Afforestation, Reforestation, and Deforestation
The Guidelines include a definition of each of the three ARD activities. Afforestation
is defined as the planting of new forests on lands that historically have not
contained forests. Reforestation is defined as the planting of forests on lands
that have previously contained forests but have been converted to some other
use or some other species. Deforestation is defined as conversion of forest.
At one place in the Guidelines, afforestation and reforestation are described
differently. There is no distinction, however, between afforestation and reforestation
for accounting purposes within the Guidelines; the same method is used for both.
The Guidelines also provide examples of different categories of trees. Variability
in such categories allows flexibility in accounting; therefore, the Guidelines
do not by themselves ensure consistency in reporting among Parties. The choice
of definitions has implications for wooded lands that are included in an inventory
(see Chapters 2 and 3). If the Parties
adopt definitions for forests that differ from the IPCC definitions, the Guidelines
would have to be improved to account for them. Changing these definitions by
forest ecosystem or crown cover is unlikely to have significant implications
for the accounting approach in the Guidelines. The approach for estimating changes
in aboveground biomass is expected to remain similar. If Parties adopted different
definitions of ARD activities, however, more significant improvements to the
Guidelines might be required-depending on how the regeneration and harvest cycle
were treated, for example. Accounting methods for additional carbon pools also
might be requested by Parties.
For all three ARD activities, there would be implications if Parties adopt
an extension beyond the Workbook. For the Workbook, carbon pools are not only
limited to changes in aboveground biomass and soil carbon; the calculations
do not explicitly link the two pools for a specific activity. To overcome this
issue, the reporting of ARD for aboveground and below-ground biomass could be
geographically explicit (mapped) or linked through modeling. The same principle
would apply to the linking of other carbon pools.
For improved transparency, the reporting of ARD could also be made geographically
explicit at some appropriate scale, with geo-referencing of stocks according
to species, forest type, and age of stand. The same principle applies with regard
to verifying that a forest qualifies as ARD land and verifying changes in these
stocks. Geo-referencing in itself does not provide transparency, however. A
well-designed national system, together with the application of good practice,
may be needed to ensure the verifiability and transparency of the reported data.
For reporting of ARD, the activities or areas subject to these activities since
1 January 1990 need to be identified. The Guidelines do not currently apply
this "since 1990" time clause.
The accounting approach in the Guidelines could be adapted to capture most
additional activities, as broadly defined in Chapter 4.
Examples of additional activities may include management of cropland, grasslands,
and wetlands; if Article 3.3 were to exclude forest management activities, such
activities also would include management of forest (aggradation and degradation).
Some narrow definitions of activities can introduce land-use categories, however,
as well as additional carbon pools that are not currently covered by the Workbook.
Default data may not be provided for some of these activities (see Fact Sheets
in Chapter 4 for a full discussion).
Although most of these activities could be accounted by the Guidelines to varying
degrees, many of the same issues noted with regard to ARD apply. One issue is
integrating changes in aboveground biomass, and possibly other carbon pools,
with the associated activities. As with Article 3.3, a decision would need to
be made regarding which activities after 1 January 1990 would be reported, and
how. Depending on if and how baselines and additionality are treated under Article
3.4, additional accounting methods and reporting tables may needed (see Chapters
2 and 4).