Developing Canada's National Forest Carbon Monitoring, Accounting and Reporting System to Meet the Reporting Requirements of the Kyoto Protocol

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Abstract

The rate of carbon accumulation in the atmosphere can be reduced by decreasing emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and by increasing the net uptake (or reducing the net loss) of carbon in terrestrial (and aquatic) ecosystems. The Kyoto Protocol addresses both the release and uptake of carbon. Canada is developing a National Forest Carbon Monitoring, Accounting and Reporting System in support of its international obligations to report greenhouse gas sources and sinks. This system employs forest-inventory data, growth and yield information, and statistics on natural disturbances, management actions and land-use change to estimate forest carbon stocks, changes in carbon stocks, and emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases. A key component of the system is the Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector (CBM-CFS). The model is undergoing extensive revisions to enable analyses at four spatial scales (national, provincial, forest management unit and stand) and in annual time steps. The model and the supporting databases can be used to assess carbon-stock changes between 1990 and the present, and to predict future carbon-stock changes based on scenarios of future disturbance rates and management actions.