Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

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6.5.1. Elements of Reporting

Article 3.3. If all carbon pools are to be included when ARD activities are reported, it would be helpful to provide accounting methods in the Guidelines for pools other than aboveground biomass and soil carbon. If methods other than those in the Guidelines are used, a description of the methods of measurement and analysis would improve transparency. If ARD activities have to be reported separately, reporting guidelines will have to be improved. For pools that the Guidelines already deal with, refinements may also be required to better reflect nonlinear decay processes in the soil, for example. Priority could be given to improving methods for carbon pools that undergo significant changes in carbon stocks, as well as pools that are to be used in assessing compliance with commitments. For improved transparency and verifiability, reporting for ARD may need to be geo-referenced.

Article 3.4. Reporting of additional activities could be similar to reporting of ARD. As before, the key decisions are generic-for example, the issue of comprehensive accounting for GHG. Unlike Article 3.3, however, potential activities under Article 3.4 are not yet defined by the FCCC. This circumstance limits the extent of the discussion here. Most broadly defined, however, additional activities (FCCC, 1998a) can be accounted by the Guidelines. The definitions of some narrowly defined activities might need to be clarified.

Articles 6 and 12. The Guidelines were not designed for reporting of projects, and the degree of their improvement would depend on their use. At a minimum, reporting of a summary of changes in net GHG emissions and removals from all projects may be all that Parties decide is required. If so, this option would be relatively easy to operationalize. If a complete record of carbon impacts of each individual project is required, however, the level of effort to develop such guidelines could be considerable. Similarly, developing guidelines to estimate environmental and socioeconomic impacts may be equally involved. Whichever options are chosen, the factors to be considered include baselines, carbon stocks conserved or changed, GHG emissions and removals, system boundaries, leakage, positive spillover, reporting for monitoring of different activities, identification of carbon stock changes for different years, and frequency of measurements and reporting. The level of accuracy required for projects is generally higher than that for national inventories, so the reporting requirements for verification and monitoring are likely to differ from those for national inventories. For each of the options identified above, a key decision is whether Parties could choose their own accounting methods or whether internationally agreed methods would be stipulated for reporting-and if so, for which of the foregoing issues.
Although the reporting needs of the Protocol differ significantly at the project and national levels, several generic issues apply. A key decision that could apply to several Articles in the Protocol is the treatment of wood products. Parties would need to indicate priorities before work could begin to improve the Guidelines, if at all. Some unranked options are included in Table 6-5.

Table 6-5: Options (unranked) for additions/modifications to the IPCC Guidelines.

Issue   Options

Definitions   Clarify or expand definitions of forests, ARD, and additional activities
Carbon stocks   Modify methods, worksheets, and tables so that Parties can report data by explicit geographical locations for aboveground biomass, below-ground biomass, and soil carbon, consistent with the concept of full carbon accounting, including baselines; develop additional methods, worksheets, and reporting tables to account for storage of off-site carbon, such as wood products
Non-CO2 emissions   Identify additional or existing methods to report additional activities that have large associated sources of emissions of non-CO2 gases; develop methods to account for non-CO2 gases from forest fires-not from forest clearing
Reporting at different scales   Modify and develop reporting tables for project and national reporting such that they are scientifically consistent in space and time
Transparency   Modify tables to allow Parties to specify the type of method and data used, sampling strategy, etc.
Data quality   Develop methods for collecting, monitoring, and reporting of data, along with statistical assessments of accuracy (good practice) and indicative costs
Uncertainties   Develop procedures to input data variability and calculate overall uncertainties for national and/or project activities
Verification   Develop methods for verifying data, along with indicative costs and accuracy, enabling Parties to make appropriate choices
Sustainable development   Develop guidance to assess the impacts of the Protocol on sustainable development and on the environment

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