Forests in South East Asia are continuing to disappear due to unsustainable logging practices, shifting cultivation and infrastructure development. This means that the region is ripe for piloting mitigation activities through limiting deforestation and carbon storage from the forestry sector. Different tools have been assisting forest volumes, biomass and carbon stocks assessment, aiming to realise the country’s potential in terms of emissions reduction.
Forests can be protected and produce carbon credits, but in resource-rich countries, technical staff often lack the skills to conduct accurate carbon assessment, which is a prerequisite for developing mechanisms and sustainable financing models for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), a set of activities using financial and in-kind incentives to encourage people to stop cutting down forests. A new online platform launched by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), GlobAllomeTree, jointly developed by FAO, the French Research Centre CIRAD and Tuscia University of Italy, is an international, web-based platform designed to help climate-change project developers, researchers, scientists and foresters calculate forest biomass and forest carbon.
Tree allometric equations (statistical relationships between various characteristics of tree size) and database can be downloaded for a specific project, country and continent to assess the volume, biomass and carbon of trees in a range of natural and planted forest types (e.g. primary, secondary, bamboo, mangroves and plantations). According to GlobAllomeTree, it provides allometric equations for 57 countries worldwide, covering everything from boreal forests to tropical rainforests and the database is continuously updated and peer-reviewed. Free tutorials about the procedures and methodology for entering data are available online.
These efforts, alongside biomass assessment tools, will help countries to obtain more accurate data on the status of forest carbon stocks and changes and support their national REDD+ process development.