This article reviews early experiences under development in eleven projects financed by the Alliance Mexico REDD+ to identify the potential integration of community-based monitoring. The projects are based in located in four Early Action Areas.
The evaluation of the projects is based on a multi-criteria analysis, which considers the potential to produce information relevant for national monitoring systems and the prospects for sustained monitoring practices over time. Results indicate there are challenges to harmonising monitoring practices and protocols between projects, as the proposed activities differ greatly from one project to another. Technical specifications for integrating local data into national systems are thus required. The results of these projects can help to identify best practices for planning and implementing REDD+.
Findings indicate that although in general, the projects do have in place the resources and capacities to gather, analyse and report information as part of community-based monitoring, usually these reside with non-local experts (i.e. NGOs and academia). However, there are notable examples where these capacities reside in the communities. If national forest monitoring systems are geared to include information gathered through locally-driven processes, REDD+ should promote activities that produce local benefits. Countries will, however, need to build local capacities for managing and monitoring natural resources and will also need to create agreements for sharing and using local data.