Canadian Forest Service Publications

Developing Canada’s national forest sector carbon accounting system (Abstract) 2003. Kurz, W.A.; Apps, M.J. Pages 150-151 in Proceedings of the XII World Forestry Congress, September 21-28, 2003, Quebec, Canada. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy, Vol. B - Forests for the planet, Co-published by Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, and the Government of Quebec.

Year: 2003

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 23820

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

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The rate of carbon accumulation in the global atmosphere can be reduced by decreasing the emissions from fossil-fuel burning and by increasing the net carbon uptake in terrestrial (and aquatic) ecosystems. The Kyoto Protocol seeks to accomplish both. Canada is developing a national forest sector carbon monitoring, accounting and reporting system in support of its international obligations to report greenhouse gas sources and sinks. The system synthesizes data from many sources, including: a new national forest inventory and existing regional inventories; growth and yield information derived from a large network of sample plots; change statistics on change agents such as wildfire, insect disturbances and forest management activities; and land-use change, obtained from a range of sources including remote sensing. Computer simulation models are used to inte-grate this information to estimate carbon stocks, changes in carbon stocks and the emissions of greenhouse gases. A key component of the system is the Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector (CBM-CFS2) which will enable analyses at four spatial scales (national, provincial, forest management unit and stand). The model will be used to assess carbon-stock changes between 1990 and the present, and to predict future carbon-stock changes, under a wide range of assumptions about management activities and natural disturbance rates. The system is designed to be compliant with the reporting requirements under the Kyoto Protocol and other international agreements. Moreover, applied at the scale of operational planning, the simulation models will enable forest managers to include carbon consequences of proposed management alternatives among their criteria for management choices. The Canadian approach may be of interest to other northern countries developing forest carbon tracking systems.