Brazil has taken a step-by-step approach to developing the national forest reference emission levels (FREL), as provided for in Decision 12 / CP.17, paragraph 10 of the UNFCCC. A subnational FREL for the Amazon biome was submitted to the UNFCCC in June 2014 to transition to a national FREL, incorporating other biomes and activities as soon as relevant data and information are available.
The FREL Amazônia was constructed based on historical deforestation data, as measured by the Brazilian Amazonian Satellite Monitoring Program (Prodes), developed by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), which is the official data of deforestation in the Legal Amazon of Brazil.
The Amazon FREL is a dynamic average of CO₂ emissions, associated with gross deforestation since 1996 and updated every five years using the most recent historical data consistent with the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory available on the UNFCCC website at the moment of its elaboration. The base year was chosen to exclude the deforestation peak observed in 1995 and also to maintain consistency with policies and initiatives central to REDD + in Brazil, including the PPCDAm PNMC, which has 1996 as its base year. The dynamic nature of the FREL for the Amazon biome seeks to reflect national circumstances, including the effects of policies and plans implemented to reduce deforestation in the Amazon biome, as well as improvements in data quality and availability. The Amazon FREL does not include hypotheses about possible future changes in national policies.
During the second half of 2016, experts from the Technical Working Group on REDD + focused on validating the content to be submitted by Brazil, referring to the results of reduction of deforestation in the Amazon biome between the years 2011 and 2015. The results were sent as Technical Annex to decision 14 / CP.19, attached to the Biennial Update Report (BUR), submitted to the UNFCCC in early March 2017. This document also contains a detailed description of deforestation monitoring methodologies.
In summary, the following text applies to the payment for REDD + results in the different periods:
• FREL A (2006-2010): Emissions from deforestation in the period 1996 to 2005 were estimated by combining activity data (deforested annual area in different forest typologies) and appropriate emission factors (carbon stocks in the associated biomass for each type of forest considered). Regarding the reservoirs, the FREL considered above-ground biomass, below-ground biomass and litter. Dead wood and organic carbon in the soil (for mineral and organic soils) were not included because they were not considered significant sources, following the approach of the Second National Inventory of Greenhouse Gases, the most current when submitting the FREL Amazônia. Regarding the gases included, the Amazon FREL considered only CO₂ emissions.
• FREL B (2011-2015): For the calculation of the emission reduction results from 2011 to 2015, the FREL used is equal to the average annual gross CO₂ emissions, associated with the annual increases in deforestation adjusted from 1996 to 2010, inclusive . The methodology considers adjustments of the observed deforestation increments in order to estimate the deforested area under clouds (adjusted increments). Both FREL A (2006-2010) and FREL B (2011-2015) were constructed using adjusted increments. With the most recent data, several areas could finally be observed in 2016. FREL B incorporated the estimates of these areas with the most recent data, implying an increase of CO₂ emissions of 0.23% relative to FREL B previously submitted and evaluated.
In view of the above, it is observed that there is no forecast for the adoption of a subnational FREL, since, in the context of the National Strategy for REDD + and CONAREDD + (National Commission on REDD +), the limits for raising funds from the Government Federal and Amazon states, based on the results of REDD + obtained by methodology that relates forest areas and reduction of emissions from the reduction of deforestation ("Stock and Flow" approach). Thus, according to the Single Annex to Resolution No. 6 / CONAREDD +, Mato Grosso presents 559,161,890.22 tCO₂ and verified reductions, referring to the period from 2006 to 2010 (FREL A) and 475,074,392.24 TCO₂e of verified reductions, for the period from 2011 to 2015 (FREL B).
Rio Branco Declaration based on national FREL 2010-2015