Monitoreo forestal nacional

IMPRESS Knowledge Exchange 2023

Sharing experiences on high-integrity measurement, reporting, and verification

The IMPRESS Knowledge Exchange took place in Rome, Italy on May 8th and aimed to share experiences in development of high-integrity measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) for forest emissions and removals. The IMPRESS project, through the UK-PACT in Kenya, has piloted a globally relevant approach to Improve Measurement for Payments to Reduce Emissions and Strengthen Sinks (IMPRESS). 

The knowledge exchange event provided an opportunity for the Kenya Forest Service to share lessons learnt with a select group of countries with similar ambitions to generate high-integrity data on forest emissions and removals to access climate finance. 

A total of 65 participants attended the event in Rome and online, of which 48 percent were women. Representatives from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Nepal, Suriname, Uganda and Viet Nam actively participated during the discussions, eager to learn from Kenya's recent experience in updating and aligning its National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) to meet the requirements of new carbon standards and how the IMPRESS approach could be replicated in their countries. 

The event started with welcome remarks from Julian Fox, Team Leader National Forest Monitoring at FAO, “This event celebrates the successful completion of the IMPRESS project. During eighteen months we have been working hand in hand with the Kenya Forest Service and today we hope to share the IMPRESS experience with other countries and expand it through our new AIM4Forests programme”. AIM4Forests, Accelerating Innovative Monitoring for Forests, is a 5-year programme funded by the UK's Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), launched the past April 22 on the Earth Day to accelerate countries' capacities in forest monitoring as part of global efforts to halt deforestation and forest degradation and restore forests. 


The IMPRESS approach 

The morning session focused on the IMPRESS approach, climate finance opportunities, and standard requirements. The session also included country examples from Ghana, Kenya and Vietnam, where presenters shared their experiences and key lessons learned towards generating a high-quality dataset.  

Indonesia also shared their experience on national policy action to neutralize carbon emissions, with an emphasis on peatlands and the use of SEPAL platform for monitoring purposes to meet criteria on international standards. Ghana, a country that received its first Emission Reduction payment from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) in January 2023, highlighted the importance of stakeholder engagement, “People are the center, and every country should take them very critically”, said Jacob Amoako, MRV officer for REDD+ in the Forestry Commission of Ghana.  

In the afternoon session, a checklist to access finance for reduced emissions and strengthened sinks was shared, followed by a group work session where countries examined seven success factors of MRV integrity for accessing jurisdictional climate finance. The group work identified needs for deliverables that replicate the IMPRESS approach in other countries and highlight relevant countries with potential for high-integrity MRV for accessing carbon finance. 

Other topics discussed were the need to institutionalize NFMS, including more effective data collection processes, the need for institutional arrangements, and the importance of estimating greenhouse gas removals. The main challenges identified are refining the MRV systems and the importance of addressing non-permanence and delivery risks, as well as having robust safeguards information system and a comprehensive benefit-sharing mechanisms. 


From IMPRESS to AIM4Forests 

The event concluded with the remarks of the moderator, Wesley Roberts, IMPRESS technical advisor, who announced that a brief report detailing the contents of the knowledge exchange and outputs from the group work will be produced. This report will be relevant for operational planning under the forthcoming UK-FAO programme, AIM4Forests

The IMPRESS Knowledge Exchange was an excellent opportunity for participants to gain a better understanding of the IMPRESS approach and how it can be used as a role model in their countries.  "The event was a success, and the results will be beneficial to countries that want to improve their MRV systems and access climate finance", Wesley stressed. “By sharing experiences and lessons learned, countries can collaborate and improve their NFMS, contributing to global efforts to combat climate change.” 

Now it is the turn of the AIM4Forests programme, which will build on the lessons learned from the IMPRESS project to continue facilitating these spaces for dialogue and knowledge exchange between countries with similar ambitions for high-integrity data on forest emissions and removals.  

“I am so pleased to have been able to join this important knowledge exchange and hear from the experiences of countries. We are excited and keen to build on the valuable lessons provided by Kenya's UK-PACT supported IMPRESS project and continue our UK International Climate Finance funding in this critical area through AIM4Forests. The AIM4Forests Programme will continue to convene collaborative exchanges such as this one to support ongoing efforts in the development of effective, high-integrity forest monitoring and MRV processes.” Fiona Stringer, Technical and Programme Lead on International Forests and Land-use (REDD+) at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, concluded.