The Programme for Promotion of Certified Forest Operations (PPECF) has commissioned environmental and sustainable forest management consultancy TEREA to develop greenhouse gas (GHG) and forest carbon stock level measuring tools for concession managers operating to the PAFC Congo Basin certification standard.
The GHG tool is currently being field tested. Pilot projects are underway in concessions in Gabon, Congo and Cameroon. The outcomes and any consequent changes and developments will be made ready for evaluation and validation by the PPECF by June. The tool covers main emission sources related to forest operation activities, including fuel and energy use and above-ground biomass loss. It is designed for use to monitor emissions from activities in the forest and from industrial sites and work camps.
Terea says the tool will be made available to concession managers in the form of an Excel table, with separate tabs corresponding to distinct emission sources, and a tab that summarizes all GHG data. This creates the possibility to compare outputs from different forest management units and work sites. “Each reporting year, concession managers will fill in a new table. The tool also allowing comparison of GHG emissions year by year by using a specific table that gathers this annual information,” said Terea. “The reporting modalities to PAFC auditors are not yet defined.”
They added that the tool is designed for ease of use. “All emission factors are already included, the concession managers only have to insert data related to their activities,” they said. “Therefore their main focus is to ensure appropriate data is available for the current year of monitoring. We will provide them with instructions and guidelines and can also give training and support through the first year of use.” The company added that the tool is the first of its kind to be applicable to all forest concessions in the Congo Basin.
Terea’s tool for monitoring Congo Basin forest carbon stocks will use existing studies of stock levels. Then cross check this data with forest concession data, including forest inventory and forest management data. The objective is to cross-check carbon stock data from these existing studies with forest concession data, stratification, first using an Excel tool, then mapping. “The methodology will provide forest operators with a set of tools – configurable calculation sheets, procedures for map constructions, guidelines for interpretation of carbon stocks – along with a user guide,” said Terea.
Concession holders will be the main tool users as part of their compliance with PAFC requirements and, said the company, ease of use is again a priority. The tool, currently under construction, but will be ready for validation mid-2022.