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With an extensive track record in development in the forestry, land use, natural resources management sectors, we are well placed to respond to REDD+, and have a good track record in doing so. We have in-house staff with core knowledge, experience and expertise on REDD+ readiness activities, strategy development, institutional development, measurement, reporting and verification, piloting and other issues and incentives associated with forest-based climate change mitigation.
LTS’s practical work on REDD+ implementation is best demonstrated by our ability to deliver a range of services, including:

  • Upstream REDD+ policy support – we support the design and implementation of readiness frameworks and strategies under the (FCPF, UNREDD), design investment strategies (FIP), and advise on the development of national and subnational reference levels/reference emission levels and MRV systems, conduct opportunity cost and other cost assessments important for REDD+ readiness.
  • Building REDD+ institutional capacity – we improve capabilities to serve REDD+ focal points via greater access to relevant information, international policy and technical assistance.
  • Legislative analysis – we provide advice and analysis to ensure developers have an in-depth understanding of domestic law and policy from a project development and investment perspective where rights, interests, and benefit sharing are paramount.
  • Detailed project design – we provide advisory services related to every step of forest carbon project design and implementation.
  • Project identification – Preliminary assessment of project eligibility, additionality, GHG emissions reduction potential and economic viability.
  • Project feasibility assessment- Identification of baseline and eligible AFOLU and REDD+ methodologies, assessment of leakage threat and other risks, barrier analysis and environmental and social impacts); and
  • Project design / implementation- Design and development of forest carbon projects to validation under voluntary standards.
  • Reference scenarios – we can support development of “business as usual” reference scenarios based on historic data and / or modeled approaches, taking account of national circumstances.
  • Measurement, Reporting and Verification – we design and support to MRV framework development and implementation processes by analysing the cost-benefit of different approaches and collaborating with key institutions to deliver forest monitoring and inventory, land cover and land use change, and mapping services. Broader forest monitoring, e.g. in relation to safeguards aspects including environmental, biodiversity and social impacts is also undertaken.
  • Benefit sharing mechanisms – we work with project partners to build stable, sustainable REDD+ related benefit sharing systems designed to enhance the long-term economic security of the poor.
  • Fund management structures – our services in this area include designing and managing climate investment funds such as the Congo Basin Forest Fund, and monitoring and evaluating large-scale REDD+ investments such as the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative.
  • Capacity assessments – we assess REDD+ strategy implementation frameworks, in terms of capacity requirements, financial support needed, and gaps existing with regard to potentially available resources.
  • Private sector engagement and compliance support – we help private companies understand the REDD+ regulatory requirements and opportunities which inform sound sustainability practice.
  • Monitoring and evaluation – we assess the impact, relevance, effectiveness and sustainability at REDD+ policy, initiative, programmatic and project levels.
  • LTS has in-house GIS capacity to investigate forest cover change through development of multi-layered maps that will assist in the analysis of drivers and causes of forest cover change in the country.

Satellite Monitoring for Forest Management
Last Updated: January 27th, 2017

The SMFM project will aim to improve global knowledge and capabilities for forest degradation assessment and monitoring dry forest landscapes by building upon and complimenting existing international programs. Second, the SMFM project will support selected countries to develop their Earth Observation (EO) capacity. It will develop and test new or improved methods to process and analyse new satellite EO datasets, with assessments of EO processing methods completed through practical implementation in selected Partner Countries.

The Project Development Objective (PDO) is “Improved methods for satellite monitoring of tropical dry forest landscapes and forest degradation assessment are available to countries, with technical knowledge and capacity developed for global application in sustainable forest management, including REDD+.”

  • Tropical dry forests are subject to highest rates of deforestation and degradation around the world.
  • Forest degradation is a challenge across dry tropical forests and impacts sustainability of goods and services that these forests provide.
  • Most countries still do not have adequate monitoring capabilities, particularly the use of satellite EO technology.
  • Perceptions of forest degradation vary depending on the cause, the particular goods or services of interest, and the temporal and spatial scales considered.
  • Full understanding of forest degradation processes and of forest condition is lacking in most tropical countries, due to the technical challenges related to the assessment of different types of forest degradation.
  • Monitoring of forest degradation requires that tools are applicable for multiple types of tropical and sub-tropical forests, and that forest degradation can be detected by direct or indirect proxy measures.

