School of Environment, Resources and Development, (SERD)

ED76.9009 : Selected Topic: REDD+  3(3-0)
Course Objectives:
The REDD+ or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, plus Conservation of Forests, Sustainable Management of Forests, and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks is the climate change mitigation scheme of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.The entry into force of the Paris Climate Agreement further strengthens the need for the REDD+ scheme for achieving mitigation target set out in the Nationally Determined Contributions. The course objective is to provide students with most recent knowledge of the REDD+, its policy and rules; forest carbon accounting with modern technologies; methodologies for identification of the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, for introduction of the appropriate REDD+ activities for reducing the drivers, and for measurement of performance; and REDD+ development and financing. 
Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

1.     Analyze the trend of forest cover changes and related baseline carbon emissions or removals
2.     Identify the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and the appropriate REDD+ activities for reducing the deforestation
3.     Develop forest reference emission level scenarios
4.     Predict carbon emission reductions or removals by REDD+ activities
5.     Analyze the project eligibility for REDD+ financing
6.     Develop REDD+ project and measure performance using modern technologies
7.     Formulate low-carbon development strategies for impact investment that maximizes local benefits

Some knowledge of natural resources management and/or environmental conservation

Course Outline:
I.         Background and Introduction
1.     Reviews of climate change agreements
2.     Forestry in the climate change
3.     What is the REDD+?
II.        The Warsaw Framework for REDD+
1.     National Forest Monitoring System
2.     Forest Reference Level
3.     National Strategies and National Action Plan
4.     Safeguards Information System
III.       Measurement, Reporting and Verification and Monitoring
1.     Measurement of forest carbon stock changes
2.     Reporting of carbon emissions or removals
3.     Verification of carbon emissions or removals
4.     Monitoring of REDD+ activities
IV.       Forest Carbon Accounting Principles and Methods
1.     Measurement of carbon stocks from sample plots and exercise
2.     Forest carbon measurement using Drone
3.     Stock accounting
4.     Emission accounting
5.     Reduction or removal accounting
6.     Practical exercises
V.        Development of Forest Reference Level  
1.     Activity data and emission factor
2.     Trend of forest cover changes
3.     Baseline emissions and removals
4.     Development of Forest Reference Emission Level scenarios
5.     Development of Forest Reference Level
VI.       Identification of Drivers and REDD+ Activities
1.     Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation
2.     REDD+ activities for reducing drivers
3.     Practical exercises
VII.     Emission Reductions and Measurement of Performance
1.     Emission reductions or removals
2.     Google Earth Engine for monitoring performance
3.     Remote Sensing for monitoring performance
4.     Drone for monitoring performance
5.     Exercises
VIII.    REDD+ Project Development and Financing
1.     Site scoping visit
2.     Stakeholder consultation
3.     Project validation and verification
4.     Carbon standards
5.     REDD+ financing
6.     Forest and climate bonds
Laboratory Sessions:

Forest Carbon Accounting Practices


As subject is evolving fast, no specific textbook is provided for this course. Related documents will be provided prior to each class. Students are requested to read the latest documents produced by the UN bodies and get themselves familiar with the reference books below.

Reference Books:
1.    Sasaki, N., 2012. Tropical Forestry Carbon Benefits, Japan Society of Forest Planning Press, Tokyo.
2.    Lyster, R., MacKenzie, C., and McDermott, C. 2013. Law, Tropical Forests and Carbon: The Case of REDD+, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
3.    Leach, M. and Scoones, I., 2015.  Carbon Conflicts and Forest Landscapes in Africa (Pathways to Sustainability), Routledge (1st edition), London and New York.
4.    Coeli M Hoover, M.C., 2010. Field Measurements for Forest Carbon Monitoring: A Landscape-Scale Approach, Springer, New York.
5.    Watson, C., 2012. Forest Carbon Accounting: Overview & Principles. UNDP, UNEP, and UNEP Risoe Centre.
Journals and Magazines:
1.     Environmental Science and Policy [Elsevier]
2.     Global Ecology and Conservation [Elsevier]
3.     Forests [MDPI]
4.     Forest Ecology and Management [Elsevier]
5.     Forest Policy and Economics [Elsevier]
6.     Conservation Letters [Wiley]


Others: Most recent articles on the related topics will be distributed.

Time Distribution and Study Load:
Lecture: 45 hours
Discussion and presentation: 10 hours
Assignments, exercises, and reports: 80 hours
Teaching and Learning Methods:
1.    Classroom lecturing, fieldwork exercises and invited lectures
2.    Group discussions, group and individual presentations. Prior to each lecture, relevant literatures and handouts will be provided. Students are required to read and propose problems for group presentations and discussions.
3.    Each students will be required to complete two assignments on emergent topics
4.    Practice exercises will be provided throughout the classes
Evaluation Scheme:
Two closed-book exams will be conducted with 30% and 40% weight for mid-semester and final exams, respectively. Two assignments carrying 10 and 20% weight are to be completed and submitted by individual students.

Grade “A” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate thorough knowledge and mastery of concepts and techniques and understanding of subject matter with high degree of skill to relate them with real world examples. Grade “B” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate good knowledge and mastery of concepts and understanding of subject matter with good skill of relating them with real work cases. Grade “C” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate some knowledge of the concepts and understanding but lacks skill of relating them with real world cases. Grade “D” will be awarded if a student has poor understanding of concepts and techniques with no or little skill to relate with real world cases. Grade “F” will be awarded if student demonstrates very poor and limited knowledge and understanding of concepts and lacks the skill to relate with real world cases.