Elements of REDD Plus


What is a Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL)/Forest Reference Level (FRL)?

A Forest Reference Emission Level and/or Forest Reference Level (FREL/FRL) is a benchmark for assessing the performance of each country in implementing REDD+ activities.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) refers to Forest Reference Emission Levels and/or Forest Reference Levels. Although the difference between the two concepts has not been clarified, UN-REDD has provided the following interpretation:

A Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL) is a benchmark for activities that reduce emissions only. Thus the scope of a FREL would be, for example, emissions from deforestation and/or forest degradation.
A Forest Reference Level (FRL) is a benchmark for both activities that reduce emissions and activities that increase removals (adding the ‘plus’ to REDD+). Thus the scope of a FRL could include enhancement of forest carbon stocks as well as deforestation and forest degradation.

Malaysia’s Forest Reference Level

Recalling decision 12/CP.17 where a step wise approach could be applied in the construction of FRL. Malaysia’s current FRL will address the annual biomass loss through annual removal as national data is available and verified. The other REDD+ activities, conservation and enhancement of carbon stocks will be included when more data becomes available.

Reducing the rate of deforestation and degradation is currently being addressed through the Central Forest Spine and Heart of Borneo projects under the 10th Malaysian Plan. Malaysia may construct a forest reference emission level when deforestation data can be separated from the forest management activities. Additional data and information is being collected from Stateland Forest.

Based on our forest management goal, Malaysia proposes a national reference level for sustainable management of forest for result based payment for REDD+ activity. All Permanent Reserved Forests (PRFs) are managed under sustainable forest management principles and remains forested as far as possible and therefore considered in the construction of the FRL. PRF is also degazetted in some cases for gazettement as Totally Protected Areas (TPA). No logging activity is conducted in the Totally Protected Area/Protected Area.

For more information on the FRL Malaysia submitted to UNFCCC, please see here.