The Ministry of Forestry Indonesia and UN-REDD jointly organized a workshop on Tree Allometric Equation on 23 July 2012 in Bogor, Indonesia. As a follow-up of the training on Allometric Equation in Viet Nam last June,researchers and technical staff discussed plan of actions to improve quality and coverage of allometric equation in Indonesia. Over 35 participants from the Ministry of Forestry, research centers, unversities and NGOs attended the workshop. Read more.

The objectives of the workshop were: to share information and experiences in developing tree allometric equation; to identify gaps in the coverage of Indonesia’s forests by the existing allometric equations; and to develop plan of action to fill gaps for assessing forest carbon stocks.

The workshop featured a number of expert speakers including Senior Adviser to the Minister of Forestry on Environment and Climate Change Dr. Yetti Rusli and Dr. Matieu Henry from FAO Headquarters.

Carbon stock assessment can be improved by having appropriate tree allometric equation. In his presentation, Dr. Henry explained that the selection of model played an important role in achieving accurate estimate of tree carbon stocks and changes. Inappropriate model may introduce up to 40% uncertainty in certain context. The effect could be even greater if the models are applied beyond the ranges for which they were developed. This indicates that more specific models for certain types of forest or region are required to achieve accurate results of forest carbon stock estimates.

Currently, carbon stock assessments in Indonesia use generalized allometric equations and researches focus only on certain areas such as Sumatra, Java and Kalimantan. It appears that some regions notably eastern Indonesia, including forest-rich islands Papua and Sulawesi, are not yet well represented in the existing allometric equation researches. Directly measuring biomass is accurate but the research involving destructive sampling is time-consuming and costly. Therefore there is an urgent need to develop a single and comprehensive database that covers already developed volume and biomass allometric equations for further and improved research on allometric equations.

The participants of the workshop agreed to support the planned work on mapping and inventory of existing allometric equations. Current estimate of forest carbon and emission still uses general allometric equations.  The purpose of future work on allometric equation is to make available country-specific modelsfor certain regions/ecological zones/forest types in Indonesia. The participants appreciated that Indonesia had already developed a national standard on the development of allometric equations; nevertheless it still needed to be improved. It was discussed during the workshop that since peat forest contributed to the country’s GHG emission figure significantly, focus should be given to increase the accuracy of biomass allometric equations used to estimate carbon stock and emissions from this type of forest.