Carbon Inventory Under Baseline Scenario 721 Selection of Fixed or Adjustable Baseline

Carbon inventory under the baseline scenario involves estimation and projection of changes in stocks of different carbon pools in the project area at project development and monitoring phase. It is possible to visualize two situations with respect to baseline carbon stock changes with implications for carbon inventory: the stocks may change, declining normally under the baseline scenario, or may remain stable over the period under consideration. The concept of baseline and baseline scenario is explained in Chapter 6.

Fixed carbon stocks under baseline scenario The carbon stock in the baseline scenario may have stabilized over the years and is unlikely to change significantly during the project period. For example, the land use or management practices on degraded forests, grasslands and croplands may not have changed over the years, leading to stabilization of carbon stocks. Thus, the carbon stock needs to be measured only for the project base year, the assumption being that the stocks would remain stable over a given period in the future. Adoption of this approach reduces the cost of measuring carbon stock changes over the years. This approach has been adopted for some of the approved Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodologies (http:// cdm.unfccc.int) under the Kyoto Protocol. Soil carbon is likely to undergo minimal or no measurable change under the baseline scenario for a majority of land-use systems over short periods of 5-10 years. Further, litter and deadwood biomass stocks are likely to be either absent or present in insignificant quantities that do not merit estimation. Thus, above-ground biomass pool is likely to be the only pool that may change in degraded lands. However, even above-ground biomass is unlikely to undergo any change in land-use categories such as degraded forest, grassland and cropland. Carbon stock is likely to undergo minimal or no change in the baseline scenario under the following situations:

• Forest land remaining forest land with no major change in extraction or management practice

• Degraded forest land remaining degraded forest land with a few or no regenerating trees or shrubs and with no disturbance to topsoil

• Grassland remaining grassland with no major change in livestock grazing density and disturbance to topsoil

• Cropland remaining cropland with no major change in cropping system, e.g. annual cropland remaining annual cropland or perennial cropland remaining perennial cropland

• Barren or degraded forestland, grassland and marginal cropland unlikely to show any measurable change in carbon stocks unless topsoil is disturbed

Dynamic or adjustable carbon stocks under baseline scenario Carbon stocks could change over the years due to change in land use or management practice or even due to changes in the intensity of use and management practices. Changes in carbon stocks could be drastic because of practices such as ploughing that disturb topsoil or gradual because of continued grazing. The likely situations leading to changes in carbon stocks under baseline scenario are as follows:

• Forest land converted to degraded forest land

• Forest land or degraded forest land converted to cropland

• Grassland converted to cropland

• Perennial cropland converted to annual cropland

• Cropland converted to agroforestry

• Fallow land ploughed and cropped

The extent of change in stocks of carbon pools is likely to depend on the land-use category and changes in land use and management practices. For example, above-ground biomass is likely to change significantly because of conversion of forest land to other categories of land use. Soil organic carbon and below-ground biomass stocks are likely to undergo significant changes when forest or degraded forest or grassland is converted to cropland or managed grassland involving intensive land preparation and management. Litter and deadwood will be significantly impacted when forest land is converted to managed grassland or cropland.

However, according to some of the approved CDM methodologies, baseline carbon stocks have to be measured and reported even when the changes are insignificant or not measurable or within an error range (http://cdm.unfccc.int). Selection of fixed or adjustable baseline This is the first step in estimating carbon stocks and projecting changes in them under the baseline scenario. The selection of the type of baseline has implications for carbon inventory estimation methods as described in Sections 7.2.2 and 7.2.3. The selection would be based on expert judgement regarding the likely changes in carbon stocks in the future under baseline scenario conditions. If land use or management practices are expected to change, impacting carbon stocks, adopt an adjustable baseline. If an adjustable baseline is selected, the carbon stocks will have to be measured or estimated periodically. If the land-use system or management practices have stabilized and if the land is too degraded with no likely changes in carbon stocks in the future, adopt a fixed baseline, requiring estimation only once at the beginning of the project.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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