A National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) is a set of methods, activities and institutional arrangements that aim to produce high-quality, reliable data on activities in forests (Activity Data), including forest-carbon estimates (Emissions Factors), and is a key tool to assess whether the implementation of REDD+ activities, policies and strategies are resulting in measurable climate change mitigation. An NFMS is a component of the REDD+ MRV but itself also operates on measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) functions.
An NFMS must meet certain standards: (i) uses a combination of remote sensing and ground-based inventory approaches; (ii) provides estimates that are transparent, consistent and accurate, and that reduce uncertainties; and (iii) is transparent and available for review.
Components of the National Forest Monitoring System
There are two components of the NFMS:
1.) The Satellite Land Monitoring System (SLMS)
The SLMS comprises of satellite imagery assessments to monitor changes in forest lands, as well as other land types. For REDD+ purposes, this is used to collect Activity Data (AD). The main aspect of the SLMS is the open source tool called Collect Earth which utilizes Google Earth, Google Earth Engine, Bing Maps and HERE WeGo maps.
The NFI comprises of physical on the ground data collection for the different forest types in Belize. For REDD+ purposes, this is used to collect country specific Emission Factors (EF). The main aspects of the NFI is the FORMNET-B (Forest Monitoring Network – Belize) database and the Permanent Sampling Plots (PSPs) activities that are carried out by the Forest Department of Belize.