations on the present state of each of the subjects starting on which discussions, contributions and recommendations; inputs which are presented and synthesized in this document

3 I. INTRODUCTION During the Thirteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 13) developed in Bali during 2007, the Framework Convention of the United Nations on Climate Change (UNFCCC) acknowledge the reduction of CO 2 Since COP 15, REDD was widen to include the reduction of emissions, conservation, sustainable management of forest, and the increase of forest carbon inventory (REDD+) 7 ; through a still undefined economic system, the countries not belonging to Annex 1 of the UNFCCC, may receive economic compensations for verifiable actions associated to the mentioned activities, where a reduction of the emissions or an increase of forest absorptions is shown. Central American countries have shown the will to get structurally prepared for the implementation of the international REDD+ regime, and a collaboration among these countries is foreseen, as much for an economy of scale, as well as the possibility to exchange positive experiences and reduce the risk of displacement of the deforestation from one country to the next (leaks). Within this context, the Program for the Reduction of Emissions due to Deforestation and Forest Degradation for Central America 8 and the Dominican Republic (REDD CCAD GIZ) looks towards supporting the countries through a regional focus and the improvement of the framework conditions and capacities of key actors for REDD, focusing efforts in three components: 1) Intrasectoral dialog, 2) Sustainable implementation instruments (including pilot projects), and 3) Monitoring and report. At present, the REDD+ mechanism requires the establishment of national systems of forest monitoring which are measurable (monitoring), reportable, and verifiable, besides robust and transparent. The MRV systems have as a final objective the evaluation of emissions and forest absorptions associated to: 1) changes in the carbon inventory (stocks) and 2) changes in the forest areas. Besides the national scale, the sub national scales and local projects must also have forest monitoring systems which allow the reporting under UNFCCC. With the implementation of component 3 of the REDD CCAD GIZ program, hopefully decision makers and institutions obliged to report to the UNFCCC will have the necessary material and data on CO 2 caused by deforestation and degradation of forests supervision available, as well as on the co benefits derived from REDD+ activities. The funds re distribution mechanism to countries with the operative REDD+ mechanism, is still to be defined; nevertheless, it is probable that the donors prefer to choose those countries with participations which guarantee a real contribution with known uncertainties of emission reduction, or increase of absorptions. One way to validate this selectivity is through the level of report. The Intergovernmental Panel of experts on Climate Change (IPCC) proposes three tiers of reports: Tier 1. Uses default values from the IPCC emission factors database. Tier 2. Uses static information on forest biomass, but with specific data from the country, and with a known uncertainty. Tier 3. It is the most rigorous and requires a greater level of effort. Forest inventories and remote sensors are necessary tools to support the MRV activities within the REDD+ context, and its application must consider among other aspects: agreements 7 In this document, any mention of REDD must be understood also as REDD+. 8 Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, & Panama. 3

4 for the definition of "forest" and on the classification system of the types of forest and the use of land, multi scale considerations (regional, national, sub national, and implementation), the generation of data with known uncertainties and minimized (tiers 2 & 3), an effective communication among the experts on forest monitoring and the institutions responsible for drafting the reports to UNFCCC, the combination of the different methods and tools for data capture (remote sensors and inventory data for the field), the monitoring of the five activities considered in the REDD+ mechanism (reduction of emissions due to deforestation, reduction of emissions due to degradation, forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and increase of forest carbon stock), 9 and of the five carbon deposits related to the use of land (air biomass, sub soil biomass, dead wood, litter from trees, and organic material from the soil). During the years 2000 to 2007, FAO developed and implemented methodologies of inventories to compile information on forest resources at national levels in the developing countries. The main objective was to improve the amount and quality of information according to the needs when making decisions on national policies and strategies. As a result, four countries in Central America have national forest evaluations and inventories: Costa Rica (year 2000), Guatemala (year 2003), Honduras (year 2006), & Nicaragua (year 2007). It is necessary to carry out a forest inventory methodology evaluation applied in the region and compare it to the tiers established in the IPCC standards, in order to propose the options of greater viability for the implementation of the monitoring of carbon reserves and its cobenefits within the context of REDD+. When dealing on remote sensors, the Central American countries have a coverage and use of land analysis prepared sporadically, without methodological follow up and using different analysis criteria according to the entities' objectives that have financed its generation. Nevertheless, there are some regional scale efforts oriented towards developing classification systems and uniform methodologies. The regional coordination for the mapping of the forest coverage, although not necessary to establish the national MRV systems, it would allow the sharing of information among neighboring countries (important for the monitoring of trans border territories and evaluation of leaks among countries), would take advantage of the economies of scale to decrease the research costs, and would allow the obtaining coherent numbers on the impact of the implementation of REDD+ throughout the region, what might serve as a basis for future negotiations. Other important information for forest monitoring includes data on permanent parcels of measure (PPM), volume functions, alometric equations of biomass/carbon, and models used in the simulation of the forest behavior; these tools are necessary to support forest activities and forest management. On December 13, 14 & 15, 2010, the first meeting of experts on forest monitoring took place. It was organized by the REDD CCAD GIZ program in coordination with the forest subregional office of FAO for Central America and with the participation of representatives from CATIE, INPE, UFS, & CATHALAC. The objective was to obtain inputs for defining minimum requirements for the monitoring of forest resources within the framework of the MRV REDD+. 9 Each country will choose the activities to be included according to their preferences, national circumstances, or prior mitigation strategies. 4

5 The vision was that the latter may become tools for negotiating the improvement of forestry management and support the implementation of measures oriented towards stopping the destruction of forests. It was presented within the present context of the MRV/ REDD+ systems and 5 specific subjects were analyzed. 1/Forest inventories, 2/permanent measuring parcels and alometric models, 3/models for the simulation of the forest behavior 4/remote sensors and 5/levels of reference for REDD+. The participants made presentations on the current state of each of the subjects, and using them as a basis, discussions, contributions and recommendations were generated which have been synthesized in this document. The applied methodology is presented; a summary of the presentations is made, as well as a synthesis of the contributions and discussions. Summary files have been included in the annexes of each of the presentations, with corresponding links for download via Internet; the memoirs of the discussions, and the list of event participants. All documentation related to this meeting may be checked via web, accessing the following address: II. EVENT'S METHODOLOGY The first meeting of the round of experts in forestry monitoring developed within the framework of the REDD CCAD GIZ program with the participation of representatives from institutions linked to the monitoring of the forest resources in the Central American region, was developed considering the following methodological steps and aspects. A) PRESENTATION OF PARTICIPANTS AND EXPECTATIONS FROM THE MEETING The day started with the presentation from the participants, who expressed their expectations from the meeting, listed next: Coordinate in the Central American region / other initiatives. Importance of the regional cooperation vis a vis the nationals, to improve data quality. Cooperation with other countries. Knowledge of the current state of subjects, as a baseline to define minimum requirements. Clarify minimum requirements for the region and hear experiences from colleagues. Collaboration to synthesize and apply knowledge: support. Integration of criteria in the regional environment: minimum requirements. Definition of minimum requirements. 5

6 Work together: different institutions. Work as a group to strengthen REDD initiatives in the region. Know more about forest inventories and on how to integrate efforts at the regional level. Know the methodological framework of the monitoring. Improve knowledge on monitoring and share experiences. Contribute to the discussion on forest inventories. Minimum homogeneous requirements in the Central American region. B) INTRODUCTORY PRESENTATIONS Four introductory and 11 thematic presentations were made, in order to know the conceptual and strategic framework of the Monitoring, Report and Verification (MRV) within the context of REDD. The introductory presentations were: a) The REDD CCAD GIZ Program. By: Laszlo Pancel (REDD CCAD GIZ Program Director). (Annex 1.1). b) Forestry monitoring and MRV FAO systems. By: Lars Marklund (UN REDD FAO Program). (Annex 1.2). c) MRV: Strategic vision. By: Bastiaan Louman (CATIE Climate change program leader). (Annex 1.3). d) General reflections on the REDD+ mechanism. By: Rosa María Román Cuesta (UN REDD FAO Program). (Annex 1.4). C) THEMATIC PRESENTATIONS Subject 1: Forestry Inventory (Stock): a) present context of forest inventories in Central America. By: Carla Ramirez (FAO Forestry officer). (Annex 1.5). b) Inventory design and forest stratification. By: Patricio Emanuelli (GIZ). (Annex 1.6). 6

