Reference Emissions Level [MGD Sections]

REDD+ Reporting [MGD Sections]

3.1.3   Sustainable management of forests, enhancement of forest carbon stocks (within existing forest), and conservation of forest carbon stocks Previous topic Parent topic Child topic Next topic

These activities are likely to be associated with specific national and regional policies, which may be linked to particular geographical areas, consistent with national strategies for sustainable management, implying need for appropriate sub-stratifications. Recognising that countries will have national forest definitions, there seems wide agreement that sustainable management of forests aims to maintain and enhance forest values(1). This does not necessarily mean maintaining the carbon stocks initially present in primary or modified natural forests. For example, average biomass carbon stocks are always less in harvested forests than in equivalent areas of forests that are not subject to harvest, but in a sustainably managed production forest carbon stocks would not decline over time when averaged over harvesting cycles (thus reflecting sustained productive capacity). Conservation of forest carbon stocks aims to maintain carbon stocks. Enhancement of forest carbon stocks aims to increase carbon stocks, which could be within an existing forest area, or by converting another land use to forest. This second possibility is methodologically distinct because it entails land-use change, and is dealt with separately below. Enhancement of forest carbon stocks (within an existing forest), conservation of forest carbon stocks, and sustainable management of forests would all occur within existing forest areas that remain forest areas. Therefore, as with degradation, GHG emissions and removals associated with them should be estimated using the methodologies described for Forest Land remaining Forest Land set out in section 3.2.1 of GPG2003 Opens in new window(2). These methods address above- and below-ground biomass, litter, dead wood and soil organic matter and associated emissions of non-carbon dioxide GHGs. Since these activities are generally intended to maintain or increase forest carbon stocks, they are the reverse of degradation, and sometimes the same activity can lead to degradation or the reverse, depending on the intensity, an example being harvesting. Estimation of carbon change for the above activities should therefore be consistent with estimation for degradation. Therefore to estimate emissions and removals from sustainable management of forests, enhancement of forest carbon stocks (within an existing forest), and conservation of forest carbon stocks, countries are advised to follow steps 1 to 9 set out above for degradation, in the following way:
  • Within the stratified areas, for example primary forest, modified natural forest and planted forest, if there are particular areas subject to sustainable management activities, use remote sensing data in combination with information from national forestry authorities to identify these as sub-strata. This step will be unnecessary if all the strata are subject to sustainable management.
  • The equation for estimating emissions and removals from these activities becomes:
Equation 2
Eqn002.svg
This version of the equation assumes that all the forest remaining forest is subject to the activities sustainable management of forests, enhancement of forest carbon stocks (within an existing forest), and conservation of forest carbon stocks; and all terms contribute to the total irrespective of sign. Equation 2 is arranged so that CO2sust will be negative (corresponding to a removal) if carbon stocks are increasing. Equation 2 assumes that primary forest can become modified natural forest or plantation forest, and that modified natural forest can become planted forest, but that the reverse transitions do not occur. Table 12 shows the processes to which the five terms on the right hand side of Equation 2 respectively correspond. Since the terms are separately identified, emissions and removals from these activities may be disaggregated by process or treated as a sum over the processes involved.
If a transition occurs in a partitioned forest type, the carbon densities to use are those which correspond to the transition being made. If primary forest is successfully conserved then ΔAPF>MNF and ΔAPF>PlantF will both be zero.
If forest degradation and the sustainable activities are both present, then to avoid double-counting:
  • if emissions from degradation and the sustainable activities are to be separately identified, degradation should be estimated using Equation 1 and the sustainable activities then estimated as the difference between Equation 1 and Equation 2. If Equation 1 has been disaggregated in some way, e.g. by treating planted forests separately, then Equation 2 should be disaggregated in the same way.
  • if all degradation and the sustainable activities are to be estimated together only Equation 2 should be applied. Since there are no sign restrictions in Equation 2 any degradation which occurs within activities defined as sustainable management of forests, enhancement of forest carbon stocks (within an existing forest), and conservation of forest carbon stocks will be included in the emissions estimate.
As in the case of degradation, at Tier 1, GPG2003 assumes that for Forest Land remaining Forest Land, mineral soil, dead wood and litter pools are in equilibrium. If higher Tier methods are being used, national data should enable Equation 2 to be expanded to include them. If organic soils are drained to establish planted forest, emissions should be estimated for the corresponding planted forest areas as set out in section 3.2.1.3 of GPG2003 Opens in new window. Tier 1 carbon dioxide emission/removal factors reported in the IPCC guidance and guidelines for organic soils under different circumstances are summarised in Table 11.

Table 12: Terms used in Equation 2

Number of term on RHS of Equation 2
Process
Term on the right hand side of Equation 2
0
Multiplies the whole of the right-hand side of the equation and converts from mass of carbon to mass of carbon dioxide
44/12
1
Conversion of primary forest to modified natural
ΔAPF>MNF(CBPF − CBMNF)
2
Conversion of modified natural forest to planted forest
ΔAMNF>PlantF(CBMNF − LRCBPlantF)
3
Conversion of primary forest to planted forest
ΔAPF>PlantF(CBPF − LRCBPlantF)
4
Change in long term carbon density of modified natural forest
AMNF(ΔCBMNF)
5
Change in long term carbon density of planted forest
APlantF (ΔLRCBPlantF )

 (1)
Although the language refers to sustainable forest management rather than sustainable management of forests, the UN has recognised that sustainable forest management, as a dynamic and evolving concept, aims to maintain and enhance the economic, social and environmental values of all types of forests, for the benefit of present and future generations (Non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests, adopted by the UN General Assembly 22 Oct 2007)
 (2)