Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

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3.5.3. Country- and Regional-Level Studies

Case studies are employed to demonstrate how the mix of ARD activities and the various definitional scenarios interact to affect different countries. The case studies are drawn mainly from the literature, given the time constraints of this report. In the studies available, only IPCC and FAO definitions for ARD activities have been applied, rather than all of the definitional scenarios in Section 3.2.

Available country case studies show that if definitions of ARD include the harvest/regeneration cycle, the reported carbon stock change for reforestation in the commitment period will be negative for many Annex I countries. This negative change results from limiting credits for regrowth to areas reforested or afforested since 1990 (Table 3-12). Carbon debits, though limited to lands cleared during the commitment period, account for the loss of a large portion of the carbon accumulated during the lifetime of the stand. Debits will exceed credits, except in regions with very quickly maturing forests. If the stock change should be calculated from the onset of the activity (i.e., from reforestation), then under the FAO scenario some countries could get credits for biomass from regrowing areas, depending on how dead organic matter and soil carbon pools are handled.

Table 3-12: Country and regional ARD case studies applying FAO and IPCC definitional scenarios.

or Region
Potential for ARD Credits and Debits for Selected Annex I Countriesa in First Commitment Period (Mt C yr-1) 1990 Fossil
Fuel CO2
(Mt C yr-1)
(Mt C yr-1)
FAO Scenario IPCC
Land-Based Activity-Based

AR (0.9) 0.6-7c
Different scenarios were used to generate possible patterns of AR and D from 1999 to the end of the commitment period -79 -24 (c) Kirschbaum, 2000
dHamilton and Vellen,1999
(Nabuurs et al., 2000)
D (-13.6) -6 to -14d
D in 1990 baseline -24.5d
AR in 1990 baseline n/a

A 0.34 0.34 A and R according to IPCC definitions cannot be separated by the Austrian forest inventory -17 3.6 National data submitted after the Government Review
R -0.92
D -0.84 -0.84

A (0.14) (0.01)   -126 12 Robinson et al., 1999 (Nabuurs et al., 2000)
R (5.2) (0.08)
D 2.6-3.8 2.6-3.8 2.6-3.8

EU 15
A 3.6 3.6 (8) 3.6 (0.44) ARD based on past trends -907 53 Liski et al., 2000 (Nabuurs et al., 2000)
R -5.5 12.0 (16) incl. under 'A'
D -3.5 -3.5 (-2.2) -3.5 (-2.2)

A 0.12(e) 0.12(f) 0.12(f) ARD based on past trends -15 8 (e) Karjalainen et al., 1999
(f) Mäkipää and Tomppo, 1998
R -2.79(e) 2.30(f)
D -0.48(e) -0.48(f) -0.48(f)

A (0.24) (0.002)   -315 26 (Nabuurs et al., 2000)
R (11.6) (0.16)  
D (-0.3) (-0.3)  

A (0.04) (0.0)   -46 0.5 (Nabuurs et al., 2000)
R (0.06) (0.004)  
D (-0.02) (-0.02)  

New Zealand
A 2.7, 7.5, 10.3 n/a 2.7, assuming no new planting after 1997; 7.5, assuming 55 kha yr-1 AR; 10.3, assuming 90 kha yr-1 AR -7 6 Ford-Robertson, et al., 1999
R n/a 2.7, 7.5, 10.3
D n/a n/a

A 0.04 0.04 0.04 ARD based on past trends -10 3 Karjalainen et al., 1999
R -1.30 0.07
D -0.07 -0.07 -0.07

A 1.5 1.5 (2.3) 1.5 (0.12) It was assumed that in Russia large areas of agricultural lands have been abandoned since 1990, leading to large areas for afforestation -647 107 Izrael and Avdjushin, 1999 (Nabuurs et al., 2000)
R n/a 2.3-2.5 (14) incl. under 'A'
D n/a n/a (-60.8) n/a (-60.8)

A 0.04 0.04   -62 National data submitted after Government Review
R 0.09 n/a  
D - n/a  

A 0.32 0.32 (1.7) 0.32 (0.006) ARD based on past trends -17 9 Karjalainen et al., 1999 (Nabuurs et al., 2000)
R -4.53 4.03 (3) (0.04)
D -0.43 -0.43 (-0.02) -0.43 (-0.02)

A (36) (0.4)   -1,352 117 (Nabuurs et al., 2000)
R (68) (8)  
D (-12.4) (-12.4)  

Notes: Projected ARD credits and debits in first commitment period measured as Mt C yr-1 in tree biomass. Negative values are emissions, and positive values removals. n/a = not applicable. Values in brackets are from Nabuur et al., 2000.
a Major Annex I forest nations (EU treated as one entity).
b As reported in the second national communications to UNFCCC. The term "LUCF" is used in the second national communications.

