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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

VERSION 2. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL.0 FOREST CARBON. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL.REDD+ MEASUREMENT. REDD+ MEASUREMENT. 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. VERSION 2.0 ii .

....................................................................................................................................................................... 9 2.....................................3 KEY FUNCTIONS AND COMPONENTS OF NATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS ....................................................... SCOPE AND STRUCTURE .....................................................................2 CARBON POOLS AND THEIR MEASUREMENT ..............22 2.........................................................5 METHODOLOGIES FOR ESTIMATING EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS ..............2 BACKGROUND ............. 8 2..................0 INTRODUCTION................................0 INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS......................... 1 1..................... III ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ................34 3.................................................54 4.....................30 3...................................................................2 IPCC GUIDANCE..4 THE FOREST CARBON INVENTORY TEAM .....................................................................................................................19 2..........2 ELEMENTS OF A MRV SYSTEM FOR REDD+ ................. 4 1...3 CONCEPTS AND CONSIDERATIONS IN INVENTORY DESIGN .....................................................38 3...............0 FIELD-BASED INVENTORIES ..................................................................................7 REFERENCES............ 50 4........1 PURPOSE...3 REFERENCES.......................................................3 INVENTORY AND REPORTING STEPS ........................................................... 31 3.....66 4............................4 DEFINITIONS OF CARBON POOLS AND LAND USES ......................26 2......................................................................0 ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS .....................................................................................................0 iii .............TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS.................5 FIELD WORK AND ANALYSIS .............6 EPA NATIONAL SYSTEM TEMPLATES ........ 1 1......................................................................................................................1 INTRODUCTION .......................................................... VIII 1.............................31 3....................................49 4........6 REFERENCES................................... V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................ 17 2.................................6 CALCULATING CARBON STOCKS FROM FIELD DATA ..................................................... REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL.. 42 3..................................1 INTRODUCTION .............50 4.................................................................................................................................................................................. 9 2.......................1 INTRODUCTION ...........................69 REDD+ MEASUREMENT........................................................................................4 STEPS IN ESTABLISHING INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS...........13 2. 57 4..............................................41 3.................................................. VERSION 2.................................................5 EXAMPLES .................................................67 4......

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

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ACR American Carbon Registry AD Activity Data AFOLU Agriculture. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL. VERSION 2. 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. Markets and Communities Program FCPF Forest Carbon Partnership Facility REDD+ MEASUREMENT.0 v .

VERSION 2.0 vi .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. Technology and Innovation MMU Minimum-mapping unit MRV Measurement. Reporting and Verification N20 Nitrogen oxide NAMA Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Strategies NASA National Aeronautics and Space Agency REDD+ MEASUREMENT. 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. 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. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL. Land-use Change and Forestry GPS Global Positioning System IDEAM Colombian Institute for Hydrology.

comparability. 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. REPORTING AND VERIFICATION (MRV) MANUAL. plus the role of conservation. VERSION 2. sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. accuracy.0 vii . completeness.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. 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.

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

Land-Use Change and Forestry (GPG-LULUCF). More detailed and technical information on the collection of data for input onto greenhouse gas (GHG) estimation is provided in Chapters 4 and 5. Inventory and Reporting Steps. This chapter is relevant to the activities highlighted on the following page. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. 3. of this Manual outlines the sequence of steps required for generating a national GHG inventory. including a brief overview of IPCC guidance evolution.0 ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS Authors: Angel Parra and Stelios Pesmajoglou 3. and land-use types. and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+). the main steps for estimating emissions and removals for activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 31 .3.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter provides a brief description of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Good Practice Guidance for Land Use. Section 3. including a discussion on the activity data (AD) and emission factors (EFs) needed. plus the role of conservation. the main carbon pools. It also provides an overview of the methodologies for estimating emissions and removals. sustainable forest management.

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

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

• All five carbon pools (aboveground biomass. Forest Land Remaining Forest Land) during the period covered by the inventory. and non-CO2 gases.2.. and the 2006 IPCC Guidelines (Volume 4: Agriculture.g. Land-Use Change and Forestry The IPCC developed the GPG-LULUCF in 2003 (IPCC. and • To provide good practice guidance on the choice of estimation methodology and improvements of the methods. • Sampling for area estimates and for estimating emissions and removals. Table 3. as well as advice on cross-cutting issues. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. litter.2 IPCC GUIDANCE 3. For more details. The GPG-LULUCF provides guidance on specific features related to the LULUCF sector including: • Consistent representation of land areas. and quality control. deadwood. Forest Land Converted to Cropland) during the inventory period. time series consistency. and Other Land Use). These land-use categories can be further sub-divided into lands remaining in the same land use (e. 2003) as a supplement to the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (Revised 1996 Guidelines)(IPCC. and • Guidance on how to complement the Convention reporting for the LULUCF sector to meet the supplementary requirements under the Kyoto Protocol. and soil organic carbon).g. • CO2 emissions and removals estimates for all carbon pools. including estimation of uncertainties. settlements.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 34 . grassland.1 summarizes the differences between the Revised 1996 Guidelines. quality assurance. • Verification. comparable and accurate.1 The Good Practice Guidance for Land Use. the GPG-LULUCF 2003.3. and o N2O from land-use conversion. refer to Section 7. CO2 pools. Its main objectives are: • To assist countries in producing national GHG inventories for the LULUCF sector that are transparent. o N2O from managed forests (fertilized forests). and lands converted into another land-use category (e. wetlands. Other advances of the GPG-LULUCF are the inclusion of: • A key source/sink category analysis. o N2O from drainage of forest soils. and • The following non-CO2 gas estimates: o Nitrogen dioxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) from forest fires.1 of this Manual. enabling the dedication of limited inventory resources to important source/sink categories. and other land. consistent. o N2O and CH4 from managed wetlands.. 1996). complete. Forestry. belowground biomass. Inventories can be organized according to six broad land-use categories: forest land. cropland.

with methods for gases. The reporting woody biomass stocks  Cropland for land categories remains  Forest and grassland  Grassland similar to the GPG-LULUCF. and livestock dead organic matter and  Aboveground biomass population characterization and belowground biomass are zero  Belowground biomass manure management systems (i.  Dead organic matter from agriculture.. or other managed  Other land lands  CO2 emissions and removals from soils Some land categories not included. 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.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. such as coffee. 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. reflecting the limited availability of scientific information. Lack of clarity on agroforestry. inputs equal losses).e. pools: managed lands. soils and Default assumption: changes in biomass burning.  Settlements pastures. coconut. CH4 emissions contained in an appendix.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 35 . conversion  Wetlands  Abandonment of croplands. tea.

as well as development into deadwood in volume suitable for of the IPCC Emission Factor  Annual biomass transferred industrial processing. disaggregated by:  Area abandoned and climatic region. associated with harvested wood products. 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. 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. providing management systems annual net increment alternative emission factors  Soil organic carbon in (including bark) to with associated documentation. species. 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. 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.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 36 . management years before year-t (year of system. etc.

and 2006 Guidelines for the AFOLU sector 3. grassland. AD and the selection of methods. AD Emission Factors explicitly and Emission Factors not described. These land categories are further sub-divided into land remaining in the same category and land converted from one category to another. • Describing alternative methods to estimate and report carbon stock changes associated with harvested wood products. • Reporting on all emissions by sources and removals by sinks from managed lands. CO2 and non-CO2 GHG emissions. 2006). provided. or forest type.  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. while emissions and removals for unmanaged lands are not reported.1: Differences between 1996 IPCC Guidelines. Figure 3-1 provides an overview of the evolution of the LULUCF sector in the IPCC Guidelines. cropland. but application for choice of methods. given vegetation. • Incorporating a KCA for land-use categories. Table 3. Other changes for the AFOLU sector include: • Adopting the six land-use categories used in the GPG-LULUCF (forest land. Changes in carbon stock in Biomass and soil carbon pools Similar biomass and soil carbon in a linked. 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. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. • Generic methods for accounting of biomass. wetlands. GPG-LULUCF. • 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. and other land). carbon pools. and livestock population characterization and manure management systems from agriculture. Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). settlements.2. • Incorporating methods for non-CO2 emissions from managed soils and biomass burning. The land-use categories are designed to enable inclusion of all managed land area within a country.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 37 .2 2006 IPCC Guidelines The 2006 IPCC Guidelines represent an evolutionary development in the methodologies for GHG inventories (IPCC. not linked. The most significant change introduced was the consolidation of the LULUCF sector and the Agriculture sector into a single sector referred to as Agriculture. which are considered to be anthropogenic.

• Adhering to principles of mass balance in computing carbon stock changes. Figure 3. for representing areas in the GPG-LULUCF. as well as development of the IPCC EFDB that is a supplementary tool to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines. drawing on the three approaches.pdf) 3. • Improving default emissions and stock change factors.ipcc-nggip. June 7th. 2008 (http://www.iges. reflecting the limited availability of scientific information. 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. described below.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 38 .1: Evolution of the LULUCF sector in the IPCC guidelines.jp/ presentation/NGGIP_AWG_KP.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. and • Incorporating methods to estimate CO2 emissions from flooded land with methods for CH4 emissions contained in an appendix.or. • Greater consistency in land area classification for selecting appropriate emission and stock change factors and AD. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. providing alternative emission factors with associated documentation.

verification. 6) Implement quality control checks.2). Utilize the worksheets where appropriate. and expert peer review of the emission estimates following specific guidance under each land-use category. non- CO2 source. assess which non-CO2 gases and carbon pools are significant and prioritize such pools in terms of methodological choice. Within the categories designated as key. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. Document and archive all information used to produce the national emissions and removals estimates following specific instructions under each land-use category. 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. carbon pool. 3) Ensure that the requirements in terms of emission and removal factors and AD appropriate to the tier level are being met.2) Identify key categories (see Box 3.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 39 . tier levels are described below. 5) Use the reporting tables to report emissions and removals estimates. and land-use change (more information on reporting is provided in Chapter 6).

helping countries identify the most appropriate methodologies for specific activities. The GPG-LULUCF also recommends performing the KCA twice. Section 5. to the total emissions/removals. Achieving consistency with guidance and decisions of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. Assessing the relative importance of LULUCF categories by integrating them into the overall key category analysis. from the GPG-LULUCF. the KCA should identify key categories for all sectors excluding LULUCF. The figure below. inventory compilers can prioritize their efforts and improve their overall estimates. By identifying these key categories in the national inventory.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 40 . these methods generally require more extensive resources for data collection. provides an overview of the decision process involved in a KCA. 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. Generally. or to the total uncertainty.Box 3. and 3. They represent a central element of the IPCC Guidelines. so it may not be feasible to use more rigorous methods for every category of emissions and removals. As a first step.4 of the GPG-LULUCF provides guidance on quantitative approaches for performing a KCA with the aim of meeting three objectives. as well as greater confidence in the estimates that are developed. 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. It is good practice for each country to identify its national key categories in a systematic and objective manner. Consequently. or to the trends of emissions/removals for the years covered by the inventory. regarding the identification of key categories. Enabling continued assessment of key source categories without LULUCF. 2. which are important. However.2: Key categories and a key category analysis Key categories refer to specific elements within a GHG inventory. in terms of their contribution. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. it is good practice to use results of a key category analysis (KCA) as a basis for methodological choice. Methodological choice for individual source and sink categories is important in managing overall inventory uncertainty. including: 1. Such a process will lead to improved inventory quality. The KCA should then be performed with the LULUCF included.

(including peat) to a specified depth chosen by the country and applied consistently through the time series. all six top-level land categories defined by the GPG-LULUCF and AFOLU are briefly presented below: REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. specific to forests. Soils: • Soil organic matter: Includes organic carbon in mineral and organic soils. dead roots. Fine roots of less than (suggested) 2mm diameter are often excluded. and stumps larger than or equal to 10 cm in diameter or any other diameter used by the country. This ensures that modified definitions are used consistently over time and demonstrates that pools are neither omitted nor double counted. is included in Chapter 4. either standing.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 41 . • Belowground biomass: All living biomass of live roots. Where modified definitions are used. or measured as part of the soil carbon pool.1 Carbon pools The GPG-LULUCF provides the following definitions for the five carbon pools: aboveground biomass. bark. Dead Organic Matter: • Dead wood: Includes all non-living woody biomass not contained in the litter. Live fine roots (of less than the suggested diameter limit for belowground biomass) are included in litter where they cannot be empirically distinguished. and foliage. Typically. 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). and soils (see Box 3. including stem. it is good practice to clearly report them. Carbon stocks in lying dead wood are also called coarse woody debris. branches. Additional information. Dead branches still attached to a living plant are included as part of the aboveground live tree biomass pool. seeds. Dead wood includes wood lying on the surface. • 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. In cases where forest understory is a relatively small component of the aboveground biomass carbon pool. because it is impractical to try to remove very fine roots and root hairs from the soil.4. in various states of decomposition above the mineral or organic soil. but typically do not make up a significant fraction of the pool. National circumstances may require slight modifications to the pool definitions used here. fumic. lying on the ground.3: Five carbon pools Living Biomass: • Aboveground biomass: All living biomass above the soil. litter. These definitions provide a generic representation of these pools occurring in a terrestrial ecosystem. and humic layers. dead wood. Box 3.3.4 DEFINITIONS OF CARBON POOLS AND LAND USES 3. 3. or in the soil. This includes the litter. lying dead.4.2 Land-use categories While this Manual focuses on MRV system requirements for forest land. and possibly also a minimum length). standing dead trees must be large enough to meet the definition of “tree” that is used for live trees by the country. 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.3). stump. belowground biomass.

and all unmanaged land areas that do not fall into any of the other five categories. rock. cropland. Settlements Settlements include all developed land. Wetlands Wetlands include land that is covered or saturated by water for all or part of the year (e. The category also includes all grassland from wild natural grasslands.5 METHODOLOGIES FOR ESTIMATING EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS As it is not possible to measure all emissions and removals.4.3). ice. such as the changes in carbon stocks before and after a change in land use. subdivided into managed and unmanaged consistent with national definitions. grassland or settlements categories. An explanation of tiers is provided in Box 3. to recreational areas.. Grassland Grassland includes rangelands and pasture land that is not considered as cropland. such as páramo. the threshold used in the forest land category.2. Tier 2 for biomass and Tier 1 for soil carbon).Forest land Forest land includes all land with woody vegetation consistent with thresholds used to define forest land in the national GHG inventory. Cropland Cropland includes arable and tillage land. however. The generic form of the methodologies provided in all IPCC Inventory guidelines including the GPG-LULUCF is shown in Figure 3. depending on data availability and the magnitude of expected changes in the pool. This should be consistent with the selection of national definitions. including transportation infrastructure and human settlements of any size. and also by ecosystem type. Wetlands can be subdivided into managed and unmanaged according to national definitions. called “tiers. unless they are already included under other categories. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. AD are changes in the area of land use. It also includes systems with vegetation that fall below the threshold used in the forest land category and are not expected to exceed. estimates can be made based on surrogate parameters that are associated with emission rates. and agro-forestry systems with vegetation below thresholds used for the national definition of forest land. without human intervention. A combination of tiers can be used (e. It also includes systems with vegetation that currently fall below. 3. It allows the total identified land areas to match the national area. The GPG-LULUCF (and the 2006 IPCC Guidelines) allow for inventories with different levels of complexity.” In general.. peatland) and does not fall into the forest land. but are expected to exceed.g. sub-divided into managed and unmanaged. as well as agricultural and silvipastoral systems. Other land Other land includes bare soil. Emissions estimates are equal to the product of all AD considered and their associated EFs.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 42 . inventories using higher tiers have improved accuracy and reduced uncertainty (Figure 3. There is a trade-off. the threshold of the forest land category. where data are available. as the complexity and resources required for conducting inventories also increase for higher tiers. while EFs are the average amounts of emissions per unit-area of each type of activity.g.

Em. if possible. for example. note "Red.As key categories have the most significant impact on total emissions.3: Key implications of using different tiers. in order to improve the accuracy of the estimates (Figure 3. key categories should be addressed by at least Tier 2 methods." stands for reduced emissions (adapted from GOFC GOLD. Other reasons for using a higher tier approach may be the need for improved detail in a particular sector. the need to understand the abatement effect of a mitigation project.2: The IPCC basic equation for the estimation of emissions/removals Figure 3.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 43 . Figure 3.4). 2011) REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3.

emission and stock change factors) so the inventory compiler does not need specific data for these equation parameters. or the change in area of different land categories (Figure 3.5.. Box 3. global land cover maps. 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. Assessments are repeated over time and employ high- resolution land-use and management data. but for Tier 1 there are often globally available sources for these estimates (e. Tier 2 uses the same methodological approach as Tier 1. however. (Angelsen.g..4: Choice of estimation tier according to KCA process (adapted from Maniatis and Mollicone. The Tier 1 method alone. deforestation rates. Note that approaches are specific to representing AD and should not be confused with the three inventory tiers discussed above. including models and inventory measurement systems tailored to address unique national circumstances. agricultural production statistics. is unlikely to be sufficient for crediting under REDD+. but the emission and stock change factors are based on country or region-specific data.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 44 . Country- specific land-use and management data are needed. 2010) 3.g.4: Tiers Tier 1 methods are designed to be simple to use. livestock population data). Country defined emission factors are more appropriate for the climatic regions and land-use systems in the country or region. 2008) Figure 3. The GPG-LULUCF and the 2006 IPCC Guidelines provide equations and default parameter values (e. fertilizer use.1 Activity data The IPCC Guidelines describe three different approaches for representing AD. These inventories use advanced measurements and/or modeling systems to improve the estimation of GHG emissions and removals beyond Tier 1 or 2 approaches. Tier 3 uses higher order methods. which are generally disaggregated at the subnational level. The three approaches include: • Approach 1 identifies the total area for each land category.5). 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.

