Navigation Links
Panama REDD: Getting what you pay for

A new report by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and Canada's McGill University identifies gaps in forest monitoring and ways to improve data collection. This will produce reliable estimates of greenhouse gas emission reductions from activities aimed at reducing deforestation.

Under a United Nations proposal to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, called REDD+, developing countries would be compensated according to their success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The importance of the REDD+ proposal is that it addresses the approximately 10-15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions created by deforestation.

Panama's abundant tropical biodiversity and the fact that more than 40 percent of the country is still forested makes Panama an ideal testing ground for conservation strategies that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, Panama was one of the first countries selected by the World Bank and the United Nations REDD+ initiative to receive funding.

"We wanted to know if readily available in-country monitoring techniques would be enough to demonstrate that emissions could be reduced by the REDD+ plans that United Nations delegates have been discussing since 2005," said Johanne Pelletier, doctoral candidate at McGill University and first author of the study. "We made a model for Panama to simulate land-cover change from 2000-2030 based on two maps and the available carbon stock information, and found that better monitoring will be needed to show that emission reductions are really taking place."

The best land-use maps available to the public from Panama's National Environmental Authority were maps produced in 1992 and 2000 using information about forest cover from Landsat satellites. Cloud cover often blocks the view of satellites. The STRI-McGill team found that the 1992 map was a composite of images from 1988 to 1992 and the 2000 map was based on images dating back to 1998.

"If we could compare cloud-free images of the land cover in each of these two years, it would be easy to show that land use has changed, but the fact that satellite images from as many as five different years had to be pieced together to make a complete map obscures the land-use changes that have taken place," said Pelletier.

Only a scenario that simulates reducing deforestation by half was sufficient to show that significant emissions reductions were achieved. In other words, the "noise" around existing data is such that emission reductions that would take place in Panama due to an effort to halt deforestation would not be detectable. The use of different methodologies to measure carbon stocks in mature forest and the natural variability in forest carbon density made this the number one source of error. There is an urgent need to improve the methodology and the data available to measure emissions from the forest sector.

"Monitoring is a preeminent preoccupation of developed countries vis--vis the REDD+ proposal," said Catherine Potvin, professor at McGill University and associate staff scientist at STRI. "If they are to disburse financial resources to support the effort of developing countries that try to halt deforestation, they want to be able to track emissions reduction in a reliable way. We need to develop new, low-cost, verifiable forest monitoring techniques to clearly show that Panama's efforts to reduce deforestation and conserve forests on native lands pay off for the climate."


Contact: Beth King
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Related biology news :

1. Landslides: How rainfall dried up Panamas drinking water
2. 2 new frog species discovered in Panamas fungal war zone
3. Extinct giant shark nursery discovered in Panama
4. Shipping industry sends help as project in Panama tackles amphibian crisis
5. Sand fly barcoding in Panama reveals Leishmania strain and its potential control
6. Smithsonian hosts 2010 International CAM Workshop in Panama
7. International team of scientists to meet in Panama to discuss future of the worlds forests
8. New marine plant identification guide for Panamas Eastern Pacific
9. Panama butterfly migrations linked to El Nio, climate change
10. Panama butterfly migrations linked to El Niño, climate change
11. Fossil teeth of browsing horse found in Panama Canal earthworks
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/14/2016)... TEL AVIV, Israel , April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... in Behavioral Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the ... has already assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s ... for BioCatch, on the heels of the deployment of ... In addition, BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique ...
(Date:3/31/2016)...   LegacyXChange, Inc. ... LegacyXChange is excited to release its first ... be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed authentic ... also provide potential shareholders a sense of the value ... industry that is notorious for fraud. The video is ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful ... a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against ... collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ... DNA. Bill Bollander , CEO states, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, ... down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower ... 2,085.45, down 0.17%. has initiated coverage on the following ... Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: ... 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the development ... laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help high-potential ... for many early stage organizations - access to laboratory ... Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... partnership that will allow them to produce up ... (HiPSC) from one lot within one week. These ... their time laboriously preparing cells and spend more ... made possible through a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process ...
Breaking Biology Technology: