REDD+ MEASUREMENT

,
REPORTING AND
VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL
VERSION 2.0
FOREST CARBON, MARKETS AND COMMUNITIES
(FCMC) PROGRAM

DECEMBER 2014

This publication was produced for review by the United States Agency for
International Development. It was prepared by Tetra Tech.

This publication was produced for review by the United States Agency for International Development by Tetra Tech ARD,
through a Task Order under the Prosperity, Livelihoods, and Conserving Ecosystems (PLACE) Indefinite Quantity
Contract Core Task Order (USAID Contract No. EPP-I-00-06-00008-00, Order Number AID-OAA-TO-11-00022).

Tetra Tech
159 Bank Street, Suite 300
Burlington, Vermont 05401 USA
Telephone: (802) 658-3890
Fax: (802) 658-4247
E-Mail: international.development@tetratech.com
www.tetratechintdev.com

Tetra Tech Contacts:
Ian Deshmukh, Senior Technical Advisor/Manager
Email: ian.deshmukh@tetratech.com

Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities (FCMC) Program
1611 North Kent Street
Suite 805
Arlington, Virginia 22209 USA
Telephone: (703) 592-6388
Fax: (866) 795-6462

Stephen Kelleher, Chief of Party
Email: stephen.kelleher@fcmcglobal.org

Olaf Zerbock, USAID Contracting Officer’s Representative
Email: ozerbock@usaid.gov

Editors:
• Jennifer Hewson, Conservation International
• Marc Steininger, FCMC & Conservation International
• Stelios Pesmajoglou, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute

Contributing authors:
• Angel Parra, Consultant; GHG inventory & LULUCF sector expert
• Gordon Smith, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute
• David Shoch, TerraCarbon, LLC
• John Musinsky, National Ecological Observatory Network
• Fred Stolle, World Resources Institute
• Kemen Austin, World Resources Institute
• Irene Angeletti, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities
(FCMC) Program to provide its missions, partner governments, local and international stakeholders with assistance in
developing and implementing REDD+ initiatives. FCMC services include analysis, evaluation, tools and guidance for
program design support; training materials; and meeting and workshop development and facilitation that support US
Government contributions to international REDD+ architecture.

Please cite this report as:
Hewson, J., M.K. Steininger and S. Pesmajoglou, eds. 2014. REDD+ Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Manual,
Version 2.0. USAID-supported Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities Program. Washington, DC, USA.

REDD+ MEASUREMENT, REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL, VERSION 2.0 i

0 FOREST CARBON.REDD+ MEASUREMENT. VERSION 2. REDD+ MEASUREMENT. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL. VERSION 2. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL.0 ii . MARKETS AND COMMUNITIES (FCMC) PROGRAM DECEMBER 2014 DISCLAIMER The author’s views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.

.....................66 4................. 8 2.............49 4..................3 INVENTORY AND REPORTING STEPS ...........................0 INTRODUCTION....................... 17 2..................... SCOPE AND STRUCTURE .......................................................6 REFERENCES.............3 CONCEPTS AND CONSIDERATIONS IN INVENTORY DESIGN ...............................................................................5 EXAMPLES ..........................2 ELEMENTS OF A MRV SYSTEM FOR REDD+ ...............................4 STEPS IN ESTABLISHING INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS.......67 4..................................................................... 9 2...........................................19 2........................................................................................................................................................................... III ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ..................................1 INTRODUCTION ..................13 2...............................................................................................................................4 DEFINITIONS OF CARBON POOLS AND LAND USES ............................................................................ 1 1...................3 REFERENCES..................................................................4 THE FOREST CARBON INVENTORY TEAM ...1 PURPOSE........................0 iii ...............30 3......................................... 9 2...............................................................2 BACKGROUND ................................... REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL........................................... 57 4.....34 3.26 2......5 FIELD WORK AND ANALYSIS .....................................................................................6 CALCULATING CARBON STOCKS FROM FIELD DATA ..................................................................69 REDD+ MEASUREMENT.............................0 ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS .............................................22 2..................................................................................1 INTRODUCTION ...... 50 4...........7 REFERENCES...............1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................0 INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS............................................................................................................................... 1 1... 42 3............2 CARBON POOLS AND THEIR MEASUREMENT ............... VIII 1.... VERSION 2.........................................................................................................................................................................................41 3......................54 4.............2 IPCC GUIDANCE....5 METHODOLOGIES FOR ESTIMATING EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS ............................ 31 3............................................... 4 1..................................................50 4................38 3.............................31 3.....................................3 KEY FUNCTIONS AND COMPONENTS OF NATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS ........................TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS......................................................0 FIELD-BASED INVENTORIES ......................................................... V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ....6 EPA NATIONAL SYSTEM TEMPLATES ...............................................................................

.................3 NEAR-REAL TIME MONITORING AND ALERT SYSTEMS ........... 82 5........................................................ 121 6.....4 REMOTE SENSING OVERVIEW ..79 4..........................0 REMOTE SENSING OF LAND COVER CHANGE ...............................................................1 INTRODUCTION ..................0 REPORTING AND VERIFICATION: ELEMENTS AND GUIDANCE ................................................................... 152 7......................................... 127 6....................................................................................7 COMMON SATELLITE DATA SOURCES FOR LAND-USE MONITORING ................................................................................................................................................................................84 5......................... 109 5.... REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL....................................................1 HISTORY OF REDD+ UNDER THE UNFCCC ...........................................3 OVERALL STEPS AND NEEDS................................................10 REFERENCES ....90 5................ 181 REDD+ MEASUREMENT......................................................................... 125 6..................................................................0 iv ..................................... 118 5..............................................................................0 THEMATIC REVIEWS .................................................................................. 141 6........................................2 LAND USES AND CATEGORIES IN THE UNFCCC ....................................................... VERSION 2..................75 4.............................3 VERIFICATION .........................................................1 INTRODUCTION ............4 REFERENCES........................................... 125 6................8 CONSOLIDATING INVENTORY DATASETS .....................................................2 REPORTING.........................78 4................................... 165 7...................................9 THE GAIN-LOSS METHOD ............................................................................................................7 DATA CHECKING .......................................................81 5.8 SELECTED RESOURCES.... 152 7................................................93 5... 114 5....................................................................................................82 5..........................11 SELECTED RESOURCES ........................... 4..............76 4................................................................6 REFERENCES........................................................................................... 151 7........................5 EMERGING AREAS OF RESEARCH..........2 COMMUNITY-BASED MONITORING ...........

0 v . ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ACR American Carbon Registry AD Activity Data AFOLU Agriculture. Markets and Communities Program FCPF Forest Carbon Partnership Facility REDD+ MEASUREMENT. VERSION 2. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL. Forestry and Other Land Use AGB Aboveground biomass BCEFs Biomass conversion and expansion factors BRDF Bi-directional reflectance distribution function BURs Biennial Update Reports CH4 Methane CI Conservation International CMP Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol CO2 Carbon dioxide COP Conference of the Parties CV Coefficient of Variation DBH Diameter at Breast Height DEM Digital Elevation Model DTs Decision Trees EFDB Emissions Factor Database EFs Emissions Factors EM Electromagnetic EOS Earth Observation System EPA Environmental Protection Agency FAO Food and Agriculture Organization FAS Fire Alert System FCMC Forest Carbon.

FIRMS Fire Information and Resource Management System FREL Forest Reference Emission Level FRL Forest Reference Level FSI Forest Survey of India FUNCATE Foundation of Space Science. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL. Technology and Innovation MMU Minimum-mapping unit MRV Measurement. VERSION 2.0 vi . Land-use Change and Forestry GPS Global Positioning System IDEAM Colombian Institute for Hydrology. Meteorology and Environmental Studies ILUA Integrated Land Use Assessment INPE Brazilian National Space Research Institute IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change KCA Key Category Analysis LDCM Landsat Data Continuity Mission LEDS Low Emission Development Strategies LiDAR Light Detection and Ranging LUC Land-use Change MADS Colombian Ministry for Sustainable Development MCT Brazilian Ministry of Science. Applications and Technology GEF Global Environmental Facility GFIMS Global Fire Information Management System GFOI MGD Global Forest Observation Initiative Methods and Guidance Documentation GFW Global Forest Watch GHG Greenhouse gas GHGMI Greenhouse Gas Management Institute GIS Geographic Information System GLAS Geoscience Laser Altimeter System GOFC-GOLD Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics GPG-LULUCF Good Practice Guidance for Land Use. Reporting and Verification N20 Nitrogen oxide NAMA Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Strategies NASA National Aeronautics and Space Agency REDD+ MEASUREMENT.

and consistency TOA Top-of-atmosphere UMD University of Maryland UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNEP United Nations Environment Programme UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change USAID United States Agency for International Development USGS United States Geological Survey VCS Verified Carbon Standard WGs Working Groups WMO World Meteorological Organization WRI World Resources Institute REDD+ MEASUREMENT. VERSION 2. completeness. plus the role of conservation. SBSTA Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice SES Social and Environmental Soundness SINA Colombian National Environmental System SLR Side Looking RADAR SRTM Shuttle Radar Topography Mission TACCC IPCC principles of transparency. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL.0 vii . comparability. accuracy.NCs National Communications NFMS National Forest Monitoring System NGGIP National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Program NGO Non-governmental organization NNs Neural Networks NRT Near-real Time PCA Principal components analysis PRODES Projeto De Estimativa De Desflorestamento da Amazoni (Brazilian Amazon deforestation monitoring program) QA/QC Quality Assurance and Quality Control QUICC Quarterly Indicator of Cover Change RADAR Radio Detection and Ranging REDD+ Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

the International Panel on Climate Change and the Landsat program. SilvaCarbon Consultant. Axel Penndorf of BlackBridge. and members of the USAID Climate Change office. Christine Dragisic of the US State Department. Michael Gillenwater of the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute. Deborah Lawrence of the University of Virginia. Ronald McRoberts. Carly Green and Jim Penman of the Global Forest Observations Initiative. Brice Mora of the Global Observation of Forest Cover and Land Dynamics. Chris Potter of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Ames Research Center. Rishi Das. and Charles Scott of the US Forest Service. REDD+ MEASUREMENT. The authors also thank those who have made graphics available for use in this Manual.0 viii . Megan McGroddy. Karyn Tabor. including Ned Horning of the American Museum of Natural History. and Leif Kindberg of FCMC. VERSION 2. Andrew Lister. Additional figures are from the websites of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Mario Chacon and Johnson Cerda of Conservation International. Asim Banskota of the University of Minnesota. Maggie Roth. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL. including Colin Silver. John Rogan of Boston University.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors thank the various colleagues in our organizations who have commented on the text. and Jamie Eaton of TerraCarbon LLC. Frank Martin Seifert of the European Space Agency's Centre for Earth Observation ESRIN.

0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 31 . including a brief overview of IPCC guidance evolution. the main steps for estimating emissions and removals for activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. This chapter is relevant to the activities highlighted on the following page. 3. the main carbon pools.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter provides a brief description of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Good Practice Guidance for Land Use. and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+). REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3.0 ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS Authors: Angel Parra and Stelios Pesmajoglou 3. plus the role of conservation. Inventory and Reporting Steps. It also provides an overview of the methodologies for estimating emissions and removals. Land-Use Change and Forestry (GPG-LULUCF). sustainable forest management. of this Manual outlines the sequence of steps required for generating a national GHG inventory. Section 3. including a discussion on the activity data (AD) and emission factors (EFs) needed.3. More detailed and technical information on the collection of data for input onto greenhouse gas (GHG) estimation is provided in Chapters 4 and 5. and land-use types.

and worksheets where appropriate. EFs represent coefficients that quantify the emissions/removals per unit area. if using the gain-loss method. Document and archive information used to produce the national emissions and removals estimates following specific instructions under each land- use category. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. STEP 1: Estimate the land areas in each land-use category. through stratification and other methods.STEP 0: Establish Institutional Arrangements. estimating the uncertainty in each estimate. AD represents the extent over which a human activity occurs. for the time period required. Emissions and removals estimates represent the product of the AD by the associated EFs. STEP 5: Quantify emissions and removals. carbon pool and non-CO2 source. STEP 6: Report emissions and removals estimates. ensuring that the requirements in terms of emission and removal factors are met.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 32 . STEP 2: Conduct key category analysis (KCA) for the relevant categories. pool or non-CO2 gas. assess significant non-CO2 gases and carbon pools and prioritize such pools in terms of methodological choice. STEP 3: Design a forest carbon inventory to generate Emissions Factors (EFs). including expert peer review of the emission estimates following specific guidance under each land-use category. using the reporting tables. Within the categories designated as key. STEP 7: Perform verification and implement quality control checks. appropriate to the tier level identified. for representing areas in the GPG-LULUCF. STEP 4: Generate Activity Data (AD).

including REDD+. for those changes associated with forest lands. selective cutting. no definitions are given here beyond broad descriptions. Ramsar.e. estimation methodologies and data needs. and iii) uncertainty estimates associated with any data reported. ii) multi-temporal inventory data. For the purposes of this Manual. the fundamental basis for the GHG inventory methodology for land use and land-use change in forests.iges. it is important to consider the inventory scope. 2006).g. such as those by FAO. Box 3. a country needs to have: i) country-specific estimates of EFs by using.According to the GPG-LULUCF. change in silviculture or management practice). For that reason. a national GHG inventory should cover all anthropogenic emissions and removals within the national boundaries and over a specific time period (i. This requires estimating: o The land use in the inventory year.. REDD+) is to have the capacity and capability to compile a GHG inventory with estimates of carbon stock changes with a known uncertainty. In the context of REDD+.. Managed land may be distinguished from unmanaged land by fulfilling not only the production but also ecological and social functions. which are consistent with those in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (2006 IPCC Guidelines) (IPCC.1: Managed and unmanaged lands Countries can use their own definitions of managed and unmanaged lands.pdf. The minimum requirement for a country to participate in a mitigation mechanism connected to a financial process (e.ipcc- nggip.1).0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 33 . and • Changes in carbon stocks can be estimated by first establishing the rates of change in land use. available at http://www. and the carbon stocks before and after the change. and o The stocks of carbon in the land-use categories (both those that are subjected to change and those that are not). To meet this condition. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. clear-cutting. for example. the estimation methodologies described are those from the GPG-LULUCF. The detailed definitions and the national approach to distinguishing between unmanaged and managed land should be described in a transparent manner in the inventory report (IPCC GPG 2003). To estimate GHG emissions and removals. the practice used to convert the land to a different use (e. Anthropogenic emissions and removals are defined as those occurring on managed lands. a calendar year or a multi-year time period). o The conversion of forest to a different land use.. a National Forest Inventory. etc.g. burning. The term managed lands is defined fairly broadly and although it is not strictly the same as anthropogenic activities it is most commonly used as the best approximation available on a global basis (see Box 3.jp/public/gpglulucf/gpglulucf_files/Chp2/Chp2_Land_Areas. rests upon two linked assumptions: • The flux of carbon dioxide (CO2) to/from the atmosphere is equal to changes in carbon stocks in the existing biomass and soils. which may refer to internationally accepted definitions.or.

3. the GPG-LULUCF 2003. and soil organic carbon).. settlements. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. • Verification. Its main objectives are: • To assist countries in producing national GHG inventories for the LULUCF sector that are transparent.1 summarizes the differences between the Revised 1996 Guidelines. including estimation of uncertainties. and the 2006 IPCC Guidelines (Volume 4: Agriculture. Forest Land Converted to Cropland) during the inventory period..g. Table 3. as well as advice on cross-cutting issues. and • Guidance on how to complement the Convention reporting for the LULUCF sector to meet the supplementary requirements under the Kyoto Protocol. and non-CO2 gases. and • The following non-CO2 gas estimates: o Nitrogen dioxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) from forest fires.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 34 . and quality control. and Other Land Use). grassland.g. o N2O from drainage of forest soils. and lands converted into another land-use category (e. These land-use categories can be further sub-divided into lands remaining in the same land use (e. belowground biomass. Forest Land Remaining Forest Land) during the period covered by the inventory. • CO2 emissions and removals estimates for all carbon pools. o N2O from managed forests (fertilized forests). o N2O and CH4 from managed wetlands. Inventories can be organized according to six broad land-use categories: forest land. comparable and accurate.1 of this Manual. cropland. Land-Use Change and Forestry The IPCC developed the GPG-LULUCF in 2003 (IPCC. consistent.2 IPCC GUIDANCE 3. The GPG-LULUCF provides guidance on specific features related to the LULUCF sector including: • Consistent representation of land areas. Other advances of the GPG-LULUCF are the inclusion of: • A key source/sink category analysis. complete. Forestry.1 The Good Practice Guidance for Land Use. and other land. quality assurance. CO2 pools. wetlands. and • To provide good practice guidance on the choice of estimation methodology and improvements of the methods. For more details. deadwood. refer to Section 7. • All five carbon pools (aboveground biomass. • Sampling for area estimates and for estimating emissions and removals. time series consistency. enabling the dedication of limited inventory resources to important source/sink categories. 2003) as a supplement to the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (Revised 1996 Guidelines)(IPCC. and o N2O from land-use conversion. litter. 1996).2.

Description of alternative methods to estimate and report carbon stock changes REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3.  Litter Incorporation of methods to  Soil organic carbon estimate CO2 emissions from Methods given for all non-CO2 flooded land. conversion  Wetlands  Abandonment of croplands. Forests and Grassland The six land categories are Similar categories subdivided according further subdivided into: to the four reporting categories:  Land remaining in the same  Changes in management use category  Conversion  Land converted into another  Abandonment use category  Cultivation Methods provided mainly for Methods given for measurement Incorporation of methods for aboveground biomass and soil and estimation of all five carbon non-CO2 emissions from organic carbon. or other managed  Other land lands  CO2 emissions and removals from soils Some land categories not included.e. inputs equal losses). The reporting woody biomass stocks  Cropland for land categories remains  Forest and grassland  Grassland similar to the GPG-LULUCF. coconut.Revised 1996 IPCC 2006 IPCC Guidelines GPG-LULUCF Guidelines AFOLU Sector Approach for reporting based Approach for reporting based Agricultural sector is merged on four categories: on six land categories: with LULUCF in order to ensure consistency and avoid  Changes in forest and other  Forest land double counting. with methods for gases. reflecting the limited availability of scientific information. CH4 emissions contained in an appendix..0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 35 . Lack of clarity on agroforestry. and livestock dead organic matter and  Aboveground biomass population characterization and belowground biomass are zero  Belowground biomass manure management systems (i. such as coffee.  Dead organic matter from agriculture. soils and Default assumption: changes in biomass burning. pools: managed lands. tea.  Settlements pastures.

Database (EFDB) that is a out of deadwood  Biomass Expansion Factor supplementary tool to the 2006  Litter stock under different (BEF) for conversion of IPCC Guidelines. different management aboveground tree biomass systems increment  Amount of biomass fuel  Root: shoot ratio appropriate present in an area subjected to increment to burning REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. vegetation regenerating to forest: 20 type. providing management systems annual net increment alternative emission factors  Soil organic carbon in (including bark) to with associated documentation. the inventory) and 20-100  Forest area affected by years before year-t disturbances  Area under different land  Forest area affected by fire use/management systems and  Land afforested derived from soil type: during year-t and cropland/grassland 20 years before year-t  Land converted to forest  Area under managed organic through plantation or natural soils regeneration Key Emission Factors required: Key Emission Factors required: Improvements of default  Annual biomass transferred emissions and stock change  Average annual net increment factors. disaggregated by:  Area abandoned and climatic region.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 36 . species. as well as development into deadwood in volume suitable for of the IPCC Emission Factor  Annual biomass transferred industrial processing. associated with harvested wood products. analysis provided for the selection of:  Land categories  Land sub-categories  Carbon pools  CO2 and non-CO2 gases Key AD required: Key AD required: Similar  Area of plantations/forest  Area of forest land remaining  Forest area converted forest land and area of other  Average area converted (10- land category converted into year average) forest land. Key source/sink category Key source/sink category Similar analysis not provided. management years before year-t (year of system. etc.

• Incorporating a KCA for land-use categories. GPG-LULUCF. settlements. and livestock population characterization and manure management systems from agriculture. AD Emission Factors explicitly and Emission Factors not described.2 2006 IPCC Guidelines The 2006 IPCC Guidelines represent an evolutionary development in the methodologies for GHG inventories (IPCC.  BEF to convert volume of extracted roundwood to total aboveground biomass (including bark)  Mortality rate in natural and artificially regenerated forests Three tier structure approach Three tier structure for the Similar presented. and other land). Changes in carbon stock in Biomass and soil carbon pools Similar biomass and soil carbon in a linked. which are considered to be anthropogenic. grassland. Figure 3-1 provides an overview of the evolution of the LULUCF sector in the IPCC Guidelines. carbon pools. CO2 and non-CO2 GHG emissions. The land-use categories are designed to enable inclusion of all managed land area within a country. or forest type. 2006). • Generic methods for accounting of biomass.2. Other changes for the AFOLU sector include: • Adopting the six land-use categories used in the GPG-LULUCF (forest land. • Reporting on all emissions by sources and removals by sinks from managed lands. • Describing alternative methods to estimate and report carbon stock changes associated with harvested wood products. provided. and 2006 Guidelines for the AFOLU sector 3. • Incorporating methods for non-CO2 emissions from managed soils and biomass burning. The most significant change introduced was the consolidation of the LULUCF sector and the Agriculture sector into a single sector referred to as Agriculture. AD and the selection of methods. dead organic matter and soil carbon stock changes in all land-use categories and generic methods for GHG emissions from biomass burning that can be applied in all land-use categories. cropland. Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). but application for choice of methods.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 37 . while emissions and removals for unmanaged lands are not reported. not linked. These land categories are further sub-divided into land remaining in the same category and land converted from one category to another.1: Differences between 1996 IPCC Guidelines. given vegetation. • Adopting three hierarchical tiers of methods that range from default emission factors and simple equations to the use of country-specific data and models to accommodate national circumstances. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. Table 3. wetlands.

REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. • Greater consistency in land area classification for selecting appropriate emission and stock change factors and AD. From the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Presentation at UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) Workshop on Methodological Issues. • Improving default emissions and stock change factors.jp/ presentation/NGGIP_AWG_KP. Figure 3.1: Evolution of the LULUCF sector in the IPCC guidelines. described below. 2008 (http://www. • Adhering to principles of mass balance in computing carbon stock changes. providing alternative emission factors with associated documentation. reflecting the limited availability of scientific information.iges. drawing on the three approaches.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 38 . and • Incorporating methods to estimate CO2 emissions from flooded land with methods for CH4 emissions contained in an appendix.ipcc-nggip.3 INVENTORY AND REPORTING STEPS The sequence of steps for inventorying emissions and removals for the national inventory report is outlined below: 1) Estimate the land areas in each land-use category for the time period required. June 7th. for representing areas in the GPG-LULUCF.pdf) 3.or. as well as development of the IPCC EFDB that is a supplementary tool to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines.

tier levels are described below. 6) Implement quality control checks.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 39 . Utilize the worksheets where appropriate.2). and expert peer review of the emission estimates following specific guidance under each land-use category.2) Identify key categories (see Box 3. assess which non-CO2 gases and carbon pools are significant and prioritize such pools in terms of methodological choice. 3) Ensure that the requirements in terms of emission and removal factors and AD appropriate to the tier level are being met. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. non- CO2 source. pool or non-CO2 gas (more information on verification is provided in Chapter 6). 4) Quantify emissions and removals and estimate the uncertainty in each estimate. verification. and land-use change (more information on reporting is provided in Chapter 6). Document and archive all information used to produce the national emissions and removals estimates following specific instructions under each land-use category. 5) Use the reporting tables to report emissions and removals estimates. carbon pool. Within the categories designated as key.

helping countries identify the most appropriate methodologies for specific activities. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. inventory compilers can prioritize their efforts and improve their overall estimates. By identifying these key categories in the national inventory. regarding the identification of key categories. Assessing the relative importance of LULUCF categories by integrating them into the overall key category analysis. It is good practice for each country to identify its national key categories in a systematic and objective manner. However. from the GPG-LULUCF. and 3. these methods generally require more extensive resources for data collection. which are important. it is good practice to use results of a key category analysis (KCA) as a basis for methodological choice. provides an overview of the decision process involved in a KCA. 2. so it may not be feasible to use more rigorous methods for every category of emissions and removals. They represent a central element of the IPCC Guidelines. The GPG-LULUCF also recommends performing the KCA twice. the KCA should identify key categories for all sectors excluding LULUCF. The KCA should then be performed with the LULUCF included. inventory uncertainty is lower when emissions and removals are estimated using the most rigorous methods provided for each category or subcategory in the sectoral volumes of these Guidelines. Consequently. or to the trends of emissions/removals for the years covered by the inventory. Methodological choice for individual source and sink categories is important in managing overall inventory uncertainty. including: 1. Enabling continued assessment of key source categories without LULUCF. It is therefore good practice to identify those categories that have the greatest contribution to overall inventory uncertainty in order to make the most efficient use of available resources. As a first step. in terms of their contribution. as well as greater confidence in the estimates that are developed. Such a process will lead to improved inventory quality.Box 3.4 of the GPG-LULUCF provides guidance on quantitative approaches for performing a KCA with the aim of meeting three objectives.2: Key categories and a key category analysis Key categories refer to specific elements within a GHG inventory. The figure below.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 40 . Section 5. Generally. or to the total uncertainty. Achieving consistency with guidance and decisions of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. to the total emissions/removals.

lying on the ground.2 Land-use categories While this Manual focuses on MRV system requirements for forest land. either standing. • Litter: Includes all non-living biomass with a diameter less than a minimum diameter chosen by the country for dead wood (for example 10 cm. and possibly also a minimum length). Dead wood includes wood lying on the surface. in various states of decomposition above the mineral or organic soil. but typically do not make up a significant fraction of the pool. (including peat) to a specified depth chosen by the country and applied consistently through the time series. This ensures that modified definitions are used consistently over time and demonstrates that pools are neither omitted nor double counted. it is good practice to clearly report them. Soils: • Soil organic matter: Includes organic carbon in mineral and organic soils. all six top-level land categories defined by the GPG-LULUCF and AFOLU are briefly presented below: REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. Live fine roots (of less than the suggested diameter limit for belowground biomass) are included with soil organic matter where they cannot be distinguished from it empirically. dead wood. Dead Organic Matter: • Dead wood: Includes all non-living woody biomass not contained in the litter.4. These definitions provide a generic representation of these pools occurring in a terrestrial ecosystem. and humic layers. because it is impractical to try to remove very fine roots and root hairs from the soil. and soils (see Box 3.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 41 . and stumps larger than or equal to 10 cm in diameter or any other diameter used by the country. 3.4 DEFINITIONS OF CARBON POOLS AND LAND USES 3. stump. This includes the litter.3). litter. Fine roots of less than (suggested) 2mm diameter are often excluded.3. seeds. is included in Chapter 4. specific to forests. Carbon stocks in lying dead wood are also called coarse woody debris. Where modified definitions are used.3: Five carbon pools Living Biomass: • Aboveground biomass: All living biomass above the soil. Live fine roots (of less than the suggested diameter limit for belowground biomass) are included in litter where they cannot be empirically distinguished. or measured as part of the soil carbon pool. branches. In cases where forest understory is a relatively small component of the aboveground biomass carbon pool. Additional information. dead roots. including stem. • Belowground biomass: All living biomass of live roots. it is acceptable for the methodologies and associated data used in some tiers to exclude it – provided the tiers are used in a consistent manner throughout the forest inventory time series (as specified in Chapter 4). National circumstances may require slight modifications to the pool definitions used here. Box 3. standing dead trees must be large enough to meet the definition of “tree” that is used for live trees by the country. Dead branches still attached to a living plant are included as part of the aboveground live tree biomass pool.1 Carbon pools The GPG-LULUCF provides the following definitions for the five carbon pools: aboveground biomass.4. fumic. Typically. lying dead. bark. or in the soil. belowground biomass. and foliage.

the threshold used in the forest land category. grassland or settlements categories. sub-divided into managed and unmanaged. Tier 2 for biomass and Tier 1 for soil carbon). such as the changes in carbon stocks before and after a change in land use. while EFs are the average amounts of emissions per unit-area of each type of activity. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. peatland) and does not fall into the forest land. Emissions estimates are equal to the product of all AD considered and their associated EFs. It allows the total identified land areas to match the national area.g. Wetlands Wetlands include land that is covered or saturated by water for all or part of the year (e. ice. and also by ecosystem type.3). called “tiers.Forest land Forest land includes all land with woody vegetation consistent with thresholds used to define forest land in the national GHG inventory.5 METHODOLOGIES FOR ESTIMATING EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS As it is not possible to measure all emissions and removals. including transportation infrastructure and human settlements of any size. as the complexity and resources required for conducting inventories also increase for higher tiers. Settlements Settlements include all developed land.g. A combination of tiers can be used (e. and agro-forestry systems with vegetation below thresholds used for the national definition of forest land. An explanation of tiers is provided in Box 3. Wetlands can be subdivided into managed and unmanaged according to national definitions. 3. estimates can be made based on surrogate parameters that are associated with emission rates. cropland. This should be consistent with the selection of national definitions. It also includes systems with vegetation that fall below the threshold used in the forest land category and are not expected to exceed. It also includes systems with vegetation that currently fall below. There is a trade-off. depending on data availability and the magnitude of expected changes in the pool.4. Cropland Cropland includes arable and tillage land.. to recreational areas.. and all unmanaged land areas that do not fall into any of the other five categories. The GPG-LULUCF (and the 2006 IPCC Guidelines) allow for inventories with different levels of complexity. however. unless they are already included under other categories. Grassland Grassland includes rangelands and pasture land that is not considered as cropland.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 42 . inventories using higher tiers have improved accuracy and reduced uncertainty (Figure 3. rock.” In general. but are expected to exceed. without human intervention. subdivided into managed and unmanaged consistent with national definitions.2. such as páramo. the threshold of the forest land category. where data are available. The category also includes all grassland from wild natural grasslands. AD are changes in the area of land use. The generic form of the methodologies provided in all IPCC Inventory guidelines including the GPG-LULUCF is shown in Figure 3. as well as agricultural and silvipastoral systems. Other land Other land includes bare soil.

note "Red. Figure 3. if possible.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 43 .4). key categories should be addressed by at least Tier 2 methods. Other reasons for using a higher tier approach may be the need for improved detail in a particular sector.As key categories have the most significant impact on total emissions. in order to improve the accuracy of the estimates (Figure 3. the need to understand the abatement effect of a mitigation project." stands for reduced emissions (adapted from GOFC GOLD. 2011) REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3.3: Key implications of using different tiers. for example.2: The IPCC basic equation for the estimation of emissions/removals Figure 3. Em.

Country- specific land-use and management data are needed. livestock population data).4: Choice of estimation tier according to KCA process (adapted from Maniatis and Mollicone. This information is usually provided by non-spatial country statistics and does not provide information on the nature and area of conversions REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. Country defined emission factors are more appropriate for the climatic regions and land-use systems in the country or region. is unlikely to be sufficient for crediting under REDD+. deforestation rates.g. The three approaches include: • Approach 1 identifies the total area for each land category. Box 3. Assessments are repeated over time and employ high- resolution land-use and management data.. or the change in area of different land categories (Figure 3.g. including models and inventory measurement systems tailored to address unique national circumstances. Tier 2 uses the same methodological approach as Tier 1..4: Tiers Tier 1 methods are designed to be simple to use. Tier 3 uses higher order methods. 2008) Figure 3. Higher temporal and spatial resolution and more disaggregated land-use and management categories are used in Tier 2 to correspond with country-defined coefficients for specific regions and specialized land-use categories. fertilizer use. but the emission and stock change factors are based on country or region-specific data. global land cover maps. 2010) 3. These inventories use advanced measurements and/or modeling systems to improve the estimation of GHG emissions and removals beyond Tier 1 or 2 approaches. emission and stock change factors) so the inventory compiler does not need specific data for these equation parameters.5.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 44 .5). but for Tier 1 there are often globally available sources for these estimates (e. The Tier 1 method alone. agricultural production statistics. The GPG-LULUCF and the 2006 IPCC Guidelines provide equations and default parameter values (e. which are generally disaggregated at the subnational level. Note that approaches are specific to representing AD and should not be confused with the three inventory tiers discussed above. (Angelsen. however.1 Activity data The IPCC Guidelines describe three different approaches for representing AD.

i. it is primarily necessary to develop a national forest inventory for REDD+. and to comply with the UNFCCC completeness reporting principle. different forest types or conversion of one forest type to a different category. To obtain such estimates. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. It is likely that land-use changes under a REDD+ mechanism will be required to be both identifiable and traceable in the future. and thus. resulting in a non-spatially explicit land-use conversion matrix. Therefore. • Approach 2 involves tracking of land conversions between categories. The carbon stock change estimates that a country will have to submit through its GHG inventory will also have to consider all the possible transfers between pools (Figure 3.e..6). land cover change maps) will be useful for land tracking. derived from sampling or wall-to-wall remote sensing mapping techniques. Net area of land use for various land use categories. for example deforestation minus forestation. or Approach 2 with additional information (e. and thus is not suitable for REDD+.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 45 . • Approach 3 extends Approach 2 by using spatially explicit land conversion information. it only provides “net” area changes). it is likely that only Approach 3. litter. to provide estimates for the five IPCC forest carbon pools (aboveground biomass.e.. no Approach 1 tracking of land use conversions Approach 2 Tracking of land use on a non-spatially explicit basis Approach 3 Tracking of land use on a spatially explicit basis Figure 3. or adapt an existing inventory.5. belowground biomass.g. deadwood and soil organic carbon). between land uses (i.2 Emission factors The first methodological requirement to be met for the national inventory report is the generation of country- specific estimates of the EFs for each key sub-category.5: Different approaches for obtaining activity data (adapted from IPCC GPG 2003) 3. REDD+ implementation.

The Stock-Change method estimates emissions by identifying the changes in carbon stocks at the beginning and end of the period over an entire monitoring area. There has been no decision for non-Annex l Parties regarding use of the 2006 Guidelines.7: Two IPCC-recognized methods for estimating carbon emissions: i) stock-difference. The Gain- Loss method estimates emissions by identifying the area of change from one cover type to another and the difference in stocks between those two types per unit area (Figure 3. 2003) uses the term Stock-Change. and thus in this Manual we use the former term throughout.3 Methods to estimate emissions and removals For land use. while the Guidance from 2006 uses Stock-Difference (IPCC.Figure 3. 12 The GPG-LULUCF (IPCC.7). REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. 2003). the IPCC recognizes two methods to estimate carbon emissions: the Stock-Change method 12 and the Gain-Loss method (IPCC. even though the 2006 Guidelines are more up-to-date and use the latter. Both of these simple calculation approaches assume that emissions to and removals from the atmosphere are equal to the total stock changes.6: Carbon transfer among pools in a forest ecosystem 3. Figure 3.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 46 .5. and ii) gain-loss (Angelsen 2008). 2006).

