Choice of method

Figure 2.6 in Chapter 2 presents a decision tree that guides the selection of the appropriate Tier level to report non-CO2 emissions from biomass burning. If biomass burning in Grassland Remaining Grassland is not a key category, countries may choose to report non-CO2 emissions using Tier 1 method, which is based on highly aggregated data and default combustion and emission factors. However, if biomass burning in Grassland Remaining Grassland is a key category, countries should strive for improving inventory and reporting approaches by applying the highest Tier possible, given national circumstances.

Tier 1

Equation 2.27 should be applied when choosing to report under a Tier 1 method. Tier 1 is based on highly aggregated data and default combustion and emission factors. If data on Mass of Fuel Available for Combustion (MB) are not available, countries should use the default data in Table 2.4 in Chapter 2 for the mass of fuel consumed. However, since the data in this table is provided by vegetation types and sub-categories, countries applying these default data should stratify the area of Grassland Remaining Grassland in their territory before choosing the appropriate default value (or values) to be applied.

Tier 2

Tier 2 extends Tier 1 by incorporating more disaggregated area estimates (per vegetation types, sub-categories) and country-specific estimates of combustion and emission factors for each stratum. The area burnt can be estimated using remotely sensed data of adequate spatial and temporal resolutions analysed according to a robust sampling design. The periodicity of data acquisition is crucial especially in the tropics, where burning occurs during a specific period in the year, which can extend over several months. It is important, when estimating the area burnt, to capture the month-to-month variation of the area burnt.

Tier 3

Tier 3 method should be based on models with algorithms to generate regional scale maps of area burnt using satellite data of multiple sources and of moderate spatial resolution. The results should be validated using high spatial resolution data augmented by field observations, and refined based on the validation results and feedback from operational users. A sampling approach can be designed to generate estimates of area burnt. Countries should stratify, as far as possible, the Grassland Remaining Grassland areas, and the corresponding combustion and emission factors. The Tier 3 method should provide estimates (fluxes) of the impact of biomass burning on all pools, including below-ground biomass.

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