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Establishing a reference level for REDD+ from 1990 to 2010, Viet Nam

This report has been produced by the USAID-funded Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (USAID LEAF) program in its support for the development of the Lam Dong Provincial REDD+ Action Plan (PRAP). It is one of five technical reports that have been developed to help the Lam Dong Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in defining an appropriate Forest Reference Level for the Province from which its policies and measures introduced to reduce emissions and increase greenhouse gas removals from the forestry sector can be measured against. Specifically, this report considers the context in which the provincial Forest Reference Level will be set, consolidates the previous analytical work to present a number of options in setting a Forest Reference Level for the province of Lam Dong and recommends a number of actions that should be taken to reduce uncertainty levels in the setting of the Forest Reference Level for the province of Lam Dong.

Reference levels depict business-as-usual (BAU) greenhouse gas emissions from forest and other land cover changes, thereby providing a benchmark for estimating emission reductions due to REDD+ implementation. Reference levels depict what the emissions scenario would be in the absence of REDD+ implementation, and thus provides the basis for measuring its success. Reference levels are based on greenhouse gases historically emitted, and can potentially be adjusted for specific national circumstances in cases where historical emissions alone are not a reliable predictor of future emissions. In this report we summarize guidelines and/or criteria for the establishment of reference levels in keeping with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Climate (UNFCCC) decisions, and develop a historical trend reference scenario for Lam Dong Province, Vietnam for the time period 1990 to 2010.