and compatibility with the unmeasured part of the inventory must be ensured. Therefore. IPCC-NGGIP.g. However a country needs to ensure that the complex models are compatible with the IPCC Guidelines. However.5. carbon density per species in a country). above ground biomass to total biomass. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. In this case. and growth rates. the responsibility of using this information appropriately remains with the user.. The complex calculations include many parameters. this means estimating what is a modest reduction in stock per area spread over large areas. the field inventory is conducted to obtain an estimate of mean stock-per-unit-area for each cover class. and the areas of change are called Activity Data. this means ensuring that the sampling design captures the impact of a relatively small variable. otherwise inconsistencies may arise. Box 3. however.jp/EFDB/main.ipcc- nggip. countries are encouraged to invest in finding country- specific data that are better suited to local circumstances. Such data may also be suitable for regional circumstances where a group of countries share similar ecosystems. For the Gain-Loss method. land-cover mapping is used to stratify the monitoring area to assist field sampling and to extrapolate field-based estimates. Various EFs and parameters are required. it should be noted that some country- specific data tend not to change annually. The difference in stocks between the two time periods is then estimated for each stratum. the criteria for inclusion of new EFs and other parameters will be assessed by the editorial board of the EFDB. To alleviate the lack of data. the data on the difference in stocks associated with a change between two classes over time are called Emission Factors (EFs).The design of the field-inventory and land cover mapping strategies differs depending on which of the two methods is used.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 47 . such as those from harvested wood products. For deforestation.php. each of which has a relatively large emissions impact. Collaboration within the region for data could be a cost-effective alternative. These procedures enable the user to judge the applicability of the EF. such as conversion factors for carbon content of wood. The EFDB is designed as a platform for experts and researchers to communicate new EFs or other parameters to a worldwide audience of potential end-users. The EFDB is a continuously revised web-based information exchange forum for EFs and other parameters relevant to the estimation of emissions or removals of GHGs at the national level.5: IPCC Emission Factor Database One source of EFs is the IPCC Emission Factor Database (EFDB).or. Some emissions occur over a period of years after the actual action. While experts and researchers from all over the world are invited to populate the EFDB with their data. Internet queries of the database can be performed via the home pages of the IPCC. Emissions estimates may also come from complex models that the country has developed (Tier 3 method). described in Box 3. using these estimates requires careful consideration. data needs should be addressed. The entire forest area is then sampled in the field at one time period and revisited at a later time period. represents one source of EF data information. the guidelines provide default values for different regions and ecosystems. Additional sources of emission estimates include: 1) measured emissions and 2) complex calculations. For the Stock-Change method. For forest degradation. These per-area estimates can then be assumed to be constant.e. or other parameter. i. Measured emission estimates are increasingly available due to the emission trading scheme requirements in some countries. there is a range of data necessary for calculation. or directly at http://www. Particularly for land use. It is intended to become a recognized library where users can find EFs and other parameters with background documentation or technical references. Lastly. Nonetheless. These are multiplied to estimate the emissions associated with each type of land-use change. patches of deforestation.iges. and land use is monitored to estimate the areas of change between pairs of classes. Sampling must be designed to capture losses from deforestation and forest degradation that occurred between the two time periods. The EFDB. for use in their inventory. (e.

Table 3. Forest carbon 2. Land 2.Land uses can change on an annual basis. and consistent data over time. Stock change  2 series of forest inventories 3. and therefore.2 summarizes the key elements to consider when estimating emissions and removals from the land-use change and forestry sector: i) forest carbon pools (EFs from forest ecosystems).0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 48 . Thus. Tier 1  High uncertainty but less expensive 1. AD on land areas can change on an annual basis. Approach 3  Suitable for REDD+. Gain . 2011). and iii) the carbon stock estimation methods. but requires rigorous analysis process and ground truthing 1. ii) changes in land use (AD). or using satellite data (GOFC GOLD. forest inventories. The collection of AD should be conducted with the aim of generating representative. Approach 1  Not suitable for REDD+ due to the lack of accuracy 2. regular monitoring is required.2: Key elements for the estimation of emissions and removals for the LULUCF sector REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. Tier 3  Most accurate but more expensive and time consuming 1. and could be accomplished through ground surveys. Carbon stock required estimation 2. Tier 2  Requires national data including a pools (Emission national forest inventory Factors) 3. Approach 2  Not readily suitable for REDD+ representation because it is not spatially explicit (Activity Data) 3. reliable. IPCC elements Options Implications 1.loss  1 forest inventory with carbon method stock fluxes estimation Table 3.

2008. Good Practice Guidance for Land Use. Maniatis. 1996.. 2011. Moving ahead with REDD: Issues. Carbon Balance and Management 5:9. GOFC-GOLD Report version COP17-1. Published: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. ed. Land-Use Change and Forestry. Indonesia.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 49 .6 REFERENCES Angelsen. (GOFC-GOLD Project Office. Mollicone. 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Published: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. Japan. Options for sampling and stratification for national forest inventories to implement REDD+ under the UNFCCC. CIFOR. Published: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. GOFC-GOLD. Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Alberta. gains and losses of carbon stocks in forests remaining forests. Natural Resources Canada. 2010.3. Bogor. Japan. and D. 2003. IPCC. A sourcebook of methods and procedures for monitoring and reporting anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removals caused by deforestation. and forestation. options and implications. IPCC. Japan. A. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. D. 2006. Canada) IPCC.

gov . Agency for International Development 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue.S.usaid. NW Washington. DC 20523 Tel: (202) 712-0000 Fax: (202) 216-3524 www.U.