Basic Forest Carbon Inventory and Accounting: Techniques and Tools

Developing valid and verifiable estimates of forest carbon stocks is a critical activity that enables participation in international reporting programs, emerging carbon credit trading markets, programs such as UN-REDD and REDD+, and a variety of other forest-based mitigation activities at scales from the community to the nation. There are several methods that can be used to develop estimates of forest carbon sequestration, depending on the spatial scale needed and the quality and quantity of available data. After attending the course, participants will have a working knowledge of the science and techniques of forest carbon accounting (including emerging technologies such as LIDAR), as well as an awareness of the tools currently available to support forest carbon management decision making and inventories. The methods covered can be applied for a variety of purposes, from project-level to country-level carbon estimation and monitoring. In addition to the technical details of forest carbon accounting, practical aspects of developing carbon monitoring, reporting, and verification programs in developing nations will be discussed, as well as forest carbon inventory from the perspective of institutions providing funding for forest carbon project implementation.

In this course, we will cover the basic principles of estimating forest carbon sequestration and discuss the various approaches available, as well as the differences between project scale and national scale inventories. Methodology will be consistent with the IPCC rotocols and Good Practice Guidance. Participants will have an opportunity work together to develop estimates of forest carbon sequestration using inventory data and IPCC methods, and may bring their own data to work with. No prior knowledge of forest carbon sequestration is assumed; participants will receive a course packet with references at the start of the workshop.

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