It is likely that land-use changes under a REDD+ mechanism will be required to be both identifiable and traceable in the future.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 45 .6). Therefore.e. REDD+ implementation.5: Different approaches for obtaining activity data (adapted from IPCC GPG 2003) 3. 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. litter. i.5. derived from sampling or wall-to-wall remote sensing mapping techniques. it only provides “net” area changes). and thus. or adapt an existing inventory. different forest types or conversion of one forest type to a different category. or Approach 2 with additional information (e. and thus is not suitable for REDD+.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. land cover change maps) will be useful for land tracking. to provide estimates for the five IPCC forest carbon pools (aboveground biomass. it is likely that only Approach 3. To obtain such estimates. for example deforestation minus forestation. 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. and to comply with the UNFCCC completeness reporting principle. resulting in a non-spatially explicit land-use conversion matrix.. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3.g.e. • Approach 3 extends Approach 2 by using spatially explicit land conversion information. belowground biomass. between land uses (i. • Approach 2 involves tracking of land conversions between categories. Net area of land use for various land use categories. it is primarily necessary to develop a national forest inventory for REDD+.. deadwood and soil organic carbon).

and ii) gain-loss (Angelsen 2008). There has been no decision for non-Annex l Parties regarding use of the 2006 Guidelines. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. and thus in this Manual we use the former term throughout. 2003) uses the term Stock-Change.5.7: Two IPCC-recognized methods for estimating carbon emissions: i) stock-difference. 2006).6: Carbon transfer among pools in a forest ecosystem 3. 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. 12 The GPG-LULUCF (IPCC. 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 3.7).0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 46 . Figure 3. 2003). the IPCC recognizes two methods to estimate carbon emissions: the Stock-Change method 12 and the Gain-Loss method (IPCC.3 Methods to estimate emissions and removals For land use. even though the 2006 Guidelines are more up-to-date and use the latter.Figure 3. Both of these simple calculation approaches assume that emissions to and removals from the atmosphere are equal to the total stock changes. while the Guidance from 2006 uses Stock-Difference (IPCC.

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

2: Key elements for the estimation of emissions and removals for the LULUCF sector REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. Thus. Forest carbon 2. or using satellite data (GOFC GOLD. and consistent data over time. reliable. AD on land areas can change on an annual basis. IPCC elements Options Implications 1. Tier 2  Requires national data including a pools (Emission national forest inventory Factors) 3.2 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). and therefore. Table 3. Approach 3  Suitable for REDD+. Tier 3  Most accurate but more expensive and time consuming 1. 2011). Gain . and could be accomplished through ground surveys.loss  1 forest inventory with carbon method stock fluxes estimation Table 3. Approach 1  Not suitable for REDD+ due to the lack of accuracy 2. and iii) the carbon stock estimation methods. Carbon stock required estimation 2. forest inventories. Stock change  2 series of forest inventories 3. ii) changes in land use (AD). The collection of AD should be conducted with the aim of generating representative. Land 2.Land uses can change on an annual basis. but requires rigorous analysis process and ground truthing 1. Tier 1  High uncertainty but less expensive 1. regular monitoring is required.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 48 . Approach 2  Not readily suitable for REDD+ representation because it is not spatially explicit (Activity Data) 3.

Options for sampling and stratification for national forest inventories to implement REDD+ under the UNFCCC.3. 2003. Maniatis. Indonesia. GOFC-GOLD Report version COP17-1. A sourcebook of methods and procedures for monitoring and reporting anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removals caused by deforestation. Mollicone. Natural Resources Canada. Canada) IPCC. (GOFC-GOLD Project Office. 2006. 2010. 1996. Land-Use Change and Forestry. Moving ahead with REDD: Issues. Carbon Balance and Management 5:9. Japan. 2011. A. 2008. IPCC. D. CIFOR. Alberta. options and implications. Published: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. Japan. ed. Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Published: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. Published: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. Good Practice Guidance for Land Use. 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. and D. GOFC-GOLD. and forestation.6 REFERENCES Angelsen. Bogor.. gains and losses of carbon stocks in forests remaining forests. Japan. REDD+ MRV MANUAL: CHAPTER 3. IPCC.0 – ESTIMATING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND REMOVALS 49 .

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