At the heart of REDD+: a role for local people in monitoring forests?

F Danielsen, M Skutsch, N D Burgess, P M Jensen, H Andrianandrasana, B Karky, R Lewis, J C Lovett, J Massao, Y Ngaga, P Phartiyal, M K Poulsen, S P Singh, S Solis, M Sorensen, A Tewari, R Young, E Zahabu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (SciVal)


Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) is a policy mechanism now agreed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from developing countries through the sustainable management of forests, while providing co-benefits of biodiversity conservation and livelihood support. Implementation challenges include linking remote sensing and national forest inventories of carbon stocks, to local implementation and measuring carbon loss from forest degradation. Community-based forest monitoring can help overcome some of these challenges. We show that local people can collect forest condition data of comparable quality to trained scientists, at half the cost. We draw on our experience to propose how and where local REDD+ monitoring can be established. Empowering communities to own and monitor carbon stocks could provide a rapid and cost-effective way of absorbing carbon dioxide emissions, while potentially contributing to local livelihoods and forest biodiversity conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-167
Number of pages10
JournalConservation Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • community-based management
  • locally based monitoring
  • forest degradation
  • co-benefits
  • REDD
  • climate change
  • governance


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