Key Category Analysis

The concept of key category analysis is used to identify the key land-use categories and subcategories that have a significant impact on a country's total carbon inventory from the land-use (AFOLU) categories. The key category analysis is conducted at multiple levels. Firstly, to select the key sector among the IPCC sectors, namely energy, industrial processes and product use, agriculture, AFOLU (or LULUCF) and waste. Secondly, among the key sectors selected within AFOLU or LULUCF, to select key land-use categories, for example, forest land or grassland or cropland. The key category analysis can be extended to identify key land subcategories also. Thirdly, to select carbon pools. In this section the focus is only on AFOLU or LULUCF sector. The key category analysis could be used to identify the dominant carbon pools that impact the carbon inventory for a given

• Land-use category, forest land or grassland or cropland

• Subcategory, forest land remaining forest land, cropland converted to forest land, grassland converted to cropland, cropland converted to forest land, etc.

Key category analysis would assist a country in efficient allocation of limited resources to key categories for the selection of method, size of the sample, frequency of monitoring a given carbon pool, data collection and analysis. By focusing on the dominant land-use categories or carbon pools, key category analysis will minimize the uncertainty.

If the key category analysis shows that a certain land-use category or carbon pool is a key source or sink, it is necessary to adopt Tier 2 or Tier 3. This requires estimation of emission or removal factors at the national and subnational level according to rainfall zones, soil types, management systems, etc. The approach to conducting key category analysis is as follows (IPCC 2003, 2006).

• Selection of level of analysis The analysis should be performed at the level of IPCC categories (e.g. forest land or grassland) or subcategories (e.g. forest land remaining forest land, land converted to forest land or grassland remaining grassland). A country may adopt further disaggregation depending on the availability of activity data and emission factors, for example o Forest land can be further disaggregated into evergreen forest, deciduous forest, or eucalyptus plantations o Carbon pools can be further disaggregated into above-ground biomass, below-ground biomass, deadwood, litter and soil organic carbon

• Method of analysis The key categories are identified using a previous inventory estimate for the sector and a predetermined cumulative emissions threshold. The cumulative emissions threshold is normally 95% of the total level of emissions or removals (IPCC 2006). The method of analysis could be at different levels namely

° Land-use category where the emissions or removals are aggregated for each land-use category, including subcategories, to select the key land-use category or subcategory

° Carbon pools where the emissions from all carbon pools are aggregated to select the key pool for a selected key land-use category

• Procedure for calculating the contribution of each land-use category or carbon pool The following equation could be used for estimating the contribution

Key category assessment = land-use category or carbon pool estimate/total contribution of all land-use categories or carbon pools

° Ranking the land-use categories or carbon pools Using the estimates of contribution of land-use categories, subcategories and carbon pools are ranked and the key categories selected using the threshold

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