The establishment of a degradation monitoring program is essential because of the pronounced importance of forest degradation in Vietnam. There is a need to enhance the national inventory approach to integrate systematic and standardized methods for the quantification of above-/belowground biomass and soil carbon. Relevant governmental agencies need capacity building for biomass monitoring activities, carbon accounting and implementing measurement plots.

Monitoring of progress in implementing REDD locally requires the capacity to monitor forest C-stocks. Since payments or other benefits for local stakeholders (frequently ethnic minorities and rural poor) are related to performance, in order to be assured of fair compensation for their inputs those stakeholders need to have the means of participating in the C-stock assessments. Such approaches to participatory C-stock assessments have been developed by organizations such as ICRAF and CIFOR. Therefore the Viet Nam UN-REDD programme will test such methodologies in the district pilot sites.

Indicative activities contributing to this output will include:

• Assessment of practicality of existing methodologies to local conditions

• Design and implementation of modifications, as necessary

• Training of local stakeholders (including district and provincial officials) in application of participatory C-stock monitoring methods

• Design of monitoring programme, including establishment of sample plots and sampling protocols

• Analysis of samples through more sophisticated methods to test accuracy of participatory monitoring methods