Measuring carbon in tropical forests: Q and A with Louis Verchot

Interview by James Maiden

Of all the obstacles associated with implementing REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) effectively, greenhouse gas accounting and inventories, is one obstacle being overcome through CIFOR’s research in tropical forests, says Lou Verchot in the interview below.

“Continuing this research is going to be important to address the technical constraints of accounting for your emissions but also targeting your interventions so you get the most bang for your buck,” he says.

Quantifying the impact of emission reduction schemes such as REDD+ is a technical challenge that requires sophisticated research that can better inform policy makers so that their forest-related decisions and improved practices have the intended and best impact on the atmosphere.

Verchot and his teams of researchers are working across the tropics, particularly in carbon rich forest types such as peat forests and mangroves. “So when you invest money,” he says, “You actually get the highest emissions reductions possible or the lowest cost emission reductions possible.”