7 c) Inventory & Monitoring (Steps to be followed). By: Chip Scott (National Inventory & Monitoring Applications Center NIMAC ). (Annex 1.7). d) Methodology for the measure and evaluation of biodiversity in forest inventories. By: Patricio Emanuelli (GIZ). (Annex 1.8a). e) Data evaluation and processing. By: Patricio Emanuelli (GIZ). (Annex 1.9). Subject 2: Permanent Parcels for Measure (PPM) and alometric models. a) Permanent Parcels for Measure (PPM) and alometric models. By: Miguel Cifuentes (CATIE). (Annex 1.10). Subject 3: Potential forest modeling a) Models to simulate the forest's behavior By: Bastiaan Louman (CATIE) & Miguel Cifuentes (CATIE). (Annex 1.11). Subject 4: Remote Sensors a) Context and present state of the application of the tele detection in Central America and the Dominican Republic: Considerations for REDD+. By: Emil A. Cherrington (Main scientist CATHALAC). (Annex 1.12). b) Historic deforestation for the calculation of the reference levels of emissions: methodology applied in the survey of remote perception from FAO FRA By: Erik Lindquist (FAO). (Annex 1.13). c) Satellite monitoring of the Amazon Forest. By: Claudio Almeida (Head of INPE, Amazons). (Annex 1.14). Subject 5: Levels of Reference a) Levels of Reference of Forest Emissions for REDD+. By: Rosa María Román Cuesta (UN REDD Program, FAO). (Annex 1.15). D) CAPTURE OF DOUBTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS At the end of each presentation, the participants wrote in cards of different colors, respectively, the doubts and contributions as inputs for the discussions and analysis of minimum requirements for the monitoring of forest resources in Central America and Dominican Republic. The cards were placed and ordered in boards. 7

8 E) SUBJECT DISCUSSIONS At the beginning of the discussions on each subject, the collaboration of participants was required to organized the cards in sub subjects. Taking as a guide each of the subsubjects, the speakers clarified doubts, and discussions started in the plenary. During the plenary, the participants widen the ideas on their contributions and recommendations. The central ideas were captured in a flip chart and notes taken by those responsible of the memoirs aids drafting. F) SYNTHESIS PREPARATION Finally, a synthesis was prepared with the results from the discussions and contributions in each of the subjects, which are presented in this document. III. SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS SUMMARY OF INTRODUCTORY PRESENTATIONS 1. Laszlo Pancel, director of the REDD CCAD GIZ Program, presented the objective and components of the regional REDD program for Central America and Dominican Republic. He explained that the planning process carried out by the program is a series of national workshops, a regional synthesis workshop, and the preparation of the operative plans for the year He referred to the regional agreement on focal points of the program for the creation of a monitoring system when referring to climate change, balanced with forest resources, institutional advance and governance. 8

9 He also presented the objectives of this first meeting of experts, the subject and managerial agreements, all on which a minimum requirement was expected to be established. 2. Lars Marklund, from the UN REDD FAO program made a presentation on the conceptual framework for the forest monitoring within the context of REDD+ from the vision of FAO. He presented the REDD+ mechanism and monitoring of forests within the context of the international negotiations, and the basic concepts, fundamental principles, and main components of a national system of forest monitoring. He emphasized that within the framework of REDD+ negotiations, no MRV systems are required; instead, national forest monitoring systems, and that at COP 16 the possibility of sub national systems was mentioned as a provisional measure. He explained a monitoring scheme for REDD+ and other goals (multipurpose) that considers two levels: strategic and operational. This scheme considers also carbon monitoring (emissions absorptions), other products, benefits and impacts, as well as the monitoring of governance and safeguards. 3. Bastiaan Louman, leader of the climate change program from CATIE, presented the strategic vision of CATIE related to MRV. He emphasized that the causes for deforestation and forest degradation, are generally outside the forest sector, because possibly it will be necessary to consider non forest resources in the monitoring. He also referred to the importance of having a forest definition and proposed it for the management of the carbon stock; the monitoring must be performed frequently in hot spots, to allow preventive and fighting interventions. That national accounting should be linked to national emissions inventories and that the case of trade might be that additional information is required on safeguards and co benefits. He also explained the importance of regional collaboration for the economies of scale, mentioned some challenges for the monitoring, such as obtaining quality images and frequently enough, the need to research on degradation, on the reference levels and the widening of the monitoring scope, to consider the leaks. 4. Rosa María Román Cuesta, from the UN REDD FAO program, presented some general thoughts on the REDD+ mechanism related to its implementation, she explained the different levels of report and general considerations related to the definitions and with forest activities of national importance within the REDD+ context. She also proposed some REDD+ considerations for forest inventories, for the systems of satellite monitoring, and national greenhouse effect gases inventories (GEI). SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS ON SUBJECT 1: FORESTRY INVENTORIES 5. Carla Ramírez, forest Officer of FAO made a presentation on the current context of forest inventories in Central America, showing examples and results of the National Forest Evaluations (NFE) made in four countries in Central America with the support of FAO. She also referred to the new information requirements for the measure of 9

