Potential of REDD+ at a Subnational Scale in Nicaragua (Doctorate project/2011 - 2016)
In the Framework of this project we analyze the potential of reducing emissions from defor-estation and forest degradation (REDD+) according to scenarios at a subnational scale in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua has the largest remaining forest cover in Central America and at the same time, reports the highest deforestation rate in the region, moreover, in the last decades has lost almost half of its forest cover (FAO, 2011; INAFOR 2008). Therefore, tackle deforestation and forest degradation is crucial to protect natural forests, wild-life and the livelihood sustainability of communities and indigenous peoples in Nicaragua. Since 2008 this coun-try is a member of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), and currently develops its Readiness phase, which includes the design of the national REDD+ strategy, called ENDE (Estrategia Nacional de Deforestación y Degradación Forestal Evitada).
ENDE involves many components such as policy arrangements, strategic environmental and social assessment, scenarios of reference and monitoring system, so far have been developed the Readiness Preparation Proposal (RPP) which included a diagnostic about the state of forests nationwide as well as a stakeholder consultation, capacity building of forestry institutions, and also in-depth analysis of the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation (MARENA, 2013).
Despite the advances in the Readiness phase, many technical and knowledge gaps need to be addressed. Some of the key gaps identified are related to the scale to implement REDD+ (national or subnational) projects, the weight of drivers or proxies by scale and activity, the design of the monitoring, registration and verification (MRV) system, assessment of risk zones due to deforestation or forest degradation, the cost-effectiveness of the REDD+ activities, and others. Hence, we developed the following line of research focus on evaluate the REDD+ potential at a subnational scale through scenarios and multi target projects in Nicaragua. This study will contrib-ute with the Readiness phase in Nicaragua because will provide knowledge to fill gaps identified. Furthermore, this study will deliver standard approaches useful to other developing countries addressing REDD+ issues, and the results will add at the international debate around the REDD+ and its scopes.
Our project objectives are
- Identify the drivers and proxies (variables and factors) associated with deforestation and forest degrada-tion processes and their relationships within a scope of REDD+
- Define models of deforestation and forest degradation (DFD models) at a subnational scale using spatial statistics techniques.
- Quantify the accuracy of DFD models using a compound validation approach.
- Develop an approach to select areas to allocate REDD+ incentives at a subnational scale using the DFD models.
- Evaluate scenarios to perform multi target REDD+ projects at a subnational scale using DFD models.
- Ensure the links between research results with policy (international and national) under the UNFCCC Framework and according to the current state of international negotiations about REDD
This study combine different fields of research, e.g. forestry, geography, socioeconomic, and natural resources management, therefore, the project will provide a holistic understanding of the topic and exploring the use of geospatial techniques to address REDD+ issues at several scales and groups of municipalities in Nicaragua. The expected results of this study are related to the advancement of understanding of the drivers/proxies of deforesta-tion and forest degradation (DFD) at several scales in developing countries, the development of DFD models using geospatial techniques and comprehensive dataset (i.e. national census data) at subnational and regional scales, and the exploration of an approach to allocate REDD+ incentives at a subnational scale, which is today an agenda-topping theme the world over. Furthermore, the main outcomes will provide inputs for the international debate around REDD+ mechanism and its effective implementation under the UNFCCC framework.
- Sheila Edith Zamora López