Carbon Benefits Project: Modelling, Measurement and Monitoring (GEF-CPB)

Review workshop for the GEF of the tools developed by the CBP (Voi, 13-16 Sept. 2012). Photo: Niels Batjes

Review workshop for the GEF of the tools developed by The Carbon Benefits Project (Nairobi and Voi, Kenya, 10-16 Sept. 2012)

The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has lead two workshops in Kenya in September 2012. The first meeting was a scoping workshop for the GEF on soil organic carbon for global benefits aimed at providing the evidence base for the future strategy of the GEF land degradation focal area (UNEP, Nairobi, 10-12 September 2012) . Subsequently, STAP and UNEP lead a review meeting of the tools developed by the UNEP-GEF co-funded Carbon Benefits Project (Voi, 13-16 September 2012) aimed at evaluating the CBP tools for their usefulness, efficiency, and applicability. STAP and UNEP defined recommendations that contribute to the validation of the tools and their potential uptake by GEF projects, and wherever possible by other partners.

CBP Objectives

The CBP project is being implemented by UNEP’s Division of Global Environment Facility Coordination (DGEF) and executed by UNEP’s Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) in association with two scientific consortiums, a Modelling Component led by Colorado State University (CSU) and a Measurement and Monitoring Component led by WWF.
The CBP consortium has developed scientifically rigorous, cost-effective tools to establish the net carbon benefits of sustainable land management interventions in terms of protected or enhanced carbon stocks and reduced greenhouse-gas emissions. The component led by CSU has developed three options for assessing the C benefits and greenhouse gas emissions of a project: a) Simple assessment—suitable for a quick assessment at any stage, including proposals; b) Detailed assessment—suitable for detailed reporting in projects with a reasonable focus on climate change mitigation; c) Dynamic or Complex modeling option—for users with a scientific background who wish to model carbon stock changes in projects with a carbon focus. The CBP-system is applicable at various levels of scale, from national level to the project level, and will be made available freely by UNEP as a web-accessible system by mid 2013. 
Within the Modelling Component , ISRIC - World Soil Infromation provided global soil information for carbon stock assessment across the range of world climate zones, soil types and land use - derived from legacy data. These are required for at minimum IPCC Tier I, or national scale, level inventory assessments using the simple assessment option of the CBP system in data poor regions. More detailed data, derived from field monitoring and long-term chronosequence studies, are needed at project-level to verify projections of the process-based models; such data sets will be compiled and used for model validation by the respective test case partners.

Ultimately, the CBP-system will help project managers quantify carbon as a global environmental benefit in natural resource management projects and should enable developing countries to engage in the emerging carbon-offset markets with sustainable land management and land use activities. The system will be applicable across the full portfolio of land use projects implemented by the GEF Agencies. The system will also assist land use carbon project developers in selecting methods that combine livelihood benefits with climate change mitigation benefits.