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Moving on From Experimental Approaches to Advancing National Systems for Detecting, Measuring and Monitoring Forest Degradation Across Asia

Moving on From Experimental Approaches Measuring and Monitoring Forest Degradation

In June 2015, USAID LEAF, in conjunction with partners USFS International Program, SilvaCarbon, UN-REDD, JRC/ReCaREDD, and the USAID Servir program, held a workshop that aimed to build a common regional understanding of the rationale for measuring and monitoring forest degradation in the context of climate change mitigation. The workshop also provided a platform for national policy makers and technicians and international researchers to share information on methodologies and approaches for measuring and monitoring forest degradation.

Some of the objectives that were achieved at the workshop include identifying country aims in accounting for forest degradation and using this to examine forest degradation definitions and issues of cost-effectiveness; exchanging country information on methodologies and technical approaches, their current operational status and utility for estimating GHG-emissions at the national level; reviewing international developments in measuring and monitoring forest degradation and opportunities for advancing country led efforts; completing a degradation measuring and monitoring decision framework that considers critical decisions and key components necessary in developing a functional plan for measuring and monitoring forest degradation at the national level; and identifying capacity, resource needs and other challenges that must be overcome to implement the above measuring and monitoring plan within a 24 month period.

Following are materials from the workshop: 


Workshop Report

Why Measure?       

1. Why worry about forest degradation? Multiple perspectives and multiple dimensions:

2. UNFCCC and IPCC guidance on measuring and monitoring forest degradation:

3. Addressing forest degradation: policy imperative:

4. Measuring degradation for REDD+, Forest Reference Levels:

Why Measure? Country Case Studies

5. Forest degradation monitoring in Vietnam:

6. Forest degradation in Sri Lanka:

Why Measure? Guidance

7. Critical decisions and key components:

8. Measuring and monitoring forest degradation, regional assessment:


9. Estimating significance of forest degradation:

10. Approaches to monitoring forest degradation for REDD+, GOFI/GOFC-GOLD Guidance for Asia:

Data and Approach

11. Degradation accounting methods:

12. Remote sensing of forest degradation in SE Asia:

Data and Approaches (Activity Data – Medium Resolution)

13. Mapping forest degradation and deforestation, Google Earth Engine and CLASLite:

14. Landsat and time series analysis in Vietnam:

15. Using Collect Earth to measure and monitor forest degradation in PNG:

Data and Approaches (Activity Data – High  Resolution)

16. Status for development of activity data and detecting degradation in Laos:

17. Using LIDAR remote sensing to detect forest change:

18. Monitoring forest degradation using LIDAR and SAR:

19. Use of Lidar in Nepal (not presented at workshop):

Data and Approaches (Emission Factors)

20. Measuring Degraded Forests in Bangladesh:

22. Measuring degraded forests: developing emission factors in Lao PDR:

Methods and Utility

22. Shifting cultivation: activity data and emission factors for an integrated, scalable system:

23. Logging (planned and unplanned):

24. Fire emissions (planned and unplanned), activity data and emissions factors for an integrated, scalable system:

25. Increasing data certainty:

Planning and Next Steps

26. Strengthening national and regional capacities for reporting on the mitigation actions of the forest sector:


Click here to learn more about USAID LEAF's work addressing forest degradation.


Start Date: 
Tuesday, 16 June, 2015 (All day)
End Date: 
Thursday, 18 June, 2015 (All day)
Bangkok, Thailand