10 changes in the carbon stock in the forests, and guidelines for the planning and design of National Forest Inventories (NFI). 6. Patricio Emanuelli, GIZ consultant, presented the guidelines for the design of inventories and forest stratification making an analysis of some elements which may be considered "improvable" to point in the direction of improving the precision at reasonably low costs in the estimates that may be developed within the framework of National Forest Inventories. 7. Chip Scott, officer of the United States Forest Service at the NIMAC (National Inventory & Monitoring Applications Center), explained 15 steps for the monitoring of forest resources which have been identified by NIMAC, grouping them in four phases: 1) Planning; 2) Data acquisition; 3) Information System, and 4) Evaluation and Reports. 8. During a second participation, Patricio Emanuelli presented a proposal of indicators for the measure and evaluation of biodiversity that may be built with the collected data from the forest inventories. For this same subject, Valerie Kapos from the Climate Change & Biodiversity program (UNEP WCMC) sent us a presentation to be considered during this meeting, in which she referred to forestry biodiversity indicators that may be derived from cartographic sources and data, and forest inventories (Annex 1.8b). 9. Patricio Emanuelli also made a demonstration of the computer system "Inventory Analyzer" built based on the experience gained in the Valdivia National Reserve of Chile. This demonstration referred to the information survey to prepare the Ordaining Plan for the managing unit. This software is being updated by GIZ and will be distributed in the region for free. SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS ON SUBJECT 2: PERMANENT PARCELS FOR MEASURE (PPM) AND ALOMETRIC MODELS 10. Miguel Cifuentes from CATIE presented a general vision of the methodologies used to establish permanent parcels of measure (PPM) and for the development of alometric models. SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS ON SUBJECT 3: MODELS TO SIMULATE FOREST BEHAVIOR 11. Bastiaan Louman and Miguel Cifuentes, from CATIE, made a brief review of the existing tools for modeling forests and a demonstration of how some of those work. The objective of this presentation was to inform on the current state of these tools at the Central American level and talk about the vacuums and requirements for its consolidation. 10

11 SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS ON SUBJECT 4: REMOTE SENSORS 12. Emil A. Cherrington, Main Scientist of CATHALAC, presented the current context for remote sensors application in the Central American countries and Dominican Republic within the framework of the Regional System for Visualization and Monitoring (SERVIR in Spanish). He referred to different applications for the tele detection in the monitoring of variables related to climate change, forest fires, climate impacts in biodiversity, mapping of forest coverage, historic analysis of deforestation, and natural disasters. He also presented some methodological elements for the forest coverage mapping (classification systems, types of sensors and digital image processing methods). 13. Erik Lindquist, from FAO, presented an applied methodology in the remote perception survey of FAO FRA 2010 on the measure of historic deforestation as a basis for the calculation of the reference levels for CO 2 emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation. 14. Claudio Almeida, head of INPE Amazons, presented the monitoring projects that are executed by the National institute of Spacial Research in Brazil (INPE): a) PRODES; b) DETER; c) DETEX/DEGRAD, and e) TERRACLASS. The objective of these projects is the satellite monitoring of the Brazilian Amazon. SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS ON SUBJECT 5: LEVELS OF REFERENCE 15. Rosa María Román Cuesta of the UN REDD FAO program presented a general review of the conceptual framework and some methodological aspects of the reference of emissions levels (REL) and reference levels (RL) within the context of REDD+. IV. SYNTHESIS OF DISCUSSIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS SYNTHESIS OF DISCUSSIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF SUBJECT 1: FORESTRY INVENTORIES The importance of having a forest definition and a classification system was underlined, considering that IPCC does not have its own definition and leaves the decision for each country to establish its own interpretation. It was also mentioned that FAO has a definition incorporating it use, and that the PREVDA 10 project agreed with the ministries of the environment of CCAD on a classification for the land coverage, made up of 16 classes. The definition of a standard classification system is recommended, containing the minimum and optional requirements to be applied according to the conditions of each country. The proposal is to start from the FAO forest definitions and complement it with the review of the different

