After 2 years of intensive work, Saint Lucia finalized its forest conservation/emissions targets, called Forest Reference Emissions Levels (FREL), FREL Technical Assessment (done by 2 independent roster of experts of the UNFCCC) and received its FREL/FRL Technical Assessment Report under the UNFCCC REDD+ Mechanism.
The journey started in 2019 with a joint mission of CfRN experts joined by experts from Panama, Belize and Dominica visiting Saint Lucia to advise. Previously, Saint Lucia had conducted an annual Land use and land-use changes (LULUC) assessment for the periods 2000 to 2008, using satellite monitoring tool - Collect Earth. These new data had been used for a previous LULUC assessment map in 2010.
Then, Saint Lucia updated its Forests and Other Land Use – Greenhouse Gas Inventory (FOLU- GHGi), using the CfRN Foundational Platform, which was submitted in their 1st Biennial Update Report. The process took several training sessions on IPCC guidelines and UNFCCC decisions. Saint Lucia dedicated a team of six forestry experts to the project. This training was completed in 2020.
“It has been an amazing journey that started in 2019, when we first traveled to the island to meet the team. We applaud them for that commitment and dedication, which resulted in a robust capacity building process,” said Milena Nino, CfRN Technical Expert
Using CfRN ‘s Foundational Platform for measuring and monitoring, the Saint Lucia team extracted all the relevant information for their FREL/FRL and ensured full consistency with the GHG inventory. The same data, methods, and assumptions were used. To complete this stage, the Saint Lucia team had to learn about UNFCCC REDD+ decisions and reporting. In January 2021, Saint Lucia submitted their first FREL/FRL 2000-2013 to UNFCCC REDD+ mechanism.
Finally, the UNFCCC technical assessment process started very positively with comments and suggestions for Saint Lucia, which the team was able to incorporate. As a result, Saint Lucia submitted a modified FREL/FRL in May 2021.
“The assessment team notes that the data and information used by Saint Lucia in constructing its FRL are transparent, complete and in overall accordance with the guidelines contained in the annex to decision 12/CP.17”, “the AT commends Saint Lucia for showing strong commitment to continuously improving its FRL estimates in line with the stepwise approach”, “Representative from the UNFCCC REDD+ Technical Assessment team