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New climate change measurement agreement signed

Brazilian space institute and FAO partner to monitor GHGs

Photo: ©FAO
INPE head, Gilberto Câmara (left) with FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf
10 December 2009, Rome – Recognizing the importance of monitoring greenhouse gas emissions in climate change mitigation, FAO and Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) signed an agreement today, to work together in the field of emissions measuring and reporting.

The agreement, signed by FAO Director-General, Jacques Diouf and INPE head, Gilberto Câmara, lays the groundwork for a major push to assist developing countries in monitoring climate change impact.

Forest monitoring is an essential part of the UN-REDD programme (United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries). Many developing countries will need to invest in national forest monitoring systems before joining a REDD mechanism. Currently, the systems in these countries are not accurate enough for the Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of forest carbon stocks that will be required in REDD. For this reason, countries are exploring how to design and implement forest monitoring systems.

The work done by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) leads the way for large-scale monitoring of deforestation and forest degradation in order to provide accurate and transparent data to the public. This same data and systems will now be made available to other countries to help them advance their own forest monitoring.

FAO is engaged, including through the UN-REDD programme, in supporting developing countries to prepare for REDD. The development of forest monitoring systems is often very high on the list of priorities, and country programmes as well as international support functions emphasize MRV needs. FAO has worked for decades with global and national assessments of forest resources.