12 classification systems applied in the region 11. With these inputs, a proposal will be prepared, that will be subjected to discussion within the framework of this round of experts, to obtain a consensus version that will be sent to the forest directors from the different countries to be discussed within the framework of the next Forest Technical Committee meeting (FTC). The recommendation is to keep in mind the objective that the forest inventories generate information which must support the forest management activities, not only the REDD+ reports. The width of the objectives in the forest inventories will be a function of the technical and financial capacities of each country. On the IPCC report levels (Tier 1, 2 & 3), the recommendation is to start with tier 2 and progressively reach tier 3. On the carbon deposits to be monitored, the recommendation is to use those defined in the source book of GOFC GOLD 12 prioritizing those with a greater content of biomass, and with the greatest changes present. When talking about the design of forest inventories, the most adequate size of forest inventories was discussed 13, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of a variable size parcel use, and reference was made to a cost/time study that GIZ has, as well as another case from Tanzania, which may be completed with the planning tool for inventories presented by USFS. The recommendation is that starting from the current designs of national forest inventories (NFIs) made in Central America, they should be evaluated and adapted to the new needs of REDD+. The four counties with an NFIs 14 have the advantage to have a first measure, where the capture of changes in carbon stocks may also be assessed. Three stratification focus were mentioned for forest inventories: a) ecology + structure of the types of forest, b) use of the strata that do not vary in time, and c) stratification based on changes in the carbon stocks. The proposal was to carry out calculations of the different inventory options (permanent vs. temporary parcels, fixed or variable size; stratified or non stratified), and based on that input, prepare a proposal that will be submitted to discussion with the participants in the round of experts, to reach a version in consensus. During the inventory execution, it was considered relevant to have the creation of tools, such as field handbooks among others, until reaching training, arguing that a good design of tools will help diminish mistakes, the same as the motivation of the field experts, and a good logistics planning. For quality control, the proposal is to monitor the same inventory (parallel to the execution in the field). The need to increase the capacity to identify species was also mentioned, as well as the deficiency of not having equations per species, what may be solved generating equations per species groups. For the improvement of the scale in the inventories, it is recommended to link the different levels of execution using sample grids of different densities in each tier. 11 CATHALAC, within the framework of PREVDA, makes an analysis of the different classification systems applied in the region. 12 gold.uni jena.de/redd/ 13 The recommendation was to review a technical study note made in Costa Rica. 14 Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras & Nicaragua. 12

13 For biodiversity measure, the proposal is to define the variables that will be measured within the parcels, and those that will require independent measures. The explanation of aspects such as connectivity and fragmentation influence on the measuring of carbon reserves, and biodiversity. Here reference was made to the need to incorporate biodiversity variables in the concept of degradation 15, but an alert was sent that due to the high variability in the tropical forests, it is difficult to use these variables as change indicators. The proposal being developed by FAO to measure degradation, which will be available in the following months, was also mentioned. The low attention given to the publishing of results from the forest inventory and the importance of having a disclosure mechanism which considers different user requirements, were underlined. It was also mentioned that GIZ is creating a regional platform to share information on forest resources and inventory analyzing software that will be distributed for free. It is recommended to compile existing data identifying institutions and centers with strategic roles in the region. The Central American NFIs have the information in databases of MS Access (Honduras and Nicaragua) and MS Excel (Guatemala and Costa Rica); with this data summaries may be generated to make them public in the regional platform once the authorization from the forest services of the different countries is obtained. This information includes pictures, shape files 16 of the parcels and land uses, trees, stumps and measured fires, kmz files for the visualization in Google Earth, species lists and their uses, among others. It was argued that for UNFCCC, what is important are the changes, and not the carbon stocks. The proposal was to measure the levels of uncertainty of the emission reports concentrating in the areas of change. The reason: Areas without change are not reported. According to this focus, the greatest intensities of sampling will be in the areas susceptible to suffer losses or winnings in the forests. Nevertheless, the recommendation was to take into consideration the emphasis that the countries place on the data capture of forest resources is not a report, but is only information to improve the management of their forests. (The original in Spanish is a bit confusing.) SYNTHESIS OF DISCUSSIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF SUBJECT 2: PERMANENT PARCELS FOR MEASURE AND ALOMETRIC MODELS The explanation was given that, with the data existing and obtained from the permanent parcels for measure (PPM), an important base of historic registries is available on the growth of the forest in the region, but variables are lacking on the dynamic of forest carbon, recommending to complement the measures with coefficients of biomass proportion in branches, stems, roots, etc., that might be obtained from forest inventories. On the alometric models, the importance of information on the growth of forests and the need to 15 For IPCC, degradation refers exclusively to the reduction of carbon stock. When including biodiversity, the reduction of species should also be considered. 16 Format of geographic files distributed by ESRI (i.e. ArcView & ArcGis). 13

14 build functions of volume for species and groups of species, was mentioned. There is a recommendation to perform a collection of alometric equations that were already generated, identifying key persons and support the institutions initiatives which started performing this activity. These actions will allow the construction of a regional data base for equations for Central America. Besides, there is a recommendation to prepare a list of research needs oriented towards improving the information on growth models in the region, and the nondestructive evaluation methods for the measure of biomass using dendrometers, and complement them with information on the specific weight of the wood to estimate biomass. It was mentioned that the PPM frequently do not respond to the statistic principles of location, what has some effects on its representativity. The selections of locations normally respond to particular criteria of the projects financing their installation. Most are located in low lands (wetlands) ecosystems, what makes us believe there is an over representation of the parcels located in these forests, and a scarcity in the mountain forests and dry forests. On the relationship of the PPMs and the National Forest Inventories (NFIs), it was mentioned that in each case, the parcels were established with different objectives. But the NFIs could be the basis for the establishment of a new PPM network in the region, which would have a more representative distribution than the present PPMs, although it was explained that the inventory parcels always required additional PPMs, and that was the reason why in field work planning for national forest inventories, the PPM measurements needed to be prevented. When talking about PPM measuring activities, it is recommended to train local guides on taxonomy, because they are already familiarized with the common names of the species. An example was given on Costa Rica, parataxonomers doing the species identification in the field, and when a species without identifiers is found, it is transfered to the main taxonomer. To select the size of parcels, the recommendation is to review a study made in Costa Rica and consider that these must be large enough to adequately represent biodiversity. Incorporating carbon measures are also recommended for PPMs. On the installation costs, the Cost analysis Report (NFMA) and the Central American NFIs should be reviewed, since these have time and distance data to support the cost evaluation. In the PPMs with an important history of data, such as the 50 hectares parcel of Barro Colorado (Panama), a measure of additional variable measures should be incorporated, such as altitude (so far only the diameter is measured). The need to harmonize the database of PPM at the regional level was underlined, as well as the importance of providing the existing PPM network coordination with the vision to form a regional network. The lack of protocols for the harmonization of the capture and storing of the measures made in PPMs was mentioned, as well as other aspects such as audit and rights over the data, making sharing and disclosing them, difficult. In many cases, the reference to have access to PPM data are individual persons and not institutions, what implies that when the person stops working at the institution, the access to data becomes even more difficult. In the region, there are some experiences oriented towards harmonizing PPM protocols. The support related to PPMs made by the CATIE FINFOR project in the Central American countries was mentioned, as well as the importance of supporting this type of initiatives. 14

15 SYNTHESIS OF DISCUSSIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF SUBJECT 3: MODELS TO SIMULATE FOREST BEHAVIOR Forest simulation models used in the region were developed to apply them in management units, what implies the need to make adjustments in order to expand their applicability at the level of landscape. In the case of applications for the regional level it is recommended to consider different alternatives to those presented during this meeting (i.e. spatially explicit models). It was mentioned that these models may be applied so much in scenarios of altered forests, as well as non altered, and that they were thought to plan the taking advantage of forests, and not for carbon flows, but that the CO2Fix 17 model may be used to quantify amounts and flows of the different deposits of forest carbon (carbon in the soil is modeled separately) and could contribute data for local reference levels. In order to improve the calculations, it is recommended to caliber the models with field data and adjust them to particular conditions, in the specific case of CO2Fix. It was explained that, although it was developed starting from field surveys executed in Central America, if an improvement in the estimates were necessary, it would require the incorporation of new data. The emission factors measured in the field for the emissions reports, represent an important source to improve these estimates. Two types of use for the models were identified: a) future projections, and b) changes reports (growth dynamic). The importance of these tools to support forest management was emphasized. The example was given that these may be used to explain users of the forest its dynamic, and the carbon flows. Mention was also made that CO2Fix is a more operative model, and the basis for the development of CO 2 Land that will use geo referenced data and special variables. Although it is proposed that the existing models have limitations, it was recommended to use them, assess them, and improve them gradually to adapt them to the new requirements. Within the context of REDD+, the challenge to extend the applicability of the models appears to support real and verifiable estimates of forest carbon. SYNTHESIS OF DISCUSSIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF SUBJECT 4: REMOTE SENSORS During the discussions on this subject, different sensors and satellite images were mentioned. On the Brazilian satellite CBERS 18, the explanation is that currently it is not operating, but that by the beginning of 2012, CBERS 3 will be launched. It will transmit satellite images with 5m of resolution in the monochromatic band, 20m in the visible ones and infrared, and 60m in the other bands. It will have a 5 days periodicity, and images for Central America will be available for free, but to download them, a receptor antenna needs to be installed in the region. It is recommended to follow up the negotiations for the installation of this antenna and the identification of an entity that might be responsible for image 17 web.catie.ac.cr/informacion/co2fix.htm

