Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

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6.1. Introduction

This chapter analyses the extent to which the Guidelines can be used to report changes in carbon stocks, GHG emissions, and their associated activities under the Kyoto Protocol. This analysis covers the full set of the Guidelines but does not include an analysis of options identified in preceding chapters. This chapter indicates where improvements to the Guidelines may be needed.

Many of the issues discussed in this chapter are not unique to the LUCF sector, including uncertainties, transparency, and verifiability. Others issues to be considered are leakage, baselines, and additionality. Generally, the level of uncertainty may be inherently higher for all GHG emissions associated with biological systems than for those associated with energy and industrial systems. However, these uncertainties can be reduced through scientific and technological developments, as well as improvements in data collection and analysis. Parties would need to consider the tradeoffs between improved accuracy of data, transparency, verifiability, and costs. An underlying principle of the Guidelines, however, is the consistent treatment and reporting of uncertainties of GHG fluxes among all sectors.

The term "reporting" is used to include definitions of forests and activities, accounting methods, default and national data, and reporting tables. As an approximation, the term "accuracy" is used when "reliability" and "confidence of estimates" may be more precise.

The remainder of Section 6.1 reviews the background to the Guidelines. Section 6.2 reviews issues in the Guidelines that are relevant for the reporting of LULUCF (FCCC, 1998b, Decision 9/CP.4). Section 6.3 discusses the adequacy of the Guidelines for the reporting of national activities as a result of ARD (UNFCCC, 1997, Article 3.3), as well as additional human-induced activities (UNFCCC, 1997, Article 3.4). Section 6.4 deals with issues related to projects that potentially fall under Articles 3.4, 6, and 12 (UNFCCC, 1997). Finally, Section 6.5 suggests options for improving the Guidelines.

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