Uncertainty of estimates of carbon stocks and changes in biological systems, such as forest land and grassland, is likely to be high due to large spatial variation in the carbon stocks, growth rates and losses. This spatial variation could be due to changes in species, soil, rainfall, topography and management practices. Therefore, it is important to understand the causes of uncertainty, estimate the uncertainty and adopt measures to reduce uncertainty. Identification of causes, and estimation and aggregation of errors in particular, require a detailed understanding of project features, key input parameters, models and the associated assumptions and statistical analysis techniques. The key factors to be considered in reducing uncertainty include
• Selection of appropriate sampling technique and size of the sample
• Selection of all the relevant parameters and adoption of correct measurement methods in the field and laboratory
• Selection of appropriate model for estimating carbon stocks and changes
• Adoption of quality assurance and quality control procedures
A good knowledge of the carbon inventory area or region, features of the vegetation, statistical tools and techniques, models and the associated assumptions and the human effort required for different activities of the inventory process is necessary. It is possible to use computer software, which can assist in detecting any errors, such as those in measurement and recording. An understanding of the sources and extent of uncertainty will contribute to reduction in human, material and financial resources required for reliable estimations. It is desirable to prepare a set of standard procedures and practices adopted in the project or national GHG inventory for quality control and assurance. Since any land use-based carbon inventory project or programme is a long-term activity, proper data storage and management are necessary, especially if the personnel are likely to change over the years. It is important to adopt quality control and assurance procedures described in this chapter and IPCC (2006) to ensure transparency and accuracy of the estimates.
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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.