Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

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4.1. Introduction and Context

Figure 4-1: Illustration of questions that arise from text of Article 3.4 of Kyoto Protocol. Numbers in parentheses indicate sections of this Special Report where the questions are discussed.

The Kyoto Protocol assigns amounts of GHG emissions to the countries listed in Annex B. Under Article 3.4 of the Protocol, Parties may add to or subtract from those assigned amounts GHG emissions by sources and removals by sinks that result from "additional" activities in agricultural soils, land-use change, and forestry. Decisions about which additional activities will be considered under Article 3.4 have not yet been made; these decisions are partly related to definitions adopted under Article 3.3 because in this context the term "additional" means activities that are in addition to ARD. Some key policy choices raised by Article 3.4 are illustrated in Figure 4-1 (note that numbers in parentheses indication the section in this report in which respective questions are most extensively discussed). This chapter presents scientific and technical information that may help inform those choices. There are also choices to be made on accounting rules (options are discussed in Chapter 2), which will affect how the adjustments are to be calculated. Some of the questions posed in Article 3.4 are more fully addressed in other chapters of this Special Report.

This chapter does not limit its consideration to practices or regions that are exclusively of interest to countries that have Kyoto Protocol commitments during the first commitment period. Subsequent periods may include a wider range of countries, and some countries currently outside Annex B may make voluntary commitments or be drawn into land-use activities under Article 12, if that is permitted.

We use the term "land use" to cover the entire range of direct management activities that affect agricultural soils, result in land-use change, alter forest management, or affect the long-term storage of carbon-containing products. All such activities are implicitly "human-induced." It is not clear that all measurable changes in carbon stocks are "directly" human-induced-a qualifier that appears in Article 3.3 but not in Article 3.4. Chapter 2 discusses the implications of the direct versus indirect distinction.

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