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The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) recommends the Figure of Merit (FOM) as a possible metric to confirm models that simulate deforestation baselines for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). The FOM ranges from 0% to 100%, where larger FOMs indicate more-accurate simulations. VCS requires that simulation models achieve a FOM greater than or equal to the percentage deforestation during the calibration period. This article analyses FOM's mathematical properties and illustrates FOM's empirical behavior by comparing various models that simulate deforestation and the resulting carbon disturbance in Bolivia during 2010-2014. The Total Operating Characteristic frames FOM's mathematical properties as a function of the quantity and allocation of simulated deforestation. A leaf graph shows how deforestation's quantity can be more influential than its allocation when simulating carbon disturbance. Results expose how current versions of the VCS methodologies could conceivably permit models that are less accurate than a random allocation of deforestation, while simultaneously prohibit models that are accurate concerning carbon disturbance. Conclusions give specific recommendations to improve the next version of the VCS methodology concerning three concepts: the simulated deforestation quantity, the required minimum FOM, and the simulated carbon disturbance.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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