Special Issue "Advancing Methods and Models for Implementing REDD+ for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 17 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. David L. Skole

Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 517-355-1778
Interests: forest carbon management; MRV systems for REDD+; tropical deforestation monitoring; capacity building for REDD+
Guest Editor
Dr. Cheikh Mbow

Executive Director, International START Secretariat, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: carbon measurement; agroforestry; REDD+; developing countries; low carbon land management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)” welcomes submissions covering all areas of REDD+ as it applies to national and subnational applications, including measurement and reporting, development of safeguard information systems, community and participatory engagement, national forest monitoring systems, finance, and other aspects of REDD+ across the full spectrum of topic. The Special Issue will include papers that focus on the technical issues associated with measurement and monitoring as well as social and institutional issues associated with governance, benefits sharing, community-based carbon management and other related aspects. Papers related to capacity building are also encouraged.

The importance of forests and forest carbon management in climate change mitigation and adaptation is now well established in both international agreements and national programs. The establishment of the Paris Agreements following the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change has centered forest carbon management as a key element of national and international programs to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. REDD+ is the international mechanism under negotiation within the UNFCCC. Its aim is to provide a common platform for climate change mitigation through actions in the forestry and land use sectors. Although (as of this writing) no final binding agreement on an exact structure for REDD+ and protocols for its implementation exist, a significant amount of work has advanced best practices, methods, and protocols for forest carbon measurement and land cover change. This Special Issue creates an opportunity to elaborate best practices and new approaches that can inform the deliberative protocol-setting process.

The scope of REDD+ includes four elements, each of which requires both technical and social models for the measurement and implementation: Reducing emissions from deforestation, reducing emissions from forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable forest management, enhancement of carbon stocks. Each of these scope areas present opportunities for submissions. This Special Issue recognizes that REDD+ in its broadest conceptualization includes management of carbon in areas of forests—both closed forests and woodlands—as well as in landscapes that are predominantly agricultural with systems of trees outside of forests (TOF). The Special Issue is interested in papers that include regions or geographies in which forest and tree dependent communities located in woodland ecosystems and other sparsely treed landscapes, as well as closed high biomass forest areas.

Some example topical areas for consideration are: 

  • Measurement and monitoring of deforestation and forest degradation, including modalities for developing reference emission levels
  • Management of carbon in systems of trees outside of forests and agroforestry
  • Landscape level implementation of REDD+ programs and projects
  • Participatory approaches to community-based carbon measurement and management
  • Forest land restoration: methods, models, and monitoring
  • Forest governance and benefits sharing for low carbon forest management
Prof. Dr. David L. Skole
Dr. Cheikh Mbow
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Reducing Emissions of Deforestation and Forest Degradation
  • REDD+
  • Measurement, reporting and verification
  • Carbon stocks
  • Emissions and removals
  • Deforestation
  • Remote sensing
  • Governance
  • Community based carbon management
  • Social safeguards
  • Forest land restoration
  • Trees outside of forests
  • Agroforestry

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Approximating Forest Resource Dynamics in Peninsular Malaysia Using Parametric and Nonparametric Models, and Its Implications for Establishing Forest Reference (Emission) Levels under REDD+
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Forest reference (emission) levels (FREL/FRLs) are baselines for REDD+, and 34 countries have submitted their FREL/FRLs to UNFCCC by January 2018. Most of them used simple historical average without considering the stages of forest transition. This research suggested that the period of calculating
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Forest reference (emission) levels (FREL/FRLs) are baselines for REDD+, and 34 countries have submitted their FREL/FRLs to UNFCCC by January 2018. Most of them used simple historical average without considering the stages of forest transition. This research suggested that the period of calculating FREL/FRLs of simple historical average should be properly chosen if these countries are occupying multiple stages or sub-stages of forest transition. Moreover, as a case study, this research applied both parametric and nonparametric models to approximate forest area dynamics with regard to per capita GDP in Peninsular Malaysia from 1971 to 2016. This research found that, in the case of Peninsular Malaysia, among the parametric models, the biexponential model outperformed the other growth models, while two of the nonparametric models i.e. Friedman local averaging and Nadaraya–Watson kernel smoothing models are the best among all the models on the basis of their RSS, RMSE, and MAE indices. Based on the results of our leave-last-five-out CV, however, the research found that the biexponential and Nadaraya–Watson kernel smoothing models performed best, although the performance of the other two nonparametric models remains unknown. Nonparametric model results indicated that Peninsular Malaysia experienced four sub-stages since 1971 and each sub-stage had different linear trends, yet it still did not reach the turning point of forest transition. This research also found that a linear projection using historical deforestation data when the per capita GDP level reached US$8000 was appropriate for setting FREL/FRLs. Full article

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