Methods & Guidance Documentation

GFOI has developed a set of methods and guidelines for estimating future carbon stocks to support countries in their effort to build national forest monitoring systems. These methods and guidelines help ensure that forest carbon assessments are credible, comparable and transparent. Its first set of methods and guidance advice is titled ‘ Integrating remote sensing and ground-based observations for estimation of emissions and removals of greenhouse gases in forests: Methods and Guidance (MGD) from the Global Forest Observation Initiative which is now available in English, Spanish and French.

The MGD provides recommendations on establishing national measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) systems consistent with IPCC guidance and UNFCCC requirements for REDD+ reporting. It is written by a world-class team of experts and stakeholders specializing in forest information systems and the observations underpinning those systems as well as experts in the assessment of forest carbon emissions and removals.


Since publication in January 2014, some small editorial corrections have been made to the MGD. A summary of these changes can be downloaded here.  The version on the website has been corrected.


A number of the GFOI Participating Countries and organisations are engaged in testing the GFOI Methods and Guidance Documentation and in providing feedback on gaps and issues that may need attention in support of country needs. Short technical summaries (called Modules) are being developed as rapid response guidance to feedback from in-country use and to advances in relevant technology. GFOI plans to use the experience accumulated in the Modules to update the MGD periodically.

Module #1: How the GOFC-GOLD Sourcebook and the GFOI Methods and Guidance Document relate.

Module #2: Use of global tree cover and change datasets in REDD+ Measuring, Reporting and Verifying

Module #3: Forest Reference Emission Levels and Forest Reference Levels: Extended Methodological Advice

Australia is the co-lead responsible for the Methods and Guidance Documentation component of GFOI.

MGD Authors

MGD Authors

Methods and Guidance Documentation

Integrating Remote-sensing and Ground-based Observations for Estimation of Emissions and Removals of Greenhouse Gases in Forests: Methods and Guidance (MGD) from the Global Forest Observations Initiative.

Read or download the MGD through the GFOI REDDcompass.