Our solution: SMFM project will

  • Develop satellite Earth Observation (EO) methods and global knowledge on monitoring tropical dry forest ecosystems and forest degradation assessment.
  • New earth observation methods developed for monitoring tropical dry forest landscapes and forest degradation assessment.
  • Dry forest and forest degradation map products for sub-national areas, suitable for forest monitoring and management planning purposes.
  • Improve national technical capacity for monitoring of tropical dry forest landscapes and forest degradation assessment through training in new satellite EO methods and data.
  • Improve global knowledge of new satellite EO methods and data for monitoring tropical dry forests and forest degradation assessment. Recent advances in satellite EO data provision provide unprecedented views of the Earth and present an opportunity to tackle existing limitations in forest monitoring capabilities:
    1. European Space Agency’s Sentinel missions, United States’ Landsat -8 mission provide open access – dramatic increase in available data
    2. Improved EO methods and tools are required to take advantage of the new Sentinel mission capabilities

Image credit to NASA

Evaluation of the Congo Basin Forest Fund
Last Updated: November 29th, 2016

The Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) is a ten year programme, which was established in 2008 and is set to finish in 2018. However, two of the key funders have stopped funding the CBFF, thus providing the impetus for an independent evaluation.

LTS International Limited (LTS) has been contracted to provide a near terminal evaluation of the CBFF. The ToR calls for background papers on the performance of the portfolio of CBFF projects (the Portfolio Performance Review; PPR) and the performance of the CBFF programme governance and implementation (the Organisation and Management Performance Review; OMPR) and a primary data collection and analysis component of the evaluation (the Case Studies Report). The findings from these background papers will provide the basis for the Draft and Final Evaluation Reports, which will inform decision making at the executive level (the donors, CBFF Governing Council; GC, AfDB Board, etc.) and to ensure accountability and lesson learning at the project level (for the CBFF Secretariat / OSAN) and implementing partners/project grantees).

Image credits to MONUSCO

Background Paper and Analysis of Country Data to Support Development of Comprehensive Landscape Methodological Approach
Last Updated: July 13th, 2016

The BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) seeks to promote reduced greenhouse gas emissions from land-use. The Initiative will support reducing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+), increasing sustainable agriculture, and smarter land-use planning, policies and practices. ISFL is currently operating in Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Zambia. Contributors to the ISFL include Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

ISFL designs programmes that focus on an integrated approach to the entire landscape with the ultimate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and producing co-benefits such as improvements to livelihoods or agricultural productivity. For example, an ISFL programme could coordinate efforts in sustainable agricultural production projects, agro-forestry schemes, assisted natural regeneration, energy projects, water management, and REDD+ to align objectives and maximise impacts in the jurisdiction. Ultimately, jurisdictions that implement these measures are expected to generate emission reductions that can be purchased by ISFL through a results-based financing mechanism.

This project will produce a background document that will support future discussions on the development of a comprehensive landscape methodological approach. The document will: (i) describe and analyse the IPCC guidelines to ensure that ISFL Contributors have a common understanding of the guidelines and the decisions required to build the ISFL methodological approach and (ii) provide an analysis of available relevant data in ISFL countries. As part of this analysis, an understanding of the quality of data sets will also be ascertained.

LTS is leading the project, from a technical and management perspective, deploying a multi-disciplinary team of experts. The keys tasks include:

  • Provide a description of the key concepts in the IPCC guidelines to ensure that ISFL Contributors have a common understanding of the IPCC
  • Provide an analysis of available historic relevant data in ISFL programme countries
  • Identify key decisions and options going forward
  • Present and explain the results of the first three tasks to the ISFL Contributors

The main outputs include a concise background report, written for non-technical experts, and supported by evidence (in annexes).

Due Diligence on a REDD+ Project in Kenya for IFCs Finance for Forestry (F4F) Bond
Last Updated: November 23rd, 2015

LTS provided technical support to International Finance Corporation (IFC) Climate and Carbon Finance Unit (GCCCU) in undertaking an evaluation of an existing Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community Biodiversity (CCB) Standard verified REDD+ project in Kenya. The evaluation determined the likely future viability of the project based on a systematic review of its components, including the management system, business, legal, and financial assumptions.

The evaluation included the basis of the project’s financial forecasting; the regulatory environment; existing project conditions; adherence to the Project Design Document (PDD); application of social and environmental management systems; and stakeholder engagement and benefit sharing mechanisms. It also included an assessment (as appropriate) of the effectiveness and impact of sub-projects on both project owners and stakeholders. Additionally, an evaluation of the project’s compliance against IFC Performance Standards (PS) was undertaken, with resulting actions developed to guide the closure of identified gaps.

LTS prioritised two main activities in the evaluation; a desk review and site visits. We undertook an extensive desk review to gain an understanding of the project and determine its compliance with VCS and CCB standards. We also used the desk review to develop a due diligence matrix and checklists of components that have been verified in the field such as application of project administrative, management and governance systems. We then conducted site visits to verify the checklists and evaluate the implementation of the management systems for the REDD+ project through interviews with responsible personnel, reviews of staff trainings, documentation at site level, audit schedules and systems checks.

