A national Forest Reference Emissions Level/Forest Reference Level are crucial elements to REDD+. Reference levels are expressed as tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year. It compares emissions levels for a period and assesses Belize’s performance in implementing REDD+ activities. Reference levels need to maintain consistency with the country’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory (GHGi)estimates. As a result, they should be transparent, considering historic data and be flexible so as to accommodate national circumstances and capabilities.
As a very technical process, the FREL has two main components. Activity Data (AD) and Emissions Factors (EF) give a country an understanding of its forest dynamic from an emissions standpoint. The estimation of AD and EF is the basis for REDD+ results-based payments presented in the FREL
In accordance with decision 9/CP.19, having an assessed national reference level in place is one of the requirements in order to be eligible for results-based payments. If Belize aims to implement REDD+ activities, it must voluntarily submit a reference level to the UNFCCC secretariat, provided that the information meets the international guidelines.