LULUCF - Developments at past COP and SB sessions

COP 11, COP/MOP 1, SB 22 and 23

A. Methodological issues related to LULUCF

1. LULUCF reporting under the UNFCCC

Decision 13/CP.9 invited Parties to submit their views on the tables of the common reporting format (CRF) for LULUCF and experiences with their use (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/MISC.7 and Add.1). Following these submissions, the secretariat synthesized the views by Parties (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/7) for the consideration of the SBSTA at its twenty-third session.

SBSTA 23 made several modifications to the tables of the CRF for LULUCF and recommended a draft decision on this matter (see FCCC/SBSTA/2005/L.19/Add.1) for adoption by COP 11. These changes to the tables of the CRF for LULUCF in 14/CP.11 will apply for inventory submissions by Annex I Parties due in April 2007 and later.

Further information on the reporting requirements for national GHG inventories of Annex I Parties and on the review process under the Convention is available under "GHG Inventories (Annex I)".

2. Harvested wood products

SBSTA 23 further considered methodological issues relating to the estimation of changes in carbon stocks and GHG emissions from harvested wood products (HWP). Data and information on changes in carbon stocks and emissions of GHG from HWP and experiences with the use of relevant guidelines and good practice guidance of the IPCC to generate such data and information were submitted by Parties (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/MISC.9, Add. 1 and Add.2). FCCC/SBSTA/ 2005/INF.7 presents information on HWP contained in previous submissions from Parties and in national inventory reports for consideration. The SBSTA will continue the consideration of this item at its twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth sessions.

SBSTA 24 invited Parties in a position to do so to voluntarily report on harvested wood products in their national inventories in a manner consistent with current UNFCCC reporting guidelines.

3. Adjustments under Art. 5.2 of the Kyoto Protocol of emissions and removals of LULUCF

The SBSTA, at its twenty-second session, 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 will establish a process to enable expert review teams to gain experience with the methods for adjustments of LULUCF estimates during the inventory review period of 2007-2008.

4. 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, 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 (see FCCC/SBSTA/2005/L.18/Add.1).

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 that year.

B. Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries

The COP 11 agenda saw the introduction of this agenda item on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries and approaches to stimulate action. The governments of Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica through their submission FCCC/CP/2005/MISC.1, requested for this issue to be taken up on the agenda. This proposal received wide support from Parties and there was general agreement as to the importance of the issue related to the huge emissions from deforestation, particularly in developing countries, albeit a complex one. The COP established a contact group on this item in order to draft conclusions on how to initiate a process to address the issue of reducing emissions from deforestation.

Parties agreed to initiate consideration of this item beginning at the twenty-fourth SBSTA session, following submissions by Parties and accredited observers. Parties are invited to submit their views on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries, focusing on relevant scientific, technical and methodological issues, and the exchange of relevant information and experiences, including policy approaches and positive incentives. Parties have also been invited to submit recommendations on any further process to consider these issues.

The SBSTA initiated consideradion of the information in the submissions by Parties (FCCC/SBSTA/2006/MISC.5 and Add.1) and accredited observers. The submissions by accredited observers are posted on the UNFCCC website. Parties, in their submissions, noted the need to address reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries as part of mitigation efforts to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention.The SBSTA decided that the workshop should provide an opportunity for Parties to share experiences and consider relevant aspects relating to reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries.  Specific topics to be discussed in the workshop will include:

(a)       Scientific, socio-economic, technical, and methodological issues, including the role of forests, in particular tropical forests, in the global carbon cycle; definitional issues, including those relating to links between deforestation and degradation; data availability and quality; scale; rates and drivers of deforestation; estimation of changes in carbon stocks and forest cover; and related uncertainties;

(b)        Policy approaches and positive incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation in developing countries, including causes; short- and long-term effectiveness with respect to emission reductions; the displacement of emissions; bilateral and multilateral cooperation; activities of other relevant international bodies; enhancing sustainable forest management; capacity-building; and financial mechanisms and other alternatives – basing discussions on experiences and lessons learned;

(c)        Identification of possible links between relevant scientific, socio-economic, technical and methodological issues and policy approaches and positive incentives that may arise from the consideration of the topics in subparagraphs (a) and (b) above.

The SBSTA requested the secretariat to ensure that representatives from relevant intergovernmental organizations are invited to the workshop.  The SBSTA also requested the secretariat to invite to the workshop representatives of relevant non-governmental organizations, and relevant experts.

The SBSTA requested the secretariat to prepare for the workshop a background paper on the above items, with a synthesis of relevant information in national communications and the submissions referred to above.

The SBSTA will report at its twenty-seventh session on these issues raised by Parties in their submissions that were discussed at the previous sessions, including any recommendations.