Using the European Union (EU) as an example, woody biomass stock increased by 53 Tg C yr-1 in 1990. Reforestation in the FAO scenario (with land-based accounting approach I) provides the EU (Liski et al., 2000) with a source of 5.5 Tg C yr-1 because of negative stock change in the reforested area (regrowth of 12 Tg C yr-1 and loss of 17.5 Tg C yr-1 in clear-cut harvesting). The FAO scenario generates carbon emissions for countries where the afforestation area is relatively small, large areas are reforested, and regrowth is relatively slow (e.g., Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Norway). The same scenario produces net carbon sinks in countries where the afforestation area is relatively large and regrowth on reforested areas is relatively fast, or rotation cycles are shorter (e.g., Ireland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom). In Table 3-12, afforestation under the FAO and IPCC scenarios provided a 1-2 percent reduction in a country's 1990 CO2 emissions-except in New Zealand, where reductions were 40-150 percent because of the low population density and substantial afforestation programs. In contrast, reforestation under the FAO scenario provided an additional debit to 1990 CO2 emissions of up to 27 percent for countries with large reforested areas and relatively slow regrowth when stock changes are calculated for the entire commitment period. The same countries earned a credit of up to 25 percent of 1990 CO2 emissions when stock changes were calculated from the reforestation event to the end of the commitment period (i.e., land-based accounting approach II or activity-based accounting approach). These estimates, however, have excluded possible changes in soil and dead organic matter carbon. Including these pools will change the results, as demonstrated by the stand and landscape-level examples in Sections 3.5.1 and 3.5.2. Deforestation under the FAO and IPCC scenarios contributes debits of up to 3 percent of 1990 CO2 emissions. Available country-level data indicate the following:

  • The choice of definitions for forest and ARD affects the proportion of the land on which carbon stock changes must be reported; if harvest/regeneration cycles are included in ARD lands, the amount could increase greatly.
  • Reported changes in carbon stocks for ARD land do not necessarily represent stock changes in the whole country. A country could be losing forest, and thus reporting debits under Article 3.3, even though the managed forests could be a carbon sink.
  • Even when afforestation and reforestation areas exceed deforestation areas, a country will not necessarily report credits. This finding applies to all scenarios.

Table 3-13 illustrates the magnitude of ARD activities derived from the national communications of some Annex I countries. Further methodological work clearly is needed to assure that reported inventory data are consistent, transparent, and comparable and that the categories requested by the Kyoto Protocol can be distinguished. Chapter 6 provides a detailed description how the IPCC Guidelines fit into the reporting requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.

Table 3-13: Anthropogenic CO2 emissions and removals (Mt C yr-1) from the LUCF sector in 1990 for selected Annex I countries (based on the second national communications to UNFCCC). Removals (sink) are positive and emissions (source) are negative values.

A: Changes in
Forest and Other
Woody Biomass
B: Forest and
C: Abandonment
of Managed
D: Other Total Net

Australia 146f 6.3 -32.1 NR 2.2g -23.6
Canadad 418 13.6 -0.3 0.8 -1.1h 12.0i
European Community 51.9 -11.6 2.9 7.9 51.1
Germany 10.7 9.2 9.2
Japan 25.3f 23.0 -0.2 -0.1 22.7
New Zealand 7.9 6.0 -0.3 5.7
Norway 9.6f j j j j 2.6j
Poland 8.8 9.4 -0.2 3.0 NR 12.2
Russian Federation 763.5 106.9 106.9
United Kingdome 2.4 2.6 k -8.4l -5.8
United States 295 +125m/+311.5

Country (Mha) Stocks (Mt C)a (Mt C)b (Mt C)c (Mt C) (Mt C)

Notes: NR = not reported information. The term "LUCF" is used in the second national communications.
a Includes changes in stock by forest management in existing commercial forest (harvest, thinning, and restocking) plus managed forests resulting from afforestation and reforestation.
b Includes conversion of existing forest and natural grassland into other land use (e.g., agriculture). There is no information on forests alone. These data may be considered a rough approximation for deforestation under all definitional scenarios.
c Abandoned cropland and pastures. These data may approximate afforestation and reforestation on cropland and pastures based on natural regeneration and without future management.
d Based on GHG Inventory submission, 1999.
e Categories 5B and 5C have been combined.
f From UN-ECE/FAO Forest Resource Assessment (1999).
g Pasture improvements.
h Emissions and removals from soil.
i Numbers in UNFCCC database match.
j Not estimated according to IPCC draft reporting instructions (net removal based on increment, harvesting, and natural decay projections for 1990).
k Included elsewhere.
l Emissions of CO2 from wetland drainage and peat extraction.
m The first figure is interpolated from forest inventories in 1987 and 1992. The calculation method reflects long-term averages, rather than specific events in any given year. The second figure is from GHG Inventory submission, 1999.

Information needed to judge ARD activities cannot be derived from national communications prepared before the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. Additional difficulties arise because each nation uses either its own scheme (neglecting IPCC categories) or its own definitions. Most nations do not report deforestation. Countries that mention deforestation do not include data because of a high degree of uncertainty. In these cases, only the "regrowth of cleared vegetation" sink is reported.

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