16 distributions. The report on the Landsat 19 and MODIS 20 images was, that they may be acquired for free from Internet 21. In the specific case of the MODIS images, it was mentioned that its use will depend from the size of the territory and the change dynamic, giving an example that in some countries these may be captured by the sensor, but in general, with MODIS it is not possible to detect all changes required for the monitoring of deforestation. That is reason enough not to recommend it for reporting objectives. Reference was made to the IRS commercial images (Indian Remote Sensing 22 ) that are being used for the Brazilian Amazon, and the LIDAR images 23, that allow making precise measurements for the quantification of the forest carbon, but that besides the high cost, it should also be taken into consideration that with LIDAR, only estimates of one of the carbon deposits are obtained, but not of others which are necessary for the report. In the case of locations with permanent cloudiness, the use of radar images was recommended; because they have bands simulating a false color, and may be classified to identify the forest coverage (Costa Rica acquired this type of images for the whole country). Besides, it was mentioned that the air photos and orthophotos continue being an option, although their cost is high, compared to high resolution images available in the market (between 1 and 0.6m). Nevertheless, the argument goes that the quality of information obtained from an air photography continues being superior to that obtained through satellite images. It was reported that through SERVIR 24, satellite images available for the region may be accessed, and that the visualization of this system is to provide access to more recent satellite images. Another platform to which reference was made, was Google Earth, indicating that images in this platform are only available for visualization, not processing, but Google is working on the new version (Google Earth Engine 25 ) that will have processing capacities and will make the whole registry of Landsat images available through its platform, besides having options to acquire high resolution satellite images at a low cost. It was recommended to carry out the negotiations to use the Google Earth Engine in the region. On this it was informed that CATIE already made some approaches, to know what can be offered. The satellite monitoring of forest fires was also discussed, and argued that the reports on national communications to the UNFCCC require data on the occurrence of fires. It was mentioned that in the specific case of REDD+, fire data are related to the affected area, but in the satellite monitoring, the sensor detects the heat points, and in order to correlate this data with the affected areas, NASA and other research entities, have developed some algorithms. It was explained that when detecting fires, the degree of risk is an important indicator to support the adoption of measures to reduce deforestation. It was reported that INPE prepares the risk map of fires and is in the process of implementing a methodology to detect burn areas, and in the case of Central America, countries like Guatemala and Dominican Republic, have systems 19 landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov 20 modis.gsfc.nasa.gov 21 glovis.usgs.gov lidar.cr.usgs.gov

17 operating to detect fires. It was reported that through SERVIR, alliances are being searched to implement these systems in other countries. When talking about the satellite images processing, it was explained that INPE has the SPRING 26 software distributed for free, and also TERRA AMAZON 27, an integrated system to measure deforestation. The latter is distributed through the LGPL license, and has algorithms to process images. It is recommended to use SPRING and TERRA AMAZON for Central America, formalizing collaboration with INPE to train experts in the region on the use of these applications. Reference was also made to the use of the Spatial Analyst extension of the ArcGis software to classify satellite images, under the argument that most institutions in the region that work with geographic information systems (SIG), have access to this software. In the specific case of the automatic segmentation procedures applied in RSS FRA 28, it was indicated that it used the commercial software E Cognition, but that there are other options that might be used, that FAO is developing a software for the classification and segmentation, that Google is developing similar algorithms, and it is only a matter of time for these applications to be available for free. On the improvement to the image resolution, it was mentioned that with the STARFM algorithm, it is possible to improve the MODIS images resolution, simulating the Landsat resolution, and with the support of NASA, in the coming months CATHALAC will evaluate the possibility to apply this algorithm with Central American images. It was explained that for the mapping of the deforested areas, the INPE had obtained the best results through the visual interpretation and digitalization of the deforested area on image fractions of soil, generated starting from the application of a spectral mixture of algorithm, arguing that for this end, the use of digital classification always have with it a correction process, therefore it is preferable to carry out a direct digitalization on the screen. Nevertheless, it was cautioned that in the case of classifications of types of forests where it is necessary to have the discrimination of several categories or classes, it is more adequate to have digital classification. On the automatic classifiers, it was mentioned that it is always necessary to have a validation process, and that in the case of the samples taken within the framework of RSS FRA, this process is made through a visual exercise. But people who do it, have field knowledge, besides using them as a means to verify the coverage maps of the land in the different countries. Emphasis was made on the importance of evaluating the exactness of the forest coverage classification, starting from remote sensors. It is recommended to use parcels of forest inventories for the validation processes, taking into account that their sizes must be coherent with the pixel size of the images, although it was explained, that it must not be exactly the same size. Instead, the ideal would be to have parcels with dimensions greater than the size of a pixel. It was mentioned that the methodology applied in the forest inventories for Central America, consider the registry of the land uses with observations from a greater surface to the parcel, according to the minimum area described in the forest definition, and int

