Canadian Forest Service Publications

Possible systems for measuring and reporting on deforestation in Canada under the Kyoto protocol. 2000. Leckie, D.G.; Gillis, M.D.; Wulder, M.A. Pages 99-106 in C.H. Shaw and M.J. Apps, editors. The role of boreal forests and forestry in the global carbon budget, Proceedings: IBFRA (International Boreal Forest Research Association) 2000 Conference. May 8-12, 2000, Edmonton, Alberta. Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, AB. 326 p.

Year: 2000

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 5522

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


A national system for determining and reporting on areas of deforestation is needed to fulfill Canada’s Kyoto Protocol reporting commitments. An enhanced National Forest Inventory (NFI) forms a reasonable national framework on which to build a deforestation reporting system. The NFI consists, at its core, of a grid system of 2x2 km plots on a 20 km spacing. The base design calls for forest parameters to be determined from aerial photo interpretation. A subset of plots are sampled on the ground. This core can be enhanced with data from other sources. One possible enhancement is the integration of the NFI plot system, medium resolution satellite remotely sensed data (e.g., Landsat TM), and existing land use records to improve measurements of deforestation in the context of the Kyoto Protocol. Important in such a system are what data are available and how to integrate the data.

Key issues related to the appropriateness of public land use records are: what records are available; from who; their content, coverage and reliability; are they spatially explicit; are they yearly; are they legislated, regulated or voluntary; and are there access restrictions. Questions related to the potential use of satellite remote sensing include: what types of deforestation can be detected, how accurately and at what minimum mapping unit; for what types of deforestation can you infer deforestation using only one image; how long a time interval do you need to prove deforestation or alternately disprove deforestation; what information can one infer regarding remaining carbon stocks. Issues related to integration into a system within the National Forest Inventory structure are: sampling system design (random, systematic, focused); scaling; sampling interval; what to do when different sources give different answers; and how area and location of deforestation can be related to forest type, biomass, and remaining carbon on site so the impact on the carbon budget can be determined. In this paper these factors were considered and viable integrated systems outlined.