REDD-PLUS – Inclusion of degradation in baselines


Start date: 5 August, 2010 End date: 30 June, 2013 Project type: Smaller projects: PhD Project code: 10-068LIFE Countries: Cambodia Tanzania Thematic areas: Climate change, Natural resource management, Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Policy Brief: Policy Brief Project coordinator: Klaus Dons Total grant: 197,123 DKK Project files:

Project summary

Developing countries are preparing for the next global climate regime to follow the Kyoto protocol in 2012 and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation and enhancing forest carbon stocks (REDD-PLUS) was recognised at COP 15. To demonstrate reduced emissions, data on historical emission from deforestation and degradation is needed and potential REDD-PLUS payments are adjusted according to the ability of the host country to document accurate measurements. A primary gap in scientific knowledge is the ability to measure historic emissions from forest degradation and scientists as well as developing countries including Tanzania and Cambodia claim an urgent need to close this gap. This PhD project investigates a new methodology for estimation of historical emissions from forest degradation at two project sites in Iringa, Tanzania and Oddar Meanchey, Cambodia. The study includes the latest advances in remote sensing techniques and combines this with forest inventories and socioeconomic surveys to create a more accurate model of historic carbon emissions based on indicators of human degrading activities. Expected results of the PhD are three peer reviewed articles, policy briefs and presentations at relevant international conferences, documenting the project findings and providing recommendations for establishment of historic baselines. Training sessions will be held with local and national forest staff in Tanzania and Cambodia to support REDD-PLUS readiness activities.


Project Completion Report:

This PhD project investigated new ways to estimate carbon emissions from forest degradation in dry forest in Tanzania by use of satellite imagery and spatial analysis. The major anthropogenic degrading activities at two sites in iringa, Tanzania were identified and quantified. Fuelwood collection and charcoal production were considered the most severe degradation activities. By inventory of 248 forest plots covering a total area of 362 km2, it was demonstrated that fuelwood collection was significantly negatively correlated with distance to the edge of the forest. It is hereby possible to establish a zone along the forest edge that may be characterized as non-intact following the REDD+ terminology and define the boundary of an intact forest zone where no fuel wood collection takes place. This approach makes it possible to quantify fuelwood collection in the non-intact forest zone. Forest edges are extracted from Landsat satellite images freely available from the USGS archives. Charcoal production had no spatial relation to any of the indicators of forest degradation. A second study investigated charcoal production at 45 active charcoal kilns and 152 previously active kilns. It was demonstrated that charcoal production can be quantified with very high resolution satellite imagery such as Quickbird by measuring the area of burned residues from charcoal production (Kiln Burn Mark Area). This result opens up a new way of using historical Quickbird satellite images for quantificat...

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