The research that this programme is engaged in is aimed at helping to tackle the challenges that have been identified above. It is being carried out by an international team based in the Netherlands and with regional partners in East Africa, West Africa, Himalayan region and Papua New Guinea. In each of these regions, communities which are already carrying out CBFM have been selected, and involved in a longitudinal (5 year) study to measure the carbon impacts of their current forest management practices.
Measurements are made using standard, but rigorously applied, forest sampling methods to assess the amount of biomass each year in each of the forest areas concerned. Allometric tables are used to calculate the weight of biomass present, and from this the increases in stored carbon can be calculated.
This process is aided by the use of palm-top computers fitted with a GIS system, a geo-referenced base map, a GPS system and a specially designed database for storing data. These computers are used by the members of the local community themselves, after a brief training, for the following actions: