Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Workshop land-use related choices under the Kyoto protocol obligations, options and methodologies for defining "forest"

Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (KP)must make important policy decisions about specific activities and definitions within the Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector. These decisions have to take into account scientific understanding, requirements within the KP, environmental integrity, practical applicability and cost effectiveness. In fulfilling Articles 3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol and subsequent decisions in the Marrakech Accords (MA), each Annex I Party to the Protocol must, by 31 December 2006:
1. Adopt a single definition of the term forest by selection of:
a. a minimum tree crown cover threshold between 10 and 30%;
b. a minimum land area threshold between 0.05 and 1 hectare;
c. a minimum tree height threshold between 2 and 5 metres; and
d. a minimum width as recommended by the IPCC Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF.
2. Select any or all of the following human-induced activities under Article 3.4 in the first commitment period: revegetation, forest management, cropland management, and grazing land management. The Marrakech Accords provide a rather broad definition of forest management. Upon election of forest management as an activity under Art. 3.4, Parties to the Protocol are asked to interpret this definition under their national circumstances. These decisions may have an impact for the future due to the possibly long-term reporting obligations for lands once they have entered the reporting system under the Kyoto Protocol.

The workshop offered a review of scientific issues and a practical guidance to estimation of:
- carbon benefits and their uncertainty ranges resulting from the adopted definition of forest;
- carbon benefits and their uncertainty ranges resulting from the adoption of each Art. 3.4 activity;
- risk of potential need to report carbon liabilities as a result of the adoption of each Art. 3.4 activity,
-monitoring/data collection and reporting costs,
-trade-offs and synergies with other objectives, such as environmental or socio-economic considerations and
-the range of incentives (if any) that may be required to achieve the desired GHG and other objectives.

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