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REDD+ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

Significant Progress in Myanmar’s REDD+ Readiness Phase


Myanmar has the highest proportion of forest cover in mainland Southeast Asia. According to the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015 published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 44.2% of the country’s territory is covered with forests. A considerable part of these forests is still relatively intact, hosting exceptional biodiversity, including fishing cats, sun bears, dholes, binturongs, pangolins, and more than 1,000 bird species. Moreover, an estimated 70% of the country’s population is living in rural areas and heavily dependent on forests for their basic needs.

To protect the country’s natural wealth and at the same time fulfil various national and international commitments, such as Nationally Determined Contributions and Sustainable Development Goals, Myanmar is taking significant steps to implement REDD+ actions. Supported by the UN-REDD Programme, the Government of Myanmar has been implementing the Myanmar UN-REDD National Programme since 2016. Under the Programme, FAO has been supporting the government of Myanmar in the improvement and upgrading of the country’s National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) and the development of a Forest Reference Level (FRL).

A national FRL is one of the main elements that countries are required to develop if they aim to participate in the international REDD+ mechanism under the Paris Agreement. Reference levels are expressed in tonnes of CO2equivalent per year for a reference period against which the emissions and removals from a REDD+ implementation period will be compared. Thus, the FRL serves as a benchmark for assessing a country’s performance in implementing REDD+ activities.

Significant progress has been achieved in recent months as Myanmar submitted its draft FRL report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in January 2018. The emission factors for reducing deforestation were derived from data covering around 12,000 field plots from the district management plan inventories carried out during the reference period.


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