Reporting on LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol
A. Definitions, modalities, rules and guidelines for LULUCF activities under Articles
3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol
COP 4 (November 1998) considered the report (FCCC/CP/1998/INF.4)
on a SBSTA workshop on data availability based on definitions used by Parties and international
organizations in relation to Article 3.3 and the submissions by Parties (FCCC/CP/1998/MISC.1
The COP decided to recommend draft decisions, for adoption by COP/MOP at its first session, on
definitions related to activities under Article 3.3 and modalities, rules and guidelines as to how,
and which additional human-induced activities might be included under Article 3.4, and to do so after
the IPCC Special Report on LULUCF had been
completed and considered by the SBSTA (see decision 9/CP.4).
COP 5 (October/November 1999) endorsed a work programme and a decision-making framework on LULUCF to
enable these draft decisions (recommended at COP 4) to be adopted by COP 6 (November 2000) (see
decision 16/CP.5). As part of
the negotiations, SBSTA invited Parties to submit country-specific data and information on the LULUCF
sector according to a standard format agreed at SBSTA 12 (June 2000). Work continued
inter-sessionally with several SBSTA workshops convened on LULUCF. The IPCC Special Report on LULUCF was
formally presented to SBSTA 12.
Parties failed to reach agreement on LULUCF matters at COP 6 in The Hague (November 2000), as part of
a package of decisions under the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. Negotiating texts on
LULUCF issues were forwarded to a resumed session of COP 6 for further consideration ( FCCC/CP/2000/5/Add.3 (Vol. IV)).
At COP 6 part II (July 2001), Parties adopted the Bonn Agreement on the implementation of the
Buenos Aires Plan of Action, registering political agreement on key issues, including those on
LULUCF. The most important issues regarding LULUCF included definitions for all activities
under Article 3.3 and 3.4, and rules by which activities under Article 3.4 will operate for the first
commitment period. A draft decision text was finalized and later adopted at COP 7.
COP 7 (October/November 2001) adopted a decision on LULUCF and related issues as part of the
Marrakesh Accords (refer to Decision
11/CP.7). This decision by COP 7 recommended that the COP/MOP, at its first session, adopt
a decision on land use, land-use change and forestry. This decision has now been adopted by the
COP/MOP, at its first session, as decision 16/CMP.1.
consists of three main elements:
set of principles to govern the treatment of LULUCF activities;
common definition for “Forest,” plus definitions for activities under Article 3.3 and
agreed activities under Article 3.4; and
modalities, rules and guidelines relating to the accounting of activities under Articles 3.3 and 3.4.
B. Reporting LULULCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol
Discussions on the use of the IPCC good practice guidance for
LULUCF in the preparation of national GHG inventories at SBSTA 19 (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/15,
paragraph 24(b)–(e)) did not include any related discussion to the Kyoto Protocol.
Parties needed some time to further consider the IPCC good practice guidance for LULUCF and decided
to postpone a decision on this matter until COP 10. The SBSTA took note of the information
contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/2003/INF.11
on a draft common reporting format (CRF) for LULUCF under the Kyoto Protocol. Following submissions
by Parties (FCCC/SBSTA/2004/MISC.1),
these draft tables of the CRF for LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol were updated to
facilitate further consideration of this topic at SBSTA 20.
SBSTA 20 (FCCC/SBSTA/2004/6,
paragraphs 11–19) considered and elaborated the updated draft tables of the CRF for LULUCF
activities under the Kyoto Protocol, contained in FCCC/SBSTA/2004/INF.1,
taking into account the submissions by Parties (FCCC/SBSTA/2004/MISC.1).
SBSTA 21 (FCCC/SBSTA/2004/13,
paragraphs 26–28) finalized the elaboration of these tables of the CRF for LULUCF activities
under the Kyoto Protocol and recommended a draft decision, including a draft decision to be forwarded
to COP/MOP at its first session, for adoption by COP 10 (December 2004).
The decision on “Good practice guidance for land use, land-use change and forestry activities
under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Kyoto Protocol” ( decision 15/CP.10) was adopted by the COP
at its tenth session. The decision encouraged Annex I Parties that have ratified the Kyoto
Protocol to submit in 2007, on a voluntary basis, estimates of GHGs from activities under Articles
3.3 and 3.4, using the tables of the CRF as well as follow the guidance on supplementary information
on these LULUCF activities contained in this decision (the tables of the CRF are available in
pages 47–61). Following this, Parties were invited to submit their views on these tables
of the CRF and accounts of their experiences on the use of these tables.
The draft decision on “Good practice guidance for land use, land-use change and forestry
activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Kyoto Protocol”, attached to decision
15/CP.10, was adopted by the COP/MOP,
at its first session, as decision 17/CMP.1. This COP/MOP decision
decided that Annex I Parties that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol shall apply the IPCC good practice
guidance for LULUCF, in a manner consistent with the Kyoto Protocol, in their provision of
information on GHG emissions and removals from LULUCF activities under Articles 3.3 and 3.4 for the
first commitment period. After the SBSTA, at its twenty-seventh session (December 2007), has
considered the views by Parties relating to their experiences on the use of these CRF tables, these
tables will be updated and incorporated in an annex to this decision.
C. Completion of the technical guidance on methodologies for adjustments
under the Kyoto Protocol
The SBSTA, at its twenty-second session (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/4,
paragraphs 34–40), completed the technical guidance on methodologies for
adjustments under Article 5, paragraph 2 of the Kyoto Protocol that includes guidance on adjustments
for estimates of anthropogenic emissions and removals from land use, land-use change and
forestry. The original technical guidance, as adopted by decision 20/CP.9, included all other
inventory sectors except LULUCF. This additional guidance on methodologies for adjustments
would be applicable to emissions and removals of LULUCF in the base year for the purpose of
establishing the assigned amount under Article 3, paragraph 7 and for estimates of emissions and
removals from activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4.
The COP/MOP, at its first session, adopted a decision ( 21/CMP.1) on issues relating to
adjustments under Article 5, paragraph 2, of the Kyoto Protocol. In addition, the secretariat
established a process that enabled expert review teams to gain experience with the methods for
adjustments of LULUCF estimates during the inventory review period of 2007–2008.
D. Criteria for cases of failure to submit information relating to GHG estimates of
LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol
The SBSTA, at its twenty-third session (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/10,
paragraphs 48–52), developed criteria for cases of failure to submit information relating to
estimates of greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks from activities under
Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Kyoto Protocol, similar to those described in paragraph 3
of decision 15/CMP.1,
and recommended a decision on this matter for adoption by COP/MOP at its first session.
By this decision ( 18/CMP.1),
an Annex I Party shall not issue removal units (RMU) for a specific activity under Article 3,
paragraph 3 or a specific elected activity under Article 3, paragraph 4, associated with the year of
the commitment period, if the magnitude of the adjustments to that activity exceeds 9 per cent for
More information on adjustments under Article 5.2 and criteria for cases of failure can be found at
the following weblink on “Guidelines under Articles 5, 7 and 8: Methodological
Issues, Reporting and Review under the Kyoto Protocol”: