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A new update of the Globallometree platform reports a thousand new allometric models to support countries both in emission factors and volume assessments

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Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) may lead to a significant increase in the amount of carbon sequestered by forests, contributing greatly to national and international efforts to combat climate change. To better plan and report on REDD+ actions, participating countries are required to monitor and report on their carbon inventories. Therefore, the selection of methods for estimating biomass stocks and carbon storage is critical to the effectiveness of REDD+.

 

Use of allometric equations

allometric boxTree biomass, volume and carbon stocks can be estimated using various methods, however, the use of allometric models is considered the most common one. Although some general pan-continental or pan-tropical equations exist, forestry departments across the world often prefer to use local allometric models that are more tailored to their conditions. Consequently, there is a large body of scientific work dealing specifically with local tree allometric models. However, many of these models are not easily accessible.

In order to provide free and easy access to allometric models, in 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched GlobAllomeTree, a web-based platform designed to improve global access to tree allometric equations and support forest and climate-change project developers, researchers, scientists and foresters to assess forest volume and biomass, and carbon stocks. Jointly developed by FAO, the French Research Centre CIRAD and Tuscia University of Italy, the GlobAllomeTree platform provides a consistent and harmonised database of tree and stand volume and biomass allometric equations; software to compare equations and assess variables of interests, such as volume, biomass and carbon stocks; access to scientific research information on allometric equations; and access to tutorials, manuals and documentation supporting the development and use of tree allometric equations.

 

GlobAllomeTree is especially useful for the countries in South-East Asia that in the past have published a large amount of local allometric equations. This has resulted in a large body of scientific work dealing specifically with tree allometric models, with many of these models not easily accessible. To facilitate the information exchange, FAO has recently updated the allometric models in Globallometree that resulted in 993 new models from 7 countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam) for 553 tree species. Models were obtained from both peer-reviewed scientific literature and national technical reports and validated through Fantallometrik, a tool for calculating tree volume, biomass and carbon that reference and compares these local equations with existing tree allometric equations at the continental and global levels.

 

The information has the potential to support countries currently engaged in their National Forest Inventories or during the REDD+ readiness process,” noted Javier Garcia Perez, National Forest Inventory Analyst working with the database at REDD+/National Forest Monitoring Cluster. “By accessing the updated database, countries in South-East Asia will be able to use already existing methods that are already tailored towards their needs instead of developing new allometric models that are often expensive, time-consuming and require the felling of a sample of trees.

 

FAO regularly updates the database through allometric model revisions in various regions, and in the near future will also launch a new version of Fantallometrik.

 

Useful links:

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Javier Garcia Perez

National Forest Inventory Analyst

REDD+/National Forest Monitoring Cluster

FAO Forestry Department

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Luca Birigazzi

National Forest Inventory Expert

REDD+/National Forest Monitoring Cluster

FAO Forestry Department

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