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REDD Web Platform: United States of America

Submission of views published in UNFCCC documents:

FCCC/SB/2013/MISC.3 Views on the matters referred to in decision 1/CP.18, paragraphs 34 and 35.
FCCC/AWGLCA/2012/MISC.3 Views on modalities and procedures for financing results-based actions and considering activities related to decision 1/CP.16, paragraphs 68-70 and 72. Submissions from Parties.
FCCC/SBSTA/2012/MISC.1 Views on issues identified in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 72 and appendix II. Submissions from Parties.
FCCC/SBSTA/2011/MISC.7 Views on methodological guidance for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. Submissions from Parties.
FCCC/SBSTA/2007/MISC.14 Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries: approaches to stimulate action. Submissions from Parties.

Information submitted by the United States of America

Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) Program

Standard Operating Procedures for Terrestrial Carbon Measurement

This manual provides standardized field measurements, based on proven field methods, for quantifying carbon emissions and removals from changes in the use and management of lands. These procedures are a key component of a quality assurance and quality control plan needed to provide confidence in results of climate mitigation activities.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

USAID, along with the U.S. Department of State, spends approximately $90 million annually to reduce deforestation, increase sequestration, and enhance sustainable forest management.  Some examples of USAID programs include:

  • Spending $30 million annually for conservation in the Amazon, including the Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon and over $100 million since 2002 to targeted conservation programs as part of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership.
  • Working with the Center for International Forestry (CIFOR) to create a suite of training modules on topics related to forests and climate change, including modules on carbon accounting, forest management, trading carbon from forests, and international policy.
  • Assessing forest conservation and natural resources management programs – in countries such as Indonesia, Liberia and Bolivia – to see how they can be redesigned, to better incorporate forest climate practices and policies.
  • Further information:


U.S. Forest Services (USFS)

USFS has developed research-based adaptation strategies, carbon sequestration models and a body of collaborative resource management practices applied in more than fifty countries around the world.  Some of the relevant areas where the USFS is working:

  • Reducing deforestation and restoring degraded lands;
  • Improving the management and conservation of forests and grasslands;
  • Fostering the use of sustainably produced wood for energy, and as a substitute for other more energy-intensive materials; and
  • Research, decision support tools and innovative policies for the future.

In the past year, the USFS has continued to develop robust partnerships around the world to address the threat of climate change. USFS scientists are cooperating with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) to quantify the contribution of mangrove forests to carbon sequestration and emissions.  In collaboration with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), the USFS helped sponsor a large conference in Sweden focusing on the challenge of adapting forests ecosystems and dependent communities to climate change. Finally, the USFS is providing technical support to World Bank FCPF recipient countries such as Liberia, Vietnam and Mexico and other bilateral partners to improve inventory and forest management systems in order to advance global efforts at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

USFS website on climate change and forests


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA is helping developing countries build national inventory management systems and offers two sets of tools, consistent with UNFCCC reporting guidelines and available through the web-link below.

  • National System Templates that can accommodate varying levels of national capacity and documents and institutionalize the inventory management process.
  • Targeted data collection strategies and software tools to assist developing countries in moving to higher Tier IPCC methods.

In particular, the U.S. EPA—along with USAID and the University of Colorado—is working with forest inventory teams in developing countries to enhance technical capacity and develop sustainable inventory management systems. This work has included development of a software tool that provides support for estimating the majority of emissions and removals from Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry and Agriculture. Thus far, the program has assisted 7 Central American countries and is currently working with 6 Southeast Asian countries on their national greenhouse gas inventories for land use, land use change and forestry, and agriculture.


U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

USGS has a record of partnerships with developing countries studying land use, resource management, and climate related issues. The international science team at the USGS' Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (EROS) has cooperative projects with developing countries, using satellite based data to monitor the changes to land cover features. Additionally, the North American Node of UNEP GRID, located at the USGS EROS Center, is in the forefront of applying information technology tools such as remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and web mapping to address the relationships between the environment and human populations. Utilizing the expert knowledge of staff and visiting scientists, the information created with these tools provide policy-makers a scientific basis for making decisions.

USGS is also releasing satellite data at no cost.  By the end of 2008 the entire archive of data collected from the Landsat series, as far back as 1972 and current daily new acquisitions, will be available over the Internet.  This release will make land observation data available to a global science community for monitoring land surface changes over a multi-decade period. 

Download Landsat scenes:
- Using USGS Global Visualization Viewer
- Using Earth Explorer


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

NASA’s Land-cover and Land-Use Change (LCLUC) program within its Earth Science Enterprise seeks to further the scientific understanding of the consequences of land-cover and land-use change for continued provision of ecological goods and services, the carbon and water cycles and the management of natural resources.  It uses NASA’s remote sensing technology to monitor global land cover change and improve understanding of human interaction with the environment, and thus provide a scientific foundation for sustainability, vulnerability and resilience of land systems and their use.

NASA LCLUC is also involved in a joint initiative with the US Geological Survey (USGS), called the “Global Land Survey” (GLS).  Moderate resolution (c. 30m) data are useful for monitoring forest change, but the cost of using such data has been prohibitively high for some resources managers and scientists working in tropical forest countries.  GLS will make freely available a global time-series of moderate resolution satellite data, preprocessed to be directly comparable between dates (orthorectified) for studying forest and land cover change.  Currently NASA and USGS are generating a data set for c. 2005, which will complement previous global data sets for 1980, 1990, and 2000.  The plan for the 2010 data set is to develop this into an international initiative in the framework of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), by including data from various international satellites of similar resolution.  Partnerships are currently being sought for this international collaboration.

NASA LCLUC also supports several large regional science campaigns and programs, including the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia, the Central African Regional Program for the Environment, the Northern Eurasian Earth Science Partnership Initiative, and the Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study.  LCLUC is also a contributor to the international Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD) program, a project of the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS).

NASA's LCLUC program


U.S. Department of The Treasury

The Tropical Forest Conservation Act allows eligible developing countries to relieve official debt owed to the U.S. Government while generating funds to support tropical forest conservation programs.  The U.S. Department of the Treasury negotiates and oversees these agreements together with the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development.  To date the US has concluded 14 debt-for-nature agreements with 12 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, generating $188 million over 10-25 years to help conserve more than 20 million hectares of tropical forests.


U.S. Department of State

(a) The U.S. State Department promotes international dialogue, cooperation and policy development to strengthen forest law enforcement and governance.  The State Department is a lead agency—working with USAID, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Trade Representative—for the United States Initiative Against Illegal Logging, which helps countries combat illegal logging and the export of illegally harvested timber and timber products.  The initiative focuses on the Congo and Amazon Basins, and South and Southeast Asia, identifying and reducing threats from illegal logging by promoting transparent markets and strengthening legal regimes, enforcement of forest laws, community-based actions, and technology transfer.

(b) The State Department is also supporting the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, as a means to build “readiness” for countries who want to reduce their emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).  The Facility will also test methodologies to provide “positive incentives” for REDD.

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