18 he case of Honduras and Nicaragua inventories, points of control were surveyed in the run towards the parcel, in order to be used in the proofs of the land coverage maps. It was also recommended to use in the field validations, interpretation keys and documented descriptions with photographs. Besides, it is recommended to build a regional library of spectral firms which support the classification processes of types of forests with remote sensors. Reference was made to the impulse that the REDD+ mechanism is offering for the countries to prioritize the survey of historic information on the land coverage. The difficulties derived from assessing the historic changes in the forest coverage, using maps coming from different sources, were mentioned. The case of Belize was used as an example, when opting to rebuild the historic maps of forest coverage, emphasizing that it is the best alternative, because in most of the countries, the existing maps are not comparable. They were explained that another option for the historic deforestation analysis at the national level, is to use the classification system based on samples applied by RSS FRA, which consists of the interpretation of only samples extracted from complete images and through statistical procedures deduce results for the whole country or region, arguing that for the goals of the UNFCCC reports, the results obtained through this system are sufficient, although emphasizing on the importance of having complete coverage mapping that supports the management of natural resources, due to the importance of having a better control over the processes of forest destruction in the territories, and support the definition of public policies. In this sense, reference was made to the fact that the forest coverage maps were not useful only for the REDD report, but will also have other applications. Another option mentioned, is to carry out a complete coverage mapping with low or medium resolution images for all Central America, and use greater resolutions in national and sub national territories. The recommendation is also to implement a mapping of the progressive forest coverage from the regional level, going through the national, up to the level of management of the unit, using different images resolutions and systems of classification that are ramified in larger classes, as the precision improves. The proposal also existed to implement a regional alert system for deforestation using MODIS images or others which have a periodicity that allows capturing relevant changes in relatively short periods, and emphasized the importance of having a regional data bank with remote sensors, available through Internet. The need to research on tele detection was proposed, mainly related to the detection of the forests degradation and that the round of experts in MRV is an adequate space to identify the needs or research required in the region. The institutionalization of forest coverage mapping was also part of the discussion, as well as the definition of clear competencies to develop the different tasks it entails. The recommendation is that the Central American region identifies an institution which may develop the monitoring of the forest coverage, permanently. It was mentioned that, an important aspect to take into consideration is to have this institution independent and not to have any restrictions to disclose the results, emphasizing the importance of transparency and public access to data. The recommendation was that for the March meeting of the REDD CCAD GIZ program, consult the countries on the institutionality of the monitoring process on the forest coverage. 18

19 SYNTHESIS OF DISCUSSIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF SUBJECT 5: LEVELS OF REFERENCE it was explained that there are still many methodological concerns on how to establish the reference levels of forest emissions, or reference levels (REMs). Uncertainties mentioned on the REDD+ activities to be considered, what historic periods, on the spacial scales and how to combine the REMs of different spacial scales. The recommendation is to advance with "no regret" methodologies that start evaluating data of historic deforestation, and as far as possible, degradation data, conservation, sustainable use of forests, and the increase of carbon forest reserves. Related to the differentiation of activities and areas, it was proposed that a possibility may be that the REMs consider different dynamics of change within each country, in such a manner as to assign different REMs in each area where the projects would have different values as a function of the real contribution towards mitigation (for example from the point of view of carbon credits, decrease deforestation in areas of a great deforestation dynamic, that would make it more profitable than increasing the conservations measures in risk less areas). The explanation related to considering the emissions outside the borders of forests within the REMs (leakages), was that if only the forest is monitored, the detection of leaks will not be possible, and in the sub national context, leaks will be considered only if the monitoring does not include the whole national territory, because with the national MRV systems, the forest emissions displacement from a project to a sub national level, will be reflected in the increase of emissions at the national level. When considering the losses in carbon stocks due to natural phenomena, it was explained that the reference levels should be monitored periodically, and in the case they verify the existence of natural alterations that modify the REMs, these may be updated. Another possibility mentioned was the definition of an average value during a historic period where the emissions that are above the normal dynamic of change, are identified, and therefore, are associated to extreme climate effects. It is recommended that all emissions associated to natural extreme events are excluded from REMs to avoid the introduction of "noise" in the calculations. The approach on this subject also discussed aspects related to the REDD+ mechanism. The difficulties mentioned about this mechanism were guaranteeing the permanence of the forest emissions reduction mentioning that at this point, the consequences of not keeping the emissions, is unknown, because the penalties have not been defined for the countries outside UNFCCC's Annex. A possibility mentioned is the reservation of a percentage of the funds from the project benefits, to cover future losses due to the lack of permanence, as it was done at the Kyoto Protocol, and return them to the beneficiaries, if the permanence criteria are complied with during the time determined by the project. Here the recommendation was that the national, sub national and local forest monitoring systems incorporate simple and costeffective mechanisms of MRV to determine the permanence. For this, advancement is necessary in the definition of the methodologies for this end. Related to financing MRV's, the possibility was proposed that in the future also a payment verification process were required, but that this will depend from the financial regulations defined within the framework of the 19