Review of Civil Society Organisations working on REDD+
Last Updated: October 16th, 2015

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) provides grants to civil society organisations (CSOs) working on climate and forest issues in developing countries through its Civil Society Department. Norad currently supports several CSOs that implement projects in DRC. Norad has provided grants to CSOs since 2009, and will enter into new agreements for the period 2016-2020. Amongst the prioritized countries for the grant scheme is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This external review is part of the overall assessment of selected Norad grant recipients working with climate and forest issues in DRC. The review assesses the results of four CSOs funded by the Civil Society Department under the current grant period (2010-2015). The findings from the review will inform Norad’s decisions regarding continuation or adjustments of future cooperation with the organisations in the upcoming grant period from 2016-2020.
The light-touch review describes, assesses and verifies the results achieved over the last 5-6 years. The scope includes the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) and Care Norway.

LTS has led the theory based evaluation. The evaluation included the design of the evaluation framework, and interviews and focus group sessions with relevant stakeholders.

Development of Methodologies to Assess Changes in Carbon Stock for Managed Conservation Areas
Last Updated: May 7th, 2015

This assignment provides RSPO with information to guide the development of an approach to account for net-greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from conservation areas within oil palm plantations. An initial methodology was proposed to provide a framework for further development of accounting approaches. The proposed methodology seeks balance the need for accurate assessment of GHG emissions and removals with the feasibility of implementing the approach given current data availability, and the resource and capacity constraints faced by plantation managers. Calculation approaches for assessing GHG emissions and removals in natural forest areas maintained within palm oil plantations as buffers or because of their high conservation value have not been developed in the current version of PalmGHG. This assignment explores accounting approaches and methodological options that could allow RSPO members to include conservation areas in future GHG accounting. It aims to provide RSPO with information to guide the development of a GHG accounting approach that can be integrated with PalmGHG for assessing GHG emissions and removals from managed conservation areas within RSPO oil palm plantations.

Evaluation of Carbon Market Finance Programme
Last Updated: January 8th, 2015

The GBP 50 million CMFP represents a highly innovative, large, and timely intervention to increase the flow of international carbon finance to least development countries with a focus on Africa.

It is widely accepted by the international community that there is limited evidence for how carbon market financing can deliver development benefits, particularly benefits at a community and household level. The CMFP aims to explore if the carbon market can deliver better for the poor by testing new business models to support low carbon investment in Africa using carbon finance.

LTS is the lead evaluator of the CFMP, over an 11 year period (2014-2025). The scope of the evaluations will cover activities supervised by the World Bank Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) through the two trust funds – the Ci-Dev Readiness Fund and the Ci-Dev Carbon Fund. LTS will closely track 20 or so pilot interventions in Uganda Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Mali and Nigeria covering off-grid energy, biogas and water purification. The evaluation deliverables include: inception report (after 6 months), biannual reports of M&E data; ongoing evaluation reports; 1st formative evaluation report (by 2016); mid-term (formative) evaluation report (by 2019); a final evaluation report (by 2025).

LTS will use evaluation best practice to inform our evaluation design and mixed method approach that includes: process tracing and outcome mapping, portfolio analysis, policy analysis, small sample surveys, in-country quasi-experimental quantitative surveys, economic analyses and value for money assessments, meta analyses of the substantial clean development mechanism data, and country and project case studies.

Image credit: Brendan Howard

Liberia-National REDD+ Strategy Consultation
Last Updated: January 1st, 2015

REDD+ is being rolled out in several countries under the auspices of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the UN-REDD Program and the FCPF is a global partnership focused on (REDD+) and supports nationally-led REDD+ processes and promotes the informed and meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities, in national and international REDD+ implementation. The FCPF complements the UNFCCC negotiations on REDD+ by demonstrating how REDD+ can be applied at the country level and by learning lessons from this early implementation phase.

The REDD+ readiness preparation phase will assist Liberia in: (i) developing its national reference scenario for emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; (ii) developing national REDD+ strategy for reducing deforestation and forest degradation; and (iii) designing national monitoring, reporting and verification systems for REDD+. The REDD+ readiness phase is aimed at conducting an analysis of the different land use options that will take into consideration the trade-offs and complementarities of various land uses, based on different criteria such as: revenues for the Government of Liberia (GoL), livelihoods for the communities, benefits for the communities, environmental and social sustainability, and only as a last criterion and additional benefit, the possibility of carbon credit.

LTS supported REDD+ stakeholders with in-depth analytical work to assess and validate preliminary strategic options for the REDD+ Strategy, including:

  • Quantitative analysis of the different land use options in forested and mixed agricultural lands for development of the national REDD+ Strategy for Liberia. The options analysis will look at the trade-offs and complementarities of various land uses, based on different criteria such as: revenues for GoL, livelihoods for the communities, benefits for the communities, environmental and social sustainability, and potential emission reductions;
  • Cost-benefit analyses of different proposed REDD+ Strategy options (opportunity, implementation, transaction cost);
  • Policy, legal and institutional analysis of domestic and international frameworks for REDD+; and
  • Preparation of a roadmap for the implementation of the strategy.

Throughout the REDD+ strategy development process facilitated by LTS, the consultants sought stakeholder feedback through consultations to provide inputs, guide and validate analytical work, and to accompany REDD+ Strategy formulation. Consultations were conducted in close co-ordination with the team conducting the Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA), and inputs from SESA process fed into the design of the REDD strategy.

Final Report

Technical Annex A – Liberia’s national REDD+ strategy

Technical Annex B – Liberia’s REDD+ roadmap

Technical Annex C – Forest cover and land use analysis

Technical Annex D – REDD+ strategy options

Technical Annex E – Cost-benefit analysis of REDD+ strategy options

Technical Annex F – Policy, legal and institutional framework analysis

Technical Annex G – Consultation Report


Provision of Baseline Data and Cadastral Maps for Priority Provinces in Indonesia: Aceh Province
Last Updated: December 21st, 2014

UNDP aimed to consolidate information of forest land use so that it can be utilised by all stakeholders in a combined effort to implement REDD+ projects in Indonesia. Through the Government activities and support of NGOs, CSOs, academics and national and international institutions involved in community mapping and related field work, important information has been gathered regarding the communities and businesses directly involved in land use during the 80s, 90s, and recently. Implementation of REDD+ is reliant on information about Indonesia’s current landscape including demographic data on the communities who use the land and cadastral maps regarding the land’s administrative and/or traditional boundaries. This information will enable REDD+ to facilitate communities in designing sustainable methods whereby they can share the benefits of forest conservation and enhancement of carbon stocks through afforestation and reforestation.

The purpose of this assignment was to “coordinate the collection and assessment of data relevant to the requirements for REDD+ implementation”. The objectives of this assignment were as follows:

  1. Design and implement processes for Data collection, classification and analysis;
  2. Identify and analyse inconsistencies/incompleteness of Data and initiate processes to mitigate inconsistencies / incompleteness;
  3. Undertake a multi-Stakeholder process of review and endorsement of the Data;
  4. Share the Data to REDD+ policy makers, Stakeholders and interest groups;
  5. Identify and assess gaps in current institutional and individual capacities required to ensure institutionalisation of integrated Data;
  6. Design a process for establishing and/or strengthening the required institutional and individual capacities including the training programmes in the Province and relevant Districts;
  7. Conduct structured training and related capacity development activities in Data management for key Stakeholders;
  8. Support and build upon IMS/ICT systems for managing and maintaining Data in the Province;
  9. Ensure Data ownership within communities, local government and the provincial government of the Province; and
  10. Provision of information on forest cover and peat, deforestation, and other required data for calculation of reference emission level (REL).

LTS worked closely with Daemeter on this assignment.

Miombo Forests, Livelihoods and Climate Resilient Landscapes: Scoping Study
Last Updated: December 2nd, 2014

In many parts of Africa, wood fuels are often the only domestically available and affordable sources of energy and account for over 90% of primary household energy consumption in both rural and urban regions. Wood fuels are also an important source of fuel in the service and industrial sectors, especially in rural areas. As natural sources of supply are depleted, the cost of wood fuel is rising, particularly for the urban poor. Other negative social impacts of wood fuels are also well documented and include exploitation of producers and traders by middlemen and elites, health impacts from indoor smoke inhalation and the opportunity costs associated with fuel wood collection, especially for women and children.

DFID intends to develop a new regional forestry programme focused on wood fuels, livelihoods and resilient landscapes in the Miombo woodlands of eastern and southern Africa. The overall aim of the programme will be to promote sustainable wood fuel energy systems that improve livelihoods and reduce deforestation rates (and associated carbon emissions). It will take an integrated approach, supporting interventions along the entire wood fuel value chain, and recognising wider land uses and ecosystem services within these woodlands. Given the complex nature of the sector, it is likely that the programme will require a mix of interventions; grounded by political economy and contextual analyses in each of the focal countries.

The overall objectives of this work are to:

  • Establish the evidence base and Theory of Change for a possible DFID intervention, focussed on wood fuels in the Miombo woodlands of Eastern and Southern Africa.
  • Identify and assess potential approaches and delivery options for a DFID intervention.
  • Identify and engage with key stakeholders working on this issue in the region.